Testimony from Zambia

HBMZ Pastor

HBMZ Pastor

The following testimony from Pastor Tembo (not pictured) is typical of the hundreds of pastors that Hope Builders Ministries Zambia trains and disciples in the Word of God and Church Planting.

HIMAfrica is thankful to God for the privilege to be a strategic link in providing funding and strategy and oversight for this effective Gospel Mission in Zambia.

Each of our pastors in training must make three other disciples. This is part of the requirement to graduate from the three year program, as well as complete the three year bible program and plant one new church.

All of us have a vital part in this ministry. Please join us by supporting the training and equipping of these men of God. SHARE

Pastor Tembo’s testimony:
I am a disciple of Pastor Boniface Mulambya of Ngwerere. I started discipling my trainee pastors in June, 2013 and we are now in in the second manual (OTS 2).

Since I was enrolled for discipleship in the Ministry, and am also mentoring others, my understanding of God’s Word has tremendously been improved. Before this program, I was like the majority of pastors who are not trained, who abuse the Scriptures. I used to see things that were not there in the passages of Scripture, as a result I ended up in the prosperity gospel and misled a lot of God’s flock.

I thank God for His timely intervention. My preaching and teaching are no longer what they used to be. I no longer copy from television preachers. I now devote my time to studying, application of God’s Word and teaching others the same.

The Focus of MISSIONS

Training pastors

Training pastors

What I have observed and concluded to be the greatest need in world missions is the training of native pastors and leaders (men and women) in the Word of God. There are far more pastors than there are opportunities for formal training in many countries. The fact is that most pastors have not been trained in the Word of God. They have not been taught how to study the Bible and then take what they have learned and teach it to the flock among which the Holy Spirit made them overseers.

Add to this need the myriad of false gospels, cults and false teachers/prophets/apostles that are distorting the truth of the Word of God, tempting the undiscerning with gimmicks and tricks and entertainment to grow large “churches” and giving the appearance of God’s favor by the “success” that is seen (oh how western). AND add to this the many (the majority?) Christian missions and ministries today focused on social work in the name of the Gospel. Few focus on feeding the “Bread of Life” which gives eternal life. The Gospel ministry is viewed as a “result” of social ministry, or a secondary event, rather than the primary cause of people “hearing” the Word of truth. “Faith comes by HEARING” the Word of truth. The Gospel is powerful, all by itself, to save anyone who will believe it, that is, Jesus Christ. We cannot add anything to the Gospel to enable it to work. To do so is to dilute it and in fact make it into “a different gospel” which cannot save. (Galatians 1:6-9) Remember that I am talking about “missions” here. I am not talking about what a local church is doing in its local context/culture as it demonstrates the love of Christ and share the Gospel of Christ.

Native Leaders Leading the Mission

Native Leaders Leading the Mission

Concerning the issue of world missions (in the classical sense) I have asked the Lord as I read the Word, “How did Paul and the others effectively establish the Gospel, plant churches and make disciples throughout their world without building buildings, digging wells and establishing social institutions for the betterment of material life?” What was done in the early days of the gospel by the church that so changed their world and OURS?

What was done then is the foundation that we should continue to build upon today. It was not social work. It was by the foolishness of preaching the Gospel and making disciples (maturing believers).  Once the local church was established they were challenged to take care of their own poor and needy. And they die because they had a change of heart and obeyed the Apostle’s teaching from the Word. No longer being self-focused they focused on Christ and others. They cared for their own and lived out the Gospel of Christ in their communities. The Apostles and other missionaries brought the life-changing Word of Jesus Christ.

We should be broken over the poverty of the world which reflects the poverty of the soul without God.

We should be broken over the poverty of the world which reflects the poverty of the soul without God.

Obviously social work has its benefits, but have we gotten the cart before the horse, so to speak? Are we putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable? Have we substituted the powerful Gospel that gives eternal life for a social gospel that only has temporal benefits, if that? Are we prioritizing things that will not last? In the face of horrific poverty around the world many Christian ministries have become NGO’s along with the United Nations and other NGOs .  Though well intentioned, they are terribly inefficient, like most bureaucracies, benefiting the benefactors more than those needing the physical help they are supposed to be helping, spending multiplied millions, even billions and accomplishing little. There is a tremendous transfer of wealth, but the overall social benefit is minimal.

This is a harsh statement but a sad reality I have witnessed in Africa. NGOs (including Christian missions) driving big SUVs, living in nice homes, staying in nice guest houses, eating well, dressing well, basically living large while the poverty and misery increases all around. Christian missions can profoundly distort the Gospel with this kind of picture. Poverty stricken desperate people misunderstand the gospel and project onto it what is not true… health, wealth and comfort, instead of “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and your sins will be forgiven and God will no longer be your enemy but will in fact usher you into His eternal glory.” BUT until then it is toil and trouble and even death for His Name sake. Or have we forgot this? Or did we even know this was part of the equation? Sadly, most of us do not.

What are we to do? In spite of Christianity shrinking in the West (because of our idolatry of “me” and my comfort), it is growing in much of the rest of the world. Africa, China, India, Asia, Central and South America in general continue to see tremendous growth in the number of converts. But many never grow spiritually because they have no shepherds and many misunderstand the true nature of the gospel because of the “foreign” picture portrayed by well meaning “missionaries.” And few are lifted out of poverty, but instead become dependent as social ministry replaces Gospel ministry.

