Pastor Ron van der Spoel, founder of the Jethro Foundation: “The Jethro Foundation was founded fifteen years ago. We follow God’s calling, and we do our work in full dependence on Him. Our concept is simple: basic training courses for pastors who have no access to an official pastor’s education, because of poverty or persecution. Through Bible-based practical courses, we teach our contestants to discover who they are as a pastor, and how to serve their congregation in a Biblical manner.
All this started on a small scale, with one pastor teaching the courses to others, so that they could share their newly acquired skills and knowledge with those around them. Throughout the years, this concept has grown into a movement where passionate local trainers from over 25 different countries organize annual courses based on the same concept. For that, we are so grateful towards our God. He leads us, and we follow Him.
Since 2021, the Jethro Foundation collaborates with the Foundation Academy. The Foundation Academy is an educational institute located in Amsterdam, led by Dr. Samuel Lee, who is very experienced in teaching pastors from all over the world. Dr. Lee offers online theological education, using course material created by the Jethro Foundation. In return, our collaboration with the Foundation Academy allows us to use their online modules to spread our courses to even more people worldwide.
As of 2022, our practical goal is to collaborate more with strategically located theological seminaries throughout the African continent, as their locations often allow theology students from both the local area and surrounding countries to attend these seminaries. We aim for these students to become acquainted with our course material through their theological education at these seminaries, so that upon their return to their home country, they can spread their skills and knowledge and train their own local spiritual leaders as well.
Currently, the Jethro Foundation focuses on teaching courses throughout the African continent, by training and employing ‘regional coordinators’ assigned to one or more neighboring countries. The NET Foundation teaches Jethro’s courses in different countries throughout the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Open Doors teaches Jethro’s courses in countries throughout India, the Middle East, North Africa, and South-East Asia.
With the combined efforts of the Jethro Foundation and our partner organizations, we hope to organize about fifty courses in over twenty different countries on average each year. Sometimes, a course will attract 50 participants. Other times, we have 500 participants attending. We can never really tell how many pastors we are about to train. But we trust and acknowledge that those who need it will find their way to our trainings, led there by God Himself.”