In late August of 2020, a group of believers in central Senegal, graduated from the second step of the Tree of Life Training to become what we call “master trainers”. A master trainer is not only able to understand each of the 30 lessons in the discipleship training, but is also able to reteach those lessons to other believers effectively. Effective training is very important, because it helps to build confidence in Christ and aids in the process of multiplying trainers (reference 2 Timothy 2:2). Once this group graduated they immediately put the training into practice by training two groups of believers in two nearby villages. They were faithfully sharing the Gospel and continuing the training… we were very happy with their progress. Fiacre (my national partner) and I continued to meet with them each month for coaching and encouraging, which was a great joy for us. However, there was one man, Gana, who had graduated with that group yet never attended our coaching sessions. We were sadden by this because he was a great trainer. We asked the group if they had heard from him or if they knew where he was, but they hadn’t been able to contact him either. So, we assumed he had either lost interest in the training or his job had taken him away from the ministry work (which happens from time to time). However, to our surprise and joy, he finally contacted us about 6 months later to ask us if we would join him for a training that he was facilitating. We jumped at the opportunity. The location of his training was near a large city in central Senegal (about 43 mi from where we had trained him). When we arrived I thought to myself, “this will be good, we will get to hear his introduction to Tree of Life and we will get to see how he starts the first level of the training”… but again to our pleasant surprise, he was not on level 1 of the training he was already training level seven! He had been training this group for the last 6 months! Moreover, he took it upon himself to start this new training with virtually no resources… no whiteboard or markers, no notebooks or pens, etc. He had his training knowledge and he knew how to use it. He had repurposed a piece of 2’x3′ white plastic to use as a makeshift dry erase board and when he ran out of room on the plastic he would write the rest of the lesson on the wall of the church. Fiacre and I were sincerely touched by his desire to use any means necessary to be obedient to the command of Christ to make disciples. At the end of the session that day he asked us if we would join him again the following month to help with the graduation and we said yes. At their graduation we presented them with 100 French Bibles and a proper dry erase board. They were so happy! We also gave Gana a battery-powered projector that he could use to share the Jesus Film and present the Gospel.
Fast forward to 2022, we recently met up with Gana and God is still doing exciting things in his region! After he finished training that initial group as disciples and later as master trainers, he immediately pushed them into God’s harvest field and they are now training a new group of disciples. Likewise, Gana has recently started training two other groups and he is continuing to push out into new areas near him. I could go on and on about his faithfulness, suffice it to say he is a humble brother in Christ and fellow laborer for the sake of the Gospel.