April 2015

Unprecedented Achievements – ESTES Adapts Hi-Tech Learning

By Dr. Buz McNutt, Director

As most of you know, we have been thrilled to support the ministry of the Evangelical School of Theology Shalom in N'Djemena, Chad for many years now. Eight years ago, God planted a vision to bring the school and the students into the 21st century. That is, a vision to see the students' ability to engage in research at the world-class level through the use of technology. ESTES has had a modest (hard copy) library and from time to time Mission Chad has been used to make additions to its holdings. However, in 2007 we believe God began to direct us to pray and seek a way to bring computers and Bible research software to Chad. Our hope was to bring the finest in biblical research to these students who would graduate and plant churches throughout the country. This would truly be an historic advancement for the churches of Chad.

Through God's grace in answering prayer and your gifts, this past March phase one of that vision came true. I and two technicians, Craig Kindell and Sjaak Van Dam, from one of our church partners in Boca Raton, Florida, delivered the first six computers and Bible software to the students and faculty of ESTES. They spent the better part of two weeks training students. The main strategy of the visit was to teach ESTES' brightest students, who could then in turn, teach their fellow students (2 Tim. 2:2).
 

It Was A Risk – Many Obstacles and Unknowns

Students training students

The project faced several hurdles, including, costs, maintenance, and effectiveness. Computers and software needed to be purchased and loaded here in the U. S. Students needed strangely unfamiliar things like, email addresses, usernames, and passwords. How would we teach them to use the computer? How could we train them in sophisticated Bible software in such a short time? How would we bridge the language gap in our teaching from English to French? Where would we get the money for both the hardware and the software? How would the computers receive power and maintenance? So many questions! And perhaps the greatest question of all: would this

New ESTES Research Center

experiment work? Would the students actually learn how to do research on these 21st century contraptions?

God is so faithful, for where he leads, He always provides, and accomplishes all His good purpose. The computers were purchased, the technicians (Craig and Sjaak—Sjaak speaks French!) not only loaded the software, but provided all we needed to launch this grand project. Most evidently, the greatest answer came when we saw how well the students adapted to these new tools! By the time the

team left, not only were students learning how to do top quality research, but also, students were training other students!
 

A Thank You Does Not Begin to Express the Magnitude of Appreciation


We here at Mission Chad want to say thank you. Thank you for enabling us to take the gospel to Chad and to train the next generation of church planters. If ever you doubted your contribution to world evangelism, doubt no longer. This historic project is already having effect and will continue to do so as we move into Phase 2. A new Research Center has just been completed on the ESTES campus. It is ready for a fully equipped computer laboratory. It is a clean and secure facility that will help protect future computers. Please continue to pray for the additional computers and software needed to complete this phase. Pray that technicians will have the wisdom to equip the new facility with solar power and internet capabilities. During the training, I challenged this first group of thirty students: "Yesterday you read books by scholars from around the world. Tomorrow you will write books that the world will read. Chad will be a global participant in training church leaders in Chad and beyond." It is a new day for biblical research and training in Chad because of you. To God be the glory!
 

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