A Letter from F.A.C.E. President of the Board
God continues to richly bless the efforts of BTC and evangelism in French Africa. In the eight or so years I’ve been associated with FACE, I’ve been continuously impressed at the good things happening due to God’s blessings. We hired our first full time executive director, David Simmons, to facilitate our fundraising, and we’ve achieved much through your generosity. We’ve been able to undertake major projects such as church building construction and the addition of married student housing on campus. With the influx of families and young children, we’re now conducting a kindergarten on campus for the pre-school children. Your donations continue to put Bibles in the hands of French Africans on a monthly basis. We are now producing beautiful French language Bible class material for children introducing them to God and his marvelous creation. Subsequent editions of the material are in development with the intent of yielding a multi-year children’s curriculum. But most of all, we continue to teach young men to be Gospel preachers for Benin and all of French Africa. Adding married housing has helped to increase enrollment, plus it helps recruit more mature men ready to commit to the challenges of evangelism. Having their wives on campus allows us to help prepare them for their part in the work as well. When I look back on the past several years, I see so much that God has accomplished through BTC, FACE and you as faithful donors.
A little over a year ago, with David’s departure for other opportunities, we hired our second Executive Director, Dr. Richard England. Richard and his wife Barbara bring a wealth of experience including hands-on mission work on multiple continents as well as many years of work in higher education at Freed-Hardeman University to include oversight of periodic accreditation reviews. Related to that, the board has been having recurring conversations over the past few years about the possibility and wisdom of pursuing public accreditation of degrees in Benin. Anyone connected with higher education knows accreditation is a major undertaking. Through our research over the last year we’ve learned much about both the challenges in obtaining accreditation and the opportunities accreditation can provide our graduates. One of our major concerns has been the capital outlay required to go down this path. Recent face-to-face meetings with the Benin Ministry of Higher Education informed us we can start small – just one or two classes – and grow the program over time which greatly limits the up front financial commitments. We have invested in sending three BTC graduates to university in Benin with a commitment to return for a set period of time and teach at BTC upon graduation. The board believes God is opening a door of opportunity, and we are now preparing to embark on the next level of work in French Africa.
Over time our academic offerings will increase into other other areas but teaching Bible and preparing men to be evangelists of the Good News will, and must remain at the heart of what we do. The BTC leadership is excited about the accreditation effort but they also remain totally focused on training preachers. We pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we take our first steps on this journey, and we also pray for your continued support for a productive mission effort in French Africa. Many people at BTC work hard every day to do great things but please know without you, the work would fail.