Keith McFarland, principal of the Institute for Gospel-Transformation, shares the heart behind this unique course.
“I am not the same. I am changed.”
After fifteen years of ministry to over 400 men and women from 18 nations, the most common response from students who have completed the Institute is one of transformation. It is my own testimony as well.
The Institute for Gospel-Transformation is just that: a place where God equips and transforms His people through the power of the Spirit to live as effective ministers of the Gospel to the hurting and broken children and people of our world.
When my wife Laura Beth and I attended the first course back in 2002, it was called the New Hope Institute of Childcare and Family. We thought it was going to be a place where we would learn some good tips for ministering to orphans in a cross-cultural setting and perhaps some things about Biblical family…we couldn’t have underestimated it more.
After the twenty weeks had finished, we had learned more in the Institute and were better prepared for ministry than even coming out of Bible college. God had confronted us on multiple heart-levels and peeled back our Western cultural worldviews. The course laid a foundation for living out a Biblical worldview that confronts and applies to all cultures and all areas of life. It also gave us a vision and foundation for manhood, womanhood, marriage, and family, which we lacked coming in to the course. We were changed.
Over the years the Institute has continued to grow and develop, as our gracious God and Father has taken us deeper in various areas and allowed deeper impact and transformation in the lives of those who have passed through the course. By God’s grace we have seen both missionaries serving with New Hope, as well as those sent to train with us by other mission agencies, prepared for effective life-long cross-cultural ministry. We have trained men and women from around Africa for ministry in various contexts in their home countries, and brothers and sisters from India who are now faithfully serving in their country. And we have trained our own staff here at New Hope Uganda as well as others who have gone out from here to labor among the fatherless.
One of our greatest joys is being able to walk with students through the journey of finding freedom from sin, healing from brokenness, victory in singleness, flourishing health in marriage and family, and effectiveness in disciple-making. Because of this, we officially changed the name last year, opting for a name that better captures the heart of what the course is about: transformation.
As we look to the future we are encouraged. Will you pray with us that we will be able to broaden our intake of students from East Africa as well as Western missionaries training to serve in Africa and around the globe? Will you pray as we labor to see the churches around us running their own “Institutes”- grounding people in the Word of God and equipping them to make disciples? And finally, we ask that you pray for our team – that God would continue to raise up faithful men and women to partner with us in this work for the furtherance of the Gospel and the glory of His Name in Uganda and around the world.
Keith, Laura Beth, and their family have served with the Institute for Gospel-Transformation since 2004.