“ . . . for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”Acts 17:11b
When God opened the door for Principles for Living to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Africa, I was asked to teach pastors there. I wanted to do crusades there as well. They agreed to my wishes and I agreed to do pastoral training for them.
When I had my first crusades in Kenya, Africa, I quickly became aware of the need for proper doctrinal teaching that was needed by the pastors there. I made assumptions that they were better versed in doctrine than they were. I saw extra-curricular exploits, which were not of God, being exercised by some of the pastors that were working with the new converts.
I began to do both pastor training and crusades, but it was going to take too much time and effort to get the pastors up to speed with what they needed to learn.
I have a key native point man in both Kenya and Liberia that God has given to me. Harrison heads up my work in Kenya and Jeremiah heads up my work in Liberia. They are in charge of the pastor training and do the follow up of the pastors. They also organize and help set up all the crusades. These are leaders of pastors in their churches as well as in their countries. I discussed with them the kind of doctrinal teachings that I would be bringing to them and they were in agreement with me, about this being what the pastors need to be taught.
I am limited with my time, so we have set up a training program that will take the most diligent of these pastors and train them properly at their homes. They are given a three year training course to complete. Harrison and Jeremiah implement the oversight that is needed with these pastors. If the pastors are not diligent in their studies, they are removed from the studies and replaced with another pastor.
To have more resources to help pay for materials and shipping costs would allow us to increase the number of pastors that are willing to train through our pastor training program. The more pastors that we have trained, the better the follow up will be after the crusades.
Getting materials into these countries is painfully expensive. Many times there is a fee charged before the materials will be released to Harrison and Jeremiah.
We have roughly six hundred pastors that are willing to be involved in the trainings. Because of limited resources we are only adding eight new pastors every six months in both Kenya and Liberia. Materials and shipping for the pastors costs about $200 for each pastor. They earn a living while they are in training which helps keep our costs down.
It’s important to know that these are poor countries and the pastors don’t have the resources to pay for the materials needed to train them. We aren’t even paying Jeremiah and Harrison. We would so desperately love to be able to get them on a salary so we could have them as employees. That would help us have better control over managing their responsibilities.
Jeremiah and Harrison have never asked for us to pay them for their help, because they are serving the Lord and they say that in and of itself, is enough for them. The problem is that they all have families and need to be doing some type of income producing work to support their families. We are hoping to start paying them $1,000 a month for their efforts. We will do more if God blesses us and allows us to do so.
Also we would like to do a couple crusades in Kenya and Liberia in 2016. To put on a crusade there involves printing fliers that are posted all over the place. We need to bring in Christian singers that are known in Africa and will bring a crowd. We have to rent sound equipment so we can be heard. We have to purchase tickets for flights to get there and back from the USA. All of these things cost us and each crusade can run around $15,000 each when all things are added together.
We also support orphanages in both Keya and Liberia. The number of orphans needing help in Liberia has gone up because of the Ebola outbreak that recently struck Liberia. We would like to offer more support to the orphanages. There are uncompleted dorms that are waiting for more funding to finish the construction. We would love to raise $50,000 in 2016 to share with the two orphanages. One is located in Homa Bay, Kenya and the other is in Paynesville, Liberia.
As the founder of Principles for Living, I do not take a salary for myself. My private businesses provide a salary for me. As you can see, we have so many opportunities before us. Where can you go and have open doors to do crusades and train pastors that have been inadequately trained.
Now is the day of salvation. With the world changing as rapidly as it is, we may be limited in how much time we will have in which we will be free to proselytize in these countries.
Principles for Living
Bill Zechmann, President & Founder
P.O. Box 1097
Norfolk, NE 68702