ASI Project Report
Into All the World
Last September, an ASI Train Them Now team arrived in Lagos, Nigeria to begin a series of New Beginnings DVD evangelism training sessions in Nigeria, Cameroon and Liberia. Included in the team were Chester Clark III, ASI general vice president, and Viorel Catarama, ASI vice president for evangelism. Over a whirlwind 10 days they would train more than 1,500 laypeople and pastors at four sites.
Their first session was conducted over two days at Babcock University in Nigeria. An “energetic crowd” of 500 attended. From there the team was off for Aba, also in Nigeria.
As with most Train Them Now trips, this one was not without the unexpected. The trip to Aba was made with a police escort to help the team pass through the dozens of checkpoints without interruption. However, the police car suffered a flat tire. “Not knowing we were no longer escorted, our driver attempted to drive through a road block as usual,” Chester wrote. “Not a good idea.”
Over the course of their trip, the team would encounter customs issues with the DVD players, considerable flight delays and unpredictable training session attendance—all a part of holding Train Them Now meetings in every corner of the world.
Training in Aba went very well, with more than 500 people attending the training sessions. However, due to difficulties with customs forms, the DVD players were not on hand to distribute to trainees. Arrangements were made to deliver the DVDs once they cleared customs.
From Nigeria the team took off for Douala, Cameroon. Upon arriving, the team discovered that once again the DVD players were held up in customs. On top of which, attendance was only half what was expected. The unused materials and DVD players will be kept on-hand by the church in Douala for future use in Cameroon or other French-speaking African countries.
Next the team traveled to Monrovia, Liberia. Attendance there was anticipated to be 250, but it swelled to more than 500 as local church members took interest. “As at the other sites,” Chester wrote, “the delegates were intensely interested and took careful notes on each of the presentations.”
Concluding the Monrovia meetings, the team traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to plan future Train Them Now meetings with leaders of the East Central Africa Division, and to catch a flight home. In spite of the challenges, Chester wrote that overall the training meetings were beneficial and well received.
This report represents just one of the numerous Train Them Now trips undertaken last year by lay volunteers to locations all around world, training thousands of lay people for New Beginnings DVD-based evangelism. Dozens more training trips will take place this year—in Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Lithuania, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere.
The lay volunteers who conduct the Train Them Now programs pay all travel expenses from their own pocket. DVDs, sermon materials and DVD players are all provided for through the ASI Convention offering.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been brought to Christ through the work of lay evangelists trained and equipped through the Train Them Now project. In fact, an evangelistic campaign in Nigeria that followed the training reported in this article resulted in some 10,000 baptisms. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project through the ASI Convention offering.