International Ministries

FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities Classes Underway

September 24, 2012 Journal
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Greetings,

September 14 & 15 the first FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities classes were held at the Ft. Wayne Baptist Church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  These classes are being offered in cooperation with the Central Baptist Theological Seminary and were the first of a 10 part program to be taught in the Karen language that we have helped to organize.  The goal of the program is to help train Karen speaking pastors and church leaders to better lead their congregations here in the US.  For additional photos of the classes go to http://karenkonnection.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=2356. 

Photos are also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=284589528321082&set=a.284589498321085.66791.100003101115050&type=1&relevant_count=4. 

Classes were held for three hours on Friday evening then an all day, eight hour session on Saturday.  For the Friday evening session, we’re grateful to Rev. Soozi Ford, Executive Minister of the ABC of Indiana & Kentucky who taught about Legal Matters that affect churches.  There were 18 in attendance for that session.  For the full day Saturday session, Thramu Hsi Mu taught an overview of the New Testament and 22 were able to come,  11 women and 11 men.  The next class session will be held the weekend of October 19 & 20 where the Friday night session will cover wedding and funeral services and the Saturday session will cover Baptist history.  Classes will be held monthly through next May.  Those able to complete all the classes will be awarded a certificate from Central Baptist Theological Seminary.  Next year, we hope to start a similar course in new locations.

About half of the people that attended the classes were from Ft. Wayne but others came from Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Logansport and even Bakersfield, CA.  The youngest participant is a senior in high school looking to gain theological training and improve his Karen language ability.  The oldest in attendance were likely in their 60s and active leaders seeking to improve their ability to help the church.  Pastors, Sunday school teachers, deacons and other church leaders came.  One of the challenges for the teachers is that those taking the classes come from a variety of educational backgrounds.  Some have had quite a lot of training of various kinds, while others have had only limited past educational opportunities.

Whatever the background, it is a pleasure to work with people so eager to learn.  Thra Eh Mew and two others drove 5 hours from Milwaukee to come.  Ne Blue Soe who lives in Bakersfield, CA only heard about the classes a few days before they were to start, but was so eager  to come that he paid $900 for a last minute air ticket.  Students were also eager to ask questions and participate in discussion.

There has been interest in getting classes of this type started for several years.  So we are gratified to finally have the FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities course underway.  Like so many things in God’s kingdom, it is only made possible because of the efforts and support of so many people:  Karen speaking instructors, translators, Thramu Hti Mu and the Karen community for organizing the space, meals and housing in Ft. Wayne, English speaking instructors, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, International Ministries, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship,  and of course, people willing and able to take the classes,  all combine to make the program possible.  We thank the Lord for helping these first classes get started!  We look forward to seeing where the Lord leads the program in the days ahead and we appreciate your continuing prayers for this endeavor!