‘The purpose of Langham Preaching went straight into my heart!’
The volunteers who drive the Langham Preaching movement
Langham Preaching is blessed by the generous help of many gifted and dedicated volunteers around the world. Volunteers drive the Langham Preaching movement.
‘I do it to see a new fire for Langham Preaching Seminars break out,’ says Emmanuel Bagumako, Langham Preaching Coordinator for Burundi in East Africa.
Volunteers typically give sacrificially of their time and talents.
They often endure periods of discouragement.
Their work is not easy.
Recently, for example, Emmanuel was waiting for a flight home from a neighbouring country when he received word that his mother-in-law had passed away. He was scheduled to lead a week-long Langham Preaching Seminar in Burundi. His first impulse was to cancel the event. But then he pictured in his mind those who were planning to attend:
‘It was so hard for me to lead the training the whole day and to go for mourning after … I thank God … He gave me the strength to continue and finish this training.’
Soon after this, Emmanuel could find no public transport to take him to a seminar scheduled in the north of Burundi. Determined not to disappoint those planning to attend, he hired a moto-taxi:
Unfortunately, I was not able to take a picture, with one bag on my back, another bag and sack of materials between me and the taxi driver, and a sack of materials in front!’
Emmanuel trained as an Electromechanical Engineer, specialized in Information and Communication Technologies applied to Education. He has served as General Secretary of Groupes Bibliques Universitaires (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) in Burundi since 2010. Through Langham Preaching he expanded his ministry with students to pastors and church leaders. ‘The purpose of Langham Preaching went straight into my heart!’ he says.
But the first five years Langham Preaching showed little growth in Burundi. Emmanuel was discouraged.
Then his perseverance and faithfulness began to bear fruit. In 2013, five pastors who attended a Langham Preaching ‘taster’ session arrived at a Level One Seminar with friends from their churches and neighbouring churches — 34 people in all!
Preaching volunteers find great joy when they meet with others who do the same work. They consult about how to tackle similar challenges; they rejoice in participants who mastered new skills in preaching from biblical texts where topical preaching has been the norm.
Chris Jonah in Sierra Leone, too, acknowledges the key role of volunteers in his country:
• ‘We thank all of our volunteer staff members. They help to teach … travel under difficult circumstances … sleep in difficult places … eat food they will not normally eat …’
• Thank God for the volunteers around the world with generous, heartfelt, persevering commitment to the work of Langham Preaching.
by Jennifer Cuthbertson, Langham Preaching