My Final Exam, Tomorrow

Tomorrow will conclude our week of teaching at the East Africa Christian College. This is a new school, started in just the last two years. There are twenty three students in two programs, on a certificate program, the other a diploma program. So, tomorrow is our final and I understand how well they do on this test will be a strong reflection on my teaching. Tomorrow is my final exam for this class.
It was my joy this week to teach a class of eleven men in the certificate program, focusing on Christian Leadership. I started the week asking the men to write their name on the blackboard, share about their family, and then, what they would want people to say about them on the day they go to be with the Lord. I wanted to challenge them with the reality that each day we write a line in the story that will be the message at the end of our life. In order to honor the Lord on that day, we pursue the honor of the Lord each day.
The men worked hard, and with every challenge to a personal preconception, they responded beautifully to biblical challenges. We took a survey of examples of leadership through the span of the Scriptures.
I marvel at the way these men work to learn. They speak Swahili so I have the privilege to work with an outstanding translator, Michael. Our class runs from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., then they go to English class for two hours. They love to sing. They love to pray. The love our Savior.
Today we were talking about the biblical qualifications for church elders, specifically the husband of one wife, or one fully devoted to his wife. We were talking about wise safeguards a faithful pastor will put in place to safeguard his wife’s heart, his reputation, and the church. The men were working through some of the challenges of a commitment not to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. The example was, “suppose I am on my way home after worship on my motorbike and I see a woman from my church walking home, and I know she has a long distance to travel. Do I just ride by her?” After a good deal of discussion that wasn’t leading to a satisfying resolution, I spoke up with a proposal. “How about this… do most women know how to ride a motorbike? If you want to provide this woman with a ride home why not pull over, let her take your motorbike, and you walk home?” I could tell by the looks on their faces I must have stepped in it! My translator started to laugh and it wasn’t long until the whole group was roaring. After they caught their breath, one of the guys explained. “Everyone who heard about a sacrifice like that for a woman who was not your wife would see this as a profession of great love. This would be a scandal the pastor would never survive.”
OK, so not that. They came up with some very practical and pastoral responses to the situation. Fortunately, I get to learn too. I’m glad my final wasn’t today. It may have been my final final.
I’ve been greatly encouraged by these brothers. I’m humbled to be here with them.

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