Robert and Mary Jo Foster

Robert and Mary Jo Foster serve Evangelism Explosion, Brazil

Recently, we conducted a workshop and training clinic for 4 churches, employing once again the pandemic adaptations we have developed. Of the 133 workshop participants, twenty had set aside the whole week for the more in depth clinic training. These were from 4 churches, 2 of which are on the other side of Brazil. Imagine drawing a diagonal line from Miami to Seattle to get the picture, the teaching originating in “Miami” and reaching all the way to “Seattle” via Zoom. Among the clinicians was a pastor named Israel. He had been trained in our classic materials years ago but wanted to become familiar with our current materials.

Unbeknownst to us, in the months prior to the training, he had contracted the coronavirus. It had severely affected his vision. He made it through the workshop and clinic because he had the prior training and was familiar with our Gospel explanation. During the clinic, he became determined to implement our training in his local church. He told one of our teachers following the training of his struggle with reading printed manuals and explained that his vision was worsening. Yet, he hadn’t given up on having an ongoing evangelism training ministry in his church.

The pastor asked about the possibility of receiving the manuals in a digital format, in order to be able to increase the size of the text on a computer screen or tablet, making it possible for him to read and teach in the short term before he becomes completely blind. What determination! He caught the vision and wasn’t giving up on it easily!! We gladly made an exception and provided the digital files. Now, he is equipping his church members to explain the Gospel and to become mentors of others. Some of them will be able to carry on in the future, once he is unable to continue. Praise the Lord! In spite of losing his “sight,” he hasn’t lost his “vision” for fulfilling his pastoral responsibility of “equipping the saints.” 2 Timothy 2:2 is the foundational verse for Evangelism Explosion training: “You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others.” (CEV)