Key to the effectiveness and growth of the work in Malawi is the ongoing training and encouragement of the otLIVE instructors who work so faithfully in schools in this area.
What a joy it was therefore to have an opportunity to not only update and enhance the skills of the current instructors, but also to train two Malawian trainers for the first time – George and Wiseman – who will now go on to train others to become otLIVE instructors.
We rejoice over the feedback from some of the instructors, which reflects not only a refining of teaching skills and technique, but also a growth in their personal walks with the Lord…
“This training has helped me to perfect my story telling and improve the quality of my hand signs. It has been good to be reminded that I am not alone, but am part of a team! I want to tell these Old Testament stories to my family, people at my work and at church. My own walk with God is growing deeper.”
“Even as I teach otLIVE, this course has helped me personally. It has opened my eyes to see the goodness of the Lord and to rely on Him only. Even now, I teach my family, friends and other Christians to depend on God and to pray more fervently than before. I have realized the importance of praying as I teach children the Word of God. This training has also helped to improve my teaching techniques and to have more information on the Old Testament stories.”
“This training has been very profitable in my life and has helped me to be an effective leader. Now I will be able to train other otLIVE instructors. Even now, I have learnt new ideas on how to make my otLIVE lessons better and to attract the interest and attention of the learners so that they are involved in the story. I have also learnt how to handle difficult learners in the schools by treating them with love.”
Practice makes perfect – so it is good for me to re-do and review the hand signs. I have learned also to ask the Holy Spirit for help when I prepare otLIVE sessions for the schools.”
“I have learnt how to change my style when teaching otLIVE – also a good way of attracting the children and holding their attention when I am teaching. Personally, I have been reminded that I need to forgive a friend – despite what they have done to me. I have also been reminded of the respect I need to have for the Word of God. And to do what I need to do, even when nobody is looking.”
“This training helped me with different approaches to teaching – like how to tailor the story to suit the audience. It has made me think about illustrations from my own environment, experiences and even the world, which will further illustrate the story.”
“I have learned about the importance of speaking loudly and moving when I am teaching. I also know how to change my style and be flexible. For me, I need to read the Bible more and listen to God, so that I can teach well.”
A story from Xolani, an otLIVE instructor, who has found creative ways to minister despite the pandemic…
“We have just started weekly otLIVE lessons which we run on Sundays in the yard of our home.
About 30 children from the community attend. We do the otLIVE lessons outside and try to comply with government regulations regarding social distancing and mask-wearing. Not easy with children!
This has been like a breath of fresh air for our family to get back to serving the kids. And you can see that the children have just been yearning for this!
Things are very tough for people generally in our community. The economic fallout from the pandemic has been massive. Families are in distress. Many have lost their jobs. The children often arrive hungry – so our church has been involved in reaching out with food parcels.”
(The outreach project run by Xolani’s church is one of those which are supported by Walk Thru the Bible, in partnership with turn the tide 4 children.)
Lockdown brought many ‘firsts’ for us all.
For Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa, this included our first online training of otLIVE instructors in Nigeria and India. What a privilege it was to partner with Walk Thru the Bible USA for these exciting events. We thank the Lord for technology that allows us to cross even closed borders!
As our South African trainer explains:
“There was such a wonderful energy that came from bringing together different teaching styles and cultures. How wonderful to see the passion and joy in the new Nigerian instructors – who were so creative in coming up with songs to help them remember the story and hand signs. Thank the Lord for Zoom which has opened up so many new opportunities.”
“These new otLIVE instructors are like wildfire going through the schools in Nigeria. They have all already taught many events, and otLIVE has been received with great excitement and enthusiasm.”
Moms-for-Wellington are a passionate group of women from a cross section of society in the town of Wellington in the Western Cape of South Africa. The group is committed to serving the vulnerable children in their community through structured initiatives such as discipleship, feeding and pre-school programs.
The otLIVE instructor relates:
“It was a great time doing an otLIVE Live Event for Moms-for-Wellington. What a great opportunity to invest in the lives of the ladies who disciple and work with the children. This was a way empowering them with a better understanding of the Bible – both as they minister to the children and to enrich their personal walks with the Lord.
Afterwards some of the enthusiastic group of moms shared their feedback:
“I have such a sense of accomplishment! I never thought I could understand the big picture of the Old Testament in just one morning – but otLIVE helped me to do that!”
“I am surprised at how much I learned in just one day.”
“This is great, easy to learn material”.
May the Lord bless and strengthen these precious ladies as they minister to the vulnerable children in their community.
After just a few minutes of conversation with Pastor Praise Nkosi from Living Hope Tabernacle in Soweto, you get a sense of the burden that he carries for his people.
“Due to initial government restrictions we had to adapt our aftercare Eagle Youth Empowerment Project – where we ministered to children on a daily basis. So, we had to think differently. Because the people in the community are suffering, we decided to distribute food parcels to the families of children that we were feeding at the aftercare. We had to identify those who were struggling the most and we have now been providing food parcels to 50 families every month.”
According to a volunteer at the aftercare, Somi Sifile:
“There are many difficulties facing the families of the children in aftercare. It is painful. Most families are not working, and many people live in one house. There are problems with child neglect and drinking. Some parents are unable to care for their kids. We are trying to do what Jesus would do. We are trying to be with the people and share with the people and re-connect them with the church.
Please pray for strength and wisdom to encourage the volunteers in this work – that we might bring hope as we meet needs within our community. Please also pray for us for wisdom to best meet the needs of those in the aftercare.”
Bishop Thimlela David Mathebula, senior Pastor of The Hour of Revival Gospel Church shares:
“During the Corona Virus Lockdown, with the help of Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa and turn the tide 4 children we have been able to provide monthly food parcels to 15 pastors and their families. This has been through our caring project called Acts of Compassion. These pastors were in desperate times. In these harsh economic times, their churches were unable to support them. Many of these pastors are also part of Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor Circle, where they are equipped with ready-to-use sermon tools. These food parcels relieved a great burden for them, as they continue to minister to their people. The church really is the answer in our communities.”
Some of the pastors share their stories:
The groceries came at just the right time, when we were in real need, not knowing where to go to ask for help. As a family we were able to survive, and it was a great stress relief for me as the breadwinner and head of the family. I want to extend my gratitude for these gifts of groceries that my family have been receiving during the lockdown.
~ Apostle Alfred (full-time Pastor, father of three children)
The food parcels brought such a huge relief in our home. We had no other alternative except hoping in the Lord – and the food parcels were an answered prayer and are still so. We are singing praises to the Lord who has provided during these hard times.
~ Pastor Lucky (full time pastor in Kwa-Thema, married with four children)
I would like to take this time to Praise God for the help we received during the Lockdown period. It has been difficult for us financially, but the groceries we received during the past months have helped us as a family.
~ Pastor Jabulani (full time pastor in Daveyton and father of five children)