In Acts 18:1-4, the Scripture tells us how Paul went from Athens to Corinth and worked there as a tentmaker to support himself as he preached the Gospel in the synagogues. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:16-18 that he preached voluntarily, “discharging the trust committed to me.” He did this because he had skills and worked.
This same philosophy is preparing Bible School students at Roca Blanca for their ministry by teaching them skills such as woodworking, metal working, handyman skills, sewing, cooking, and more to come. In September, I had the great joy and privilege of teaching nearly 30 students in the Roca Blanca Trade School how to make technical drawings to support their work in carpentry, welding, and in household repair skills. I am a retired engineer, and drawing has always been part of my skill set. To be able to share it with these students was a great joy. Over a period of 4 weeks, they learned how to use drawing instruments to make three-view orthographic drawings, pictorial drawings, architectural drawings, and how to use those drawing skills without instruments to make sketches. These skills will be of great benefit to them as they take their handiwork skills into remote villages in the future.
In 1 Corinthians 9:18, Paul said “What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge …”. Being able to support themselves with skills that are needed in the villages will open doors to sharing the Gospel and building God’s church in those places. I’m thankful for my good friend Steve Roberts and his encouragement and support (and language skills) as we taught. Every one of the students I taught were a great blessing to me, as well, and I praise God for the opportunity to work with them to help prepare them for their future working for the Lord.
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