The last time ICM missionaries Roger and Sheryle Saunders took the 21-hour flight from Bakersfield to Africa in 2020, they made it “to the edge of Uganda” before border officials gave them an ultimatum: self-isolate for two weeks or go home.
The heartbroken couple, who had checked for any border restrictions only the day before, returned home to wait out the pandemic.
Their long wait is over. On February 28, the couple will leave for a five-week mission to Kenya and Uganda, where they will host four Tools to Teach seminars that train children’s leaders on how to teach God’s Word effectively. They can hardly wait.
“We’re getting excited, but we always take this very seriously,” Roger said. “We’re not just teaching God’s word; we’re teaching teachers to teach God’s word. That’s a serious responsibility.”
This will be the fourth trip to Africa for the Saunders since they joined ICM in 2015. In preparation for the journey, the couple worked long-distance for months with ICM national directors in Kenya and Uganda, where the seminars will be held. The seminars will instruct participants in the Walk Thru the Bible program for children ages 6-12, combining written curriculum with storytelling, hand signs, and sock puppets.
Directors in Kenya and Uganda report that they are expecting a total of 600 participants at the four seminars, each of whom will leave equipped with Bible-based teaching materials and a 52-lesson curriculum in hand. The Saunders will primarily teach in English, a second language for most participants. Translators will be on hand to assist, especially in the more mountainous areas where Swahili is the primary language.
Dozens of local churches are represented at the seminars by enthusiastic participants whose combined heart to share the gospel cannot be overstated, Roger said. “There were two ladies at the Mount Elgon seminar who walked three hours each day to get there and then walked the three hours home,” he said. “We were so humbled by how important it was to them.”
Prayer requests for Roger and Sheryle Saunders:
Please pray for the physical and spiritual stamina necessary for the rigorous in-country travel and to teach the seminars, and for protection from any spiritual warfare.