2018 ended with a wonderful tour in the Ivory Coast. Our ENW team consisted of Mike Faidley (team leader) along with Nevin and Christina Hersch from ENW’s sending church in PA. This was a special trip for Nevin and Christina in that they took it, in part, to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. That is amazing. They wanted to celebrate their 20 years together by serving this way.
This is the first ENW tour I have not personally led or been on. I certainly missed being with the Mach family and ministering to so many pastors and Seminary students but having men to lead and teach for ENW is part of the II Timothy 2:2 model. To God be the glory!
This report letter will be dedicated to the reporting and reflections of all three who made up the ENW team. Each will encourage you, to be sure. Thank you each one for your continued prayers and financial gifts to the on-going ministry of training next generation shepherds.
What a great privilege it was to lead the team to the Ivory Coast, West Africa this year. My teaching partner was Nevin Hersch and this was his first-time teaching with an ENW team. I am so thankful that he went and shared these opportunities for teaching with me.
This year the Pastor’s Conference had thirty pastors in attendance. We took them through ENW’s Unit 9: Ministering to Youth. Our purpose was not only to encourage and equip these men with God’s truth, but also that they could use these truths in equipping the parents and young people of their respective churches. We dealt with every major relationship struggle and common struggles for teens. It was also our goal to help these pastors with motivation to equip their churches as a place where young people can talk about their struggles and get real Bible answers.
In the Bible Institute, we had twenty students attend the classes we taught on the topic of Homiletics and Hermeneutics. These men ranged from those who were still preparing for ministry to those who are already in ministry yet striving to become better equipped as pastors. It was our intention and desire that these men understand the principles of Bible Interpretation not only for preaching accuracy in sermons, but also for their own personal growth and understanding of the Scriptures.
Both weeks of ministry were filled with lively discussions born out of the question and answer sessions after each section. The time with these men in both the Pastor’s Conference and the Bible Institute was well invested. The men spoke often of the truth of Scripture having a profound affect on their thinking. On certain occasions, these men would tell us of their eagerness to preach these truths in their own congregations.
The Lord is certainly pleased to use the continuing ministry of Bob and Becky Mach in the Ivory Coast. The influence of their ministry has affected not only the people in their own country, but also many people in neighboring countries. Please pray for the Mach family and the ministry there in the Ivory Coast.
Many realities collide as I reflect on our time with ENW in the Ivory Coast. It was a great blessing to have my wife, Christina, join me on this trip. We, along with our pastor, Mike Faidley anticipated this journey for many months. In preparing for the teaching, it was a great blessing, personally, to work through the ENW material. The depth and breadth of the ENW teaching units became increasingly evident and my passion increased to grow together with these men as we explored biblical truth pertaining to both youth ministry, taught in the Pastor’s Training Conference, as well as biblical Homiletics and Hermeneutics which was taught in the Seminary. Once we were on the ground, connecting with these men through biblical instruction was nothing short of AWESOME. I was very humbled to be with pastors and seminary students so hungry for and committed to biblical truth. My heart was drawn to these men and burdened to pray for them with my family as we returned home.
There were, of course, many new sights and sounds and a few new tastes that caught our attention in the Ivory Coast. The people we met and grew to love, however, were by far the most rewarding part of our trip. Getting to know the Mach family was a great blessing as well as other missionaries that were there ministering with them. We were delighted that our arrival was in time to attend a wedding of a young Christian couple. We enjoyed seeing the cultural differences while recognizing the picture of unity and testimony of the Gospel clearly pictured in the ceremony though we were nearly half way around the world.
We are so grateful for the many people who prayed for us on our journey and provided financially to facilitate our transit to and from the Ivory Coast.
It was a delight to be able to join Nevin on this excursion! I really didn’t know what exactly to expect since I wouldn’t have an official ENW role. While being on another continent, amidst a very different culture was exciting, as Nevin has already said, getting to know the Mach’s, and for me specifically Becky Mach, was a great blessing and encouragement. I thoroughly enjoyed jumping into helping with the day to day tasks while learning of the ongoing blessings and difficulties of this particular mission field. Another highlight of my time there was being able to take a trip to one of the local villages with Kristine, one of the single missionary gals who ministers through medicine. What a wonderful ministry and opportunity to provide needed service while sharing the Hope of Christ. Nevin and I both agree that while we did leave the Ivory Coast, the Ivory Coast may never leave us.