On Saturday 31st October, Ruth joined CFCM in equipping 5 more men and women with the skills and resources to train Sunday School teachers in their area and their church; launching a strategy to multiply the effectiveness of CFCM in reaching children in Malawi with the Gospel.
These men and women are already active children’s workers, and have themselves been trained by CFCM in the past. They came to Chipata ZEC on Saturday and were taught about the general principles of adult education, specifically applied to Sunday School teachers, and then went in detail through the 3 levels of the CFCM training course. Joseph Jeke (one of the CFCM leaders) also gave an impassioned plea to all the trainers to consider starting their own Bible clubs, to reach the many children who do not go to any Sunday School.
The final session gave each of them an opportunity to practice what they had learned during the day with each giving a demonstration lesson and then receiving constructive feedback from the leaders.
Dula is a school teacher who was trained by CFCM some years ago. Now he lives over 30km from the tar road beyond Ntaja, a strongly Muslim area. He has started 10 Bible clubs in the area. The CFCM team first did training in Ntaja over 2 years ago, and Ruth was with them when they returned in June this year to visit Dula’s home village, 2 of the Bible clubs, and carry out further training for 12 teachers. One Sunday School teacher who had been at the first training asked why the team had taken so long to return. This highlighted the enormous task of CFCM – so few trainers, and the impossibility of reaching every rural community (80% of Malawi is rural). So it was felt that the more effective way of training in this particular area, so far from the road, was to train Dula as a trainer. He made the tortuous trip to Blantyre by public transport this weekend, and has now returned, equipped with the CFCM training materials to train Sunday School teachers and Bible Club leaders around Ntaja.
Many others who had promised to attend the Training of Trainers day failed to come for one reason or another, reflecting the low priority people give to children’s work in Malawi. But the CFCM team, who are so committed to this work, give thanks for the 5 who did come. Besides knowing that Dula is going to carry on the work around his home, the 4 who are Blantyre based will be able to help in future CFCM trainings as well as training in their own churches.
After all, as the old English saying goes: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”!