Africa

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Virtual vision trips are win-win-win

by Dr. Stephen Briix, academic dean, International College of Bible and Missions, Johannesburg, South Africa

At the International College of Bible and Missions, we equip pastors, providing them with accredited theological college degrees. We strive to help not only the wealthy students but also the students who come from extremely poor communities that were deeply affected by Apartheid. We train men and women to study, live and preach God's word in their communities as they strengthen the church in all its ministries.


Working to train not only the wealthy but also the underprivileged has meant the college has been underfunded for years. This has led to a building that needs repairs.

At the same time, the people in our communities are suffering. With unemployment over 30%, many people struggle with providing education for their kids and buying food.


We designed our virtual vision trips to address both of theseproblems. As people take virtual trips to our college, they learn about our work and our environment. And,we hire local people to do the needed repairs, giving dignity and income to hungry people willing to work hard.


The trips have been a huge success so far! Because of these trips:

  • We were able to fix our unstable electrical system—which used to lose power every hour—so we now have continuous electricity throughout the day.

  • We repaired our terribly leaky roof which used to shake in the wind. Now it is strong and does not leak.

  • We removed rust and then paintedour security fence, which will give it many more years of life.

  • We power washed flaking paint from the outside of the building.


Additionally:

  • We kept our staff employed in carrying out these repairs, rather than having to lay them off.

  • We provided work for Mandla and Charity. They are a hard-working couple who had been without work for a long time and were begging for food.Through employment at ICBM, they’ve received training in painting and other basic construction skills, and we have had the privilege of ministering to them.

  • We hired Jimmy and Advance, skilled men who werestruggling to provide for their families.


As various groups have taken part in our virtual vision trips, the funds they’ve provided have not only enabled us to make needed repairs, butalsohelped our staff and these families who were facing severe financial problems. People comment that they love the trips. Meeting some of the staff at our collegeand seeing the work being done via Zoom has really opened their eyes to the work God is doing and the challenges faced by staff and students.


We have more projects in need of completion.


Roof: another section of our roof is still leaking and needs repairs.


Electrical: a number of minor issues need to be fixed for us to get an electrical certificate.


Garage roof: rottenboards need to be repaired before our health and safety audit.


Flooring: much of our carpet has holes, stains and mold.We wish to take it up and replace it withhard flooring.


Paint: much of the building needs fresh paint to protect the building and make it look nicer.


Please pray about helping with one of these projects. You will help us continue to train church leaders and provide needed work for struggling families.We look forward to “seeing” you as you make a valuable impact in training pastors and church leaders here.


Contact ICBM Academic Dean Steve Briix, icbmvvt@entrust4.org, to adopt a project and raise the funds for that project.