The origins of PTC are still quite fresh, although the backstory of it starting in Kenya dates back nearly twenty years. However, the backstory must wait for another day and another post. As for PTC, the following will provide some context on the formation of the organization.
In August of 2016, Andy traveled to Kenya with a few other individuals to do Bible training for pastors and share Bible stories “in the bush.” While in Kenya a few key observations became readily apparent.
- The pastors being trained have a lot of time to study, but do not always have quality resources. Over a four day period in two locations, over 100 pastors were trained. Hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) was taught in one location to more than 70 pastors while the other location learned what it means to make disciples as well as a focus on the prayer and the Holy Spirit. More time was needed for every topic which caused the beginning of the discussions for what PTC intends to provide.
- The pastors craved the training opportunities, but our time in the country is (and always will be) limited. This idea was covered at the end of the previous point, but let me elaborate in two ways. First, few, if any, topics can be truly exhausted when it comes to teaching the Bible or related concepts. Second, only a select amount of topics can be taught in a specified amount of time regardless of how much time is allowed. Thus, to train more deeply, and more broadly, a solution was needed to allow training to continue without the need for the physical presence of a team such as ours that went to train.
- Despite being in a very remote area, the internet was available virtually everywhere. As I like to say, “Because Americans and Europeans like to venture deep into the bush to post pictures of elephants on Facebook, the technology has made it possible to have wireless internet via satellite virtually everywhere in Kenya. While the same type of technology may not exist everywhere, the internet is nearly ubiquitous now. Therefore, as PTC launches in new countries, the locations can be further from population centers which will allow more church leaders to get quality training.
With these three thoughts in mind, Andy and two other pastors (Scott and Carl) that traveled to Kenya began to consider how to provide training on a regular basis using the internet. A few ideas were considered over the next four months with some ideas seemingly more viable than others. In late January, Andy mentioned the concept to a man (Mark) who has traveled to Haiti many times for mission related work. Mark’s instant response was, “We could easily do that in Haiti.”
Fast forward a few weeks and the thoughts which had formed somewhat of a nebulous in Andy’s mind began to crystallize one Friday evening. On Saturday morning, the idea for PTC took shape and after emailing several individuals about the prospects of the idea, and asking each to pray over the concept for one month, PTC was soon formed.
Fast forward another eight-plus months to today and PTC is an official corporation with expectations that our non-profit status to be approved very shortly. Within a couple of months, we will launch our first two training locations in Kenya with plans to expand to one or two other countries in 2018 and, Lord willing, more countries in the years to follow.
In the next post, we will answer the “What?” question by reviewing the approach PTC plans to use in creating a community of people training pastors and leaders throughout the world.