Outcomes - "The Equality of Men and Women"
The following reports are compiled from emails, text messages, phone calls and personal interactions. Interspersed among these are questions which have been directed to us, along with their answers. Older ones first - Keep reading, it gets better!
"We Have Been Empowered"
March 12/22: Three young Maasai women attending an Equality conference realised they were not inferior and felt empowered for the first time, empowered enough to talk to their father about the message, which, they said, they could have never done before. He asked questions about the content and the speaker, and then told them to go back for more. They had attended college but had returned to their village where they were still regarded as inferior.
"I Have Had to Repent Before God"
March 10/22: A pastor from Dar es Salaam came up to me at lunchtime on the second day of the Equality conference and said, "I've had to repent before God. I've been teaching the opposite of this (that men and women are equal) all the time that I've been in ministry. I have promised to teach this truth from now on."
The Church Exploded in Laughter
March 11/22: I was teaching on Ephesians 4:21 and 22, and the church was very quiet. I explained that this section starts with verse 21 "Submit yourselves one to another," but that I had only ever heard preachers start from the next verse and read, "Wives, submit to your husbands," as if to perpetuate inequality.
As I did so a murmur started near the middle of the church, grew to a ripple and then exploded in laughter as people pointed to their pastor up the front.
"What is it?" I asked, with a rising tinge of embarrasment.
"Bishop has been teaching us just that," they said, while he nodded and replied, "But I will stop, and teach the truth from now on."
He told me some days later that he had also changed the way he treated his wife.
"The people agreed that they have mistreated their ladies"
Me: How did you go today?
Ben: It was a nice session with friends and they were impressed with the teachings.
Me: How many did you have?
Ben: We are 38 to be exact
Me: How did you go?
Ben: I started by outlining some of the imbalances in the community. All the people agreed that they have mistreated their ladies. They rolled out in one voice and said, 'There is a need for equality.' Through that I got a thorough way of teaching and everyone was keenly following.
"The council of elders took me aside..."
Me: How did you go today?
Ben: Today we were 51 in number.
It was a nice session, Trevor. After studying the course the council of elders took me aside and started to talk how they are going to change the notion that is in their community, "Men are superior to women."
We had a long discussion and they agreed to call a meeting of all their people across the region next week.
I finished up the conference very well, and the people agreed to change.
"How many people might turn up this Sunday?"
June 1/22 Ben: Am still jobless but for the time being am having a consultative meeting with church leaders. I am requesting them to give me an opportunity to teach them about the " Equality of a Man and a Woman " in different churches.
Me: Has anyone agreed to let you come and teach?
Ben: Yes l have two churches that have allowed me...so l will start this coming Sunday to teach them.
Me: How much time will they give you?
Ben: They will give me 2hours every Sunday until the day l will finish, from 9:00a.m to 11.00am
Me: Has the pastor given you any idea how many people might turn up this Sunday morning?
Ben: He told me they will be 100 and above.
"Which church is sponsoring this meeting?"
January 24/23 Ben: "Today I also encountered some questions like:
a) "Which church is sponsoring this teaching?"
Me: No church is sponsoring. God does not work through churches, but through individuals like you. Jesus did not come representing a church in His day.
b) "If I have any document like identification card which shows I have the power and authority to present this teaching" (Equality).
Me: Do you need a document or authority to bring healing to people? Next time someone asks you for authority to teach ask if there is anyone with sickness or pain, and God will make sure they are fully healed!
c) "Some pastors are saying that women are not supposed to step in the pulpit."
Me: Then they should come and take part in the teaching from Genesis to Revelation.
"The people have decided that tomorrow we need to start even earlier"
January 26/23 Ben: Trevor, the day has been good. We had 8 hours of teaching but the people have decided that tomorrow we need to start even earlier. They want 10 hours so tomorrow at 7:00 am we shall be starting.
January 27/23 Ben: Today we were 40 in number
Me: Could this be a bigger event?
Ben: "It could be bigger if we could visit more houses and create awareness. The moment you introduce the topic and the aim of the visit, both a man and a woman want to explain how they have been undermined, so we couldn't reach more houses (in the time that we had)."