About the Pastors
They are trained Bible teachers who travel to 8-11 communities each week to lead Bible studies with blind students. There are 11 pastors, six who are full-time. They travel near and far to meet with blind students and teach them God’s word, lead them to Christ, and disciple them. Three of the blind Bible study pastors who lead these studies had their beginnings in these very same studies.
Two of them also pastor a traditional “church.” But most do not. Their “congregation” consists of small groups of blind students in many different communities. So, while they do not pastor a church in the sense we in the West often mean, they are very much pastors. To the majority of these children, these Bible study leaders are the only pastor they know. The cost of salary, travel, and supplies is $650/month/Bible study pastor. And their salary comes exclusively through RBI.
All of these pastors have been trained as Bible study leaders. Some have graduated from a Bible college in the Philippines with which RBI has a partnership. Further, these pastors do double-duty with RBI, serving partially as front-line field workers in the regions where they minister. They check on the level of supplies and materials needed at each school. They follow up with each student’s family situation. And often they find additional blind children who need assistance.
Why the studies?
In the developing world, including the Philippines, blind children are especially vulnerable to neglect; they are often left alone at home and excluded from the normal activities of other children. Part of our program is to make it possible for these blind children to go to school. But children need more than an education. They need to hear about God’s love for them and about the salvation Jesus offers them.
Currently, more than 3,000 blind children enrolled in schools in almost every province in the Philippines. RBI conducts weekly Bible studies with 700 of those children. But we are concerned for the remaining 2,300-plus blind children.
Our goal is to enroll as many of the blind children as possible and to share the good news of Jesus with them.
RBI has been conducting these studies for nearly 20 years, week after week, month after month, year after year, sowing into the hearts of hundreds of blind children, seeing many of them – and family members as well – come to faith in Christ, grow, and even a few become Bible study pastors themselves. It’s a fruitful ministry with a long track record.
What happens at Bible study?Week after week the same blind children meet together for a one hour Bible study. The hour includes sound Bible teaching (using Braille materials produced by RBI), singing, worship, snacks, prayer, counseling & discipleship – in short, it’s church for blind students. It’s a warm, inviting, safe, family atmosphere. And most of these students only get it at this weekly Bible study.
And of course the students take what they learn home. And, occasionally, the Bible study pastor will travel, itinerant-style, to visit home-based blind students.
Your generous monthly gift, combined with the generous gifts of others, will make it possible for more blind pastors to reach more blind children. You can help a blind student learn about the love of Jesus.