Twelve energetic students gathered at Elim Heights for the 2020 Missionary Training Program. Coming from around Australia and the USA, they entered upon their studies enthusiastically. We started with Bible Research and Gospel Workers classes, and then moved into how to conduct home Bible studies.
After the first intensive month at Elim Heights, the program moved to Schofields. The canvassing program got into full swing, with many books sold and contacts made. But just as the canvassing program was finishing up, the pandemic response started to affect the program. Br Rolly Dumaguit, who had been the canvassing instructor, had to urgently return home before flights closed. We endeavoured to carry on with the visitation program and other training, but the future looked increasingly doubtful.
Finally, on the 23rd of March, as restrictions on gatherings and social interaction were getting ever tighter, the EMC Board held an emergency meeting. It was decided to suspend the program and send all students home. Sadly, the classes were stopped after only the first day of classes by Br Sas, so they only really got the introduction from him.
All of the students left within a week and have arrived home safely. The EMC Board has agreed to look at how to enable them to finish sometime in the future, as we are able to do so.
Despite the cancellation of the program, we had a wonderful time, formed new friendships, and learned a lot together. We look forward to seeing what the class of 2020 do as they shine for Jesus in these tremendous times.