The Current State of the Discipleship and Bakery Programs (from my perspective)

May 25th, 2014

A you may (or may not know) I am working within Heartline’s bakery/discipleship program.  The first discipleship class finished on May 10th.  We had a big graduation event and the guys were pretty excited!

Looking back at how the first class went, we were a bit frustrated with how much time the guys spent working in the bakery.  Running a full-fledge bakery took much more time and effort than I think anyone anticipated.  Not to mention since we were starting it from the ground up no-one really knew what we were doing!

Now that the first program is finished, we have hired a number of the young men from that first program to come work in the bakery.  They accepted, and now the bakery is running autonomously and providing jobs for 9 people. 

Currently we are in the process of gearing up for our second discipleship class, which I am personally pretty excited about!  We will have a smaller number of guys (just 6, versus 10 in the first program) and they will spend most their time in spiritual formation activities.  Two hours each morning they will spend working (sometimes in the bakery, sometimes other work like cooking, yard work, or whatever needs to be done).

In the first program we also offered 3 months of English classes and helped each guy obtain his Driver’s License.  For this next program, we have decided to cut both these out and keep the “main thing the main thing.”  The title of the program is, “Discipleship,” and that’s what we want to focus on.

Nevertheless, I could see the benefit of a follow-up program that focuses on vocational training following the successful completion of the first 6-month discipleship program.  Helping provide means for men to find employment is vitally important here, where so many guys sit around for lack of opportunity to work.

Here is a picture of the six guys selected for the next program:

Group Shot

Please be in prayer as we prepare the logistics for getting everything ready for these guys to start the 6-month program.

Our goal is to provide space for God to work in the lives of these men.  They will have daily times of prayer, worship, Bible study, meditation, and honest work.  We hope they will be challenged to grow in their walk with the Lord, to learn to hear his voice better, and to have their faith strengthened. 

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