A Bumper sticker reads

A Bumper Sticker Reads
J.L. Brazeel
Albuquerque, NM

A Bumper sticker reads

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
A Bumper sticker reads "If you think money canít buy happiness you just donít know where to shop." A new one says "follow me and I will show you where to shop" ( If you have stopped supporting foreign missions because it did not produce the results you had hoped for, you have just been shopping in the wrong place!)

Thirty years ago Eldred Echols, Al Horn & Tex Williams convinced the eldership at Montgomery Blvd Church of Christ in Albuquerque to establish the Manzini Bible School (MBS) in Swaziland to train in Africa the brightest and best African native men to be preachers because:
1. There was a great need to train these men beyond the first principles or else the churches would always remain infantile and dependant on American support.
2. Sending African student preachers to America for training had ruined most of them. They either became spoiled to the American lifestyle and never returned or if they returned they were unhappy and focused on how they might get back to America.
3. Sending American missionaries was and is so much more expensive than training Africans. (We feed, clothe, and house 25 students at MBS for less money than it will cost to send one American missionary family to Africa.)
4. It takes American missionaries years to learn the African cultures and languages and they usually return to states just as they begin to become effective. The American will probably leave Africa in 2-5 years. MBS trained preachers in Africa remain for a lifetime.

Over 200 preachers have graduated from MBS since the classes began in 1968. Today, 3 of our 4 Bible instructors are native black Africans. Kurt Platt our director, is a black S. African and is as capable of a bible teacher as you will find anywhere! We currently have 25 Bible students studying at MBS. When those students graduate from this intensive, demanding, 2 year program they will be well prepared to preach the gospel to their own people.

I wish I had the opportunity to tell you about where these 200 men have gone and just some of the wonderful things they have done for the Lordís kingdom! If I could, I would tell you about Charles Masunda a Zambian who graduated last year. He hitchhiked, and rode "suicide taxis" over 800 miles to get to MBS from Zambia. Charles was 40 years of age, spoke 22 African dialects, and 4 foreign languages. While a first year student he went about 80 miles each Saturday and Sunday to Vuvalani, Swaziland. There he started a congregation in a old school classroom. Before the year ended he had baptized over 25 people and was having about 50 people each Sunday. So What? Every person who was baptized had done so in a pond where there was a 12 foot crocodile! They would try to find the crock then run to the other side of the pond to baptize the believer. Then they hoped there were not 2 crocks at the pond that day. What does that tell you about the dedication of the preacher?! What does that tell you about the conviction of the believer? Charles is now back in Zambia since graduating in January 97 and is planting churches left and right. I got a letter from him recently asking for help. All he asked for was communion cups & Sunday school materials!

I wish I could tell your congregation about the dozen Mozambican students who studied at MBS during the 70ís under Manuel DeOliveira. They returned to Mozambique into a war torn country. During the 18 year war we did not hear from any of them and feared they were dead or no longer preaching. Manuel DeOliveira and some American church leaders went in after the war ended and have found hundreds of churches and literally thousands of Christians worshiping in one of the most devastated countries of the world.Most of the 12 MBS preachers were still alive and were instrumental in establishing many of those churches in southern Mozambique.

I wish I had time to tell you about some of the dozen MBS graduates now
working in southern Zambia. I would tell you about how the Lordís
kingdom is expanding by nearly a hundred churches per year in Zambia. I
wish I could tell your congregation about the 12 Zambian preachers now
training at MBS. I will tell you that our director said " These are the
hardest working and most dedicated students we have had in the 8 years I
have taught at MBS"

The front page of the Christian Chronicle (July 97) reported about church growth in Africa by saying "The church in Africa has grown by 69 percent in the past 5 years, from an estimated 404,000 members in 1992 to approximately 685,000 in 1997." I know many congregations have supported mission works in Africa. But, MBS graduates have played a huge role in many of these areas. And, I must tell you how urgent it is that we send well trained Bible teachers and preachers to every area where the church is expanding rapidly to keep those infant churches from falling into denominationalism.

Montgomery Blvd can no longer carry the financial load of supporting MBS by ourselves. We have been sending about $11,500per month to this great work. Due to severe financial reversals at Montgomery Blvd. our elders announced that beginning July 1st, 97 MBCC can only send $6000/month. For the first time in 30 years we are having to beg for support to keep the doors open at MBS. Failing to find about $4000 per month immediately will force us to dismiss some of the teachers and to send at least half of the students home untrained, disappointed, disillusioned, and terribly stranded financially. They will have neither jobs nor churches to support them when they get back home. It breaks our hearts to even consider the possibility! You can adopt a preacher for $250/ month. A $250/ month scholarship will feed, cloth, provide water, electricity and transportation to town once per week for a preacher and his family. So little money will do so much!

Will you please do the following for this work of the Lord?
1. Make a one time donation to enable us to keep these men studying at MBS until January when the semester ends? Each $250 keeps one preacher and his family in school one more month.
2. Please commit yourself or your congregation to provide $250/ month scholarships for a preacher and his family.(half scholarship?)
3. Help me get the opportunity to speak to your congregation about getting your congregation in on this great mission?

Please contact me by email at joylea@flash.net or call me at 1-505-898-6669 home; or at my business 505-344-1299 if I can answer any questions for you.

        Because of Him we serve,

        J.L. Brazell

(elder @ Montgomery Church of Christ,7201 Montgomery Blvd,Albuquerque, NM, 87109)
Make any checks out to Montgomery Church of Christ and note it is for
the Swaziland fund. Mail to Montgomery Church of Christ, 7201Montgomery
NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109

Written By

Bella Vista Church of Christ


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