Teach a Man to Fish

Almost everyone knows the adage, “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.  Teach a GiveAFishman to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.”

In school, a teacher shouldn’t give the students the answers without teaching them how and why; neither should they teach just so the students will pass the test — a good teacher wants each student to master the subject of the class, to finish the class knowing.

Likewise, a good parent doesn’t coddle their children through to adulthood.  At some point, the parent needs to stop spoon-feeding and changing diapers, else the child will remain a child, and have no value as a parent in the next generation.

So what about missions?  Since God doesn’t provide details in His Word much beyond “Go”, each missionary/mission field combination is going to be different.  God gave each of us a unique set of skills/gifts that He helps us apply in the way best suited to accomplish His goals.  There are missionaries that God has tasked to spend their lives handing out fish.  God’s method of ‘getting the Word out’ in the Transkei, Eastern Cape, South Africa, has become to teach fishermen.

Mentioned in other posts, the Koskys have been in the Transkei for 25 years, the only full-time missionaries in the rural areas.  Many souls have been brought to the Lord, hundreds of churches planted, and many ministries have been started.

Around 80% of the churches are independent, and most of the operators/board members of the ministries are amaXhosa — from what we’ve gleaned, non-Xhosa leadership in the ministries is only on an as-needed basis.

Gatyana Bible College is a great example of what’s being done in the region.  The school is the only Bible school teaching in the native language (isiXhosa), the only governed mostly by native black Africans (plus Kelly), and to graduate you have to take a ‘fishing trip’ to a Xhosa village, of which there are tens of thousands!  Check out more on GaFishtyana here.

I can remember in High School, a number of times kids would come to class having not done their homework and would ask me for the answers.  I couldn’t do it, no matter who was asking I couldn’t just give up the answers.  They learned to come early if they were gonna ask me, because I’d make them work through the answers themselves, guiding as necessary.  At the end of my first year of Calculus, one regular thanked me for teaching rather than just giving out the answers.  I can’t imagine doing it any other way, and I think this further confirms God’s ability to match people and places.