– We thought we aimed high when we decided that Tent Nigeria´s goal should be to train and send 100 tentmakers by April 2023. If people continue to respond like now, we may reach this number way ahead of time. We will work hard to be ready if God continues to pour out his spirit and move people in greater numbers than we expected, says Victor Agbonkpolor.
20 people signed up for Tent´s GO Ahead-program at last month´s GO Equipped course in Benin City. This program is tailor-made for people who want to go as tentmakers.
– Since this is a for-payment program, we assume that everyone has a desire to serve the Lord cross-culturally, and bring the Gospel to new places, comments Victor Agbonkpolor.
The national director of Tent Nigeria is known as a visionary leader. But even for him the outcome of the events in the end of February went beyond expectations.
The program started with two seminars and a church service in Warri February 16-18 and ended with a GO Equipped tentmaking course in Benin City February 21-25. Tent International´s director, Steinar Opheim, took part at the events together with Victor Agbonkpolor and other team-members in Tent Nigeria.
– It was like all doors were opened for us, and people responded with excitement and a desire to learn more. The church in Warri, where we shared the tentmaker vision at the Sunday morning service, immediately decided to send five people to the GO Equipped course the following week. Several others also registered for the course the last week ahead of the course, so we ended up with 49 participants. We aimed at seeing 10 of the course participants continuing in the GO Ahead-program, but got twice as many. An additional 10 signed up for Tent´s GO Discover program, says an amazed Victor Agbonkpolor.
Tent Nigeria´s director experiences that the teaching on tentmaking helps people to see that they are in full-time service for God and his kingdom no matter where they work.
– It has been a common understanding that only those working in churches and Christian organizations are in full-time ministry for Jesus. The teaching Tent provides, liberates people from this idea. Many people discover their God-given purpose through this teaching, and for the first time they are able to see that God has called them to use their professions for his glory.
Victor Agbonkpolor had a similar experience when he got introduced to the tentmaking idea in 2013.
– The teaching gave me a new identity, and I started to see myself as a missionary in my work as a medical doctor.
More to come
The second and last GO Equipped course in Nigeria this year will be held in Lagos in August. Next year Tent Nigeria plans to have three courses. From 2020 there will be four annual courses in Nigeria.
– We trust that God will provide everything we need to make this happen. Our aim is however not just to see many people go through our training. Our desire is to see new people groups being reached with the Gospel. We believe that Christian business people, professionals and students will play a key role in fulfilling the great commission. My hope is that we will be able to reach all people groups with the gospel in this generation, and that we in this way will prepare the ground for Jesus return, smiles Victor Agbonkpolor.