Dear Praying Friends,
If you have been keeping up with our updates, you know that one of our key ministry opportunities has been the Biblical Leadership Institute (BLI). The purpose of BLI is to prepare men and women for ministry within and alongside the local church. This week marked the third anniversary of BLI, and we rejoice over what God has allowed us to do in the lives of many!
Most attendees are seeking to equip themselves for more effective service in the local church. They are not pastors or aspiring pastors, but they seek to be able to lead Bible studies, counsel, and study Scripture more deeply. However, there are some who are pursuing a formal degree, and they have come to us for at least part of their education. Through completing course assignments at the appropriate level of rigor, they earn credit that can be transferred to South African institutions with which we have partnerships. And from those partnering institutions, they can ultimately earn the qualification they seek.
“Credit students,” as we call them, typically work a regular, full-time job to make ends meet and support their families, just like anyone else. However, in some cases, the one full-time job does not cover all expenses; so, in addition to one full-time job, there is a need to pursue other work, just to survive. And when you are living on the edge of survival, trying to piece together multiple sources of income, there is precious little time to gain traction in studies.
It light of this difficulty, we have been praying about what we could do to help students in this situation. And the answer is … the BLI Scholarship Fund! The purpose of this fund is to offer modest support to students in need, for a pre-determined amount of time (three to five years), so that they can focus on their studies without having to worry about school fees, supplies, books, internet access, and other expenses they could not afford anyway. Beyond funding their schooling, the support would supplement their income such that they would not need to pursue a second job, at least in most cases. The expectations for earning the BLI Scholarship would include their being employed full time currently, and that they would make reasonable academic progress to the appropriate standards expected of their degree program.
Our first candidate for the BLI Scholarship is B. B. has been faithfully attending BLI courses ever since we started our program in March 2018. He has a deep desire to cycle through our courses again, but this time taking them for real credit by accomplishing all the work associated with each course. This will not be easy, yet we believe B. has the focus and determination to accomplish his goals. But to do this, he could use help. We would like to raise funds to scholarship him at $400 per month over the next four years. This is a grand total of $19,200. Of course, this does not have to be raised immediately as it will be spread out over the four years. However, depending on the response to this initial plea, we may be able to scholarship others sooner rather than later.
If you are interested in contributing to this worthy cause, please let us know. Perhaps God would move upon your heart to offer a one-time contribution or monthly contributions going forward. Or perhaps God would lead you to commit to pray fervently for the scholarship fund to grow. Whatever the case, we are grateful! We trust the Lord’s will to be done, and so we praise Him, and thank you, for your support.
Serving our Savior,
The Coon Family