(Have you ever contemplated/calculated the cost of a short-term mission project to travel to a foreign country to build a building and conduct a VBS, for example? We are talking about thousands of dollars in airfare alone. How many “long term” native missionaries could be helped/supported/trained with the kind of money do a better job knowing their language and culture. HBMZambia (all Zambian plus 1 American “ambassador”)  is presently training 2000 native missionary-pastors who will in turn disciple their churches and other pastors with an annual budget under $100,000. About half of this budget helps 25 indigenous disciple making missionaries (overseeing the 2000 in training) and the other half buys and distributes training materials and Bibles.)

What is the answer? What should be the focus of Missions from a western perspective? How can the western church, the American church, make the greatest impact for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the waning days of western civilization and a post-Christian culture? How can we best use the wealth of resources (dollars) and knowledge we have been blessed with to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world?

Local missionaries know the Language and the culture because it is theirs.

Local missionaries know the Language/s and the culture because it is theirs.

“In a nutshell” the answer is for the western church to focus on equipping the local indigenous church around the world to spread the Gospel. That means entrusting the local leaders whom God has appointed to shepherd their churches with training and material so they can be better equipped to equip their flocks to do the work of the ministry and reproduce more sheep! And this can be done with efficiency both in time and money.

Grassroots, indigenous, biblical discipleship is the key. Equipping indigenous leaders in the Word of God is crucial. Mature leaders develop (disciple) mature Christians. The local church is the foundation of Christ’s gospel ministry around the world. The equipping of indigenous leaders in the Word of God grows the Church and by extension grows the witness of the Gospel around it.

HIMAfrica and HIMIndia, working in association with Hope Builders Ministries, focus on indigenous discipleship (maturing believers) and because of this a huge army is being equipped to “do the work of the ministry.” Local Christians become the source of local ministry living out and speaking out the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in their communities. They demonstrate the love of Christ as they live sacrificially for the Lord in their own context and culture. As they love God they love people. The people see, as well as, hear the Gospel and they are responding by the thousands.

Mozambique Christians sharing the Gospel with their neighbors

Mozambique Christians sharing the Gospel with their neighbors

Using the “HUB” model of discipleship HIMAfrica and HIMIndia train and equip key leaders to train others who in turn train others.  One man discipling three other men is the model we use. (Or one woman discipling three other women. We encourage pastors to make their wife their FIRST and most important disciple.) Jesus had 3 disciples who were his “inner circle.” Can we see the other 9 disciples as being discipled or led by Peter, James and John?  If we follow 2 Timothy 2:2 and make disciples to the 4th generation (Paul, Timothy, faithful men and others) the discipleship model grows very rapidly. As the Church makes disciples instead of converts the society around them will be affected for the better. As the community becomes Christian and matures they will take better care of themselves, their families and those around them.

Evangelism cannot make the profound difference in the lives of people that disciple making can. Converts rarely become mature Christians without intentional discipleship. In fact, many converts fall away as the devil steals the seed or troubles and cares discourage the new believer because they have not been discipled in the Word of God.

In fact, if ONE Christian would make three disciples this year who in turn make three disciples each next year etc… The world could be totally evangelized in a very short amount of time. Disciple making is multiplication whereas evangelism is addition. If I win 100 people to Christ every year for the next six years there will be 600 souls saved and going to heaven! Praise the LORD! That is great but it is not BEST. However, if I make JUST 3 disciples this year pouring my life into them the rest of my life, teaching them and modeling the ways of Christ from the Word of God, challenging them to follow me as I follow Christ and to make disciples also what would the impact be?

My three disciples could become over 1000 disciples who are making other disciples within 6 years! YOU + 3 + 9 +27+ 84 +252 + 756 = 1231! Imagine that kind of Christ-honoring, God glorifying, life changing, world impacting ministry that would be!

Jesus has called us to make disciples. He saves people and makes them into HIS disciples but we are a crucial part in all of this. He uses our mouths to share the good news and he uses our godly, obedient and holy lives to disciple them. All of it done by the grace of God working in and through us in obedience to the Great Commission in the context of the local church. That should be our personal mission. Matthew 28:18-20 teaches each of us to “Go” in the authority of Jesus Christ with His Gospel to everybody, everywhere, all the time until Jesus Comes. Those who believe this Gospel, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life, are incorporated into the local church (water baptism is a reflection of the spiritual baptism the new convert has just received), where they are then intentionally taught “all that Jesus commanded, i.e. the Word of God. This is what Jesus has promised to help us do until He returns.

I know that some will take offense at my description of much of modern missions today. For this I am sorry. But without a doubt we know that the Word of God teaches us to declare the Gospel. It must be understood to be believed. Therefore people have to hear it. And we should live in a manner that adorns the Gospel. Yes we should be selfless and sacrificing and caring, but oh let us be careful to not build idols that lead the very ones whom Christ would save away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t let sentimentality and good intentions replace or overshadow the Gospel which is the ONLY way a person can be saved. When you give someone a drink of Water or a piece of bread do it in “Jesus Name.” Make sure they know where the blessing is coming from. Be sure to share the Water of life, the Bread of life who gives eternal life.

My prayer is that our ministries and missions will bring great glory to our Lord Jesus Christ and encourage His people around the world to make many disciples of Jesus Christ. That is, people who love God supremely and love others selflessly as they share the Gospel that saves eternally.

Blessings,
Jeff Hawkins.

Jeff Hawkins/HIMAfrica is an independent missionary networking with Hope Builders Ministries in Zambia. He founded HIMIndia (Helping Indigenous Missions in India). Through the generous gifts of scores of Christians and several churches in the USA over 2500 men are being trained as pastors in Zambia and India. It is projected that over 4000 will be in training in 2015. By God’s grace thousands of Bibles have been distributed to the Church in Zambia and India, as well as scores of bicycles to indigenous missionaries. HBM Zambia also supports several indigenous orphan projects operated by native Christians in Zambia.

The Wonderful Word of God

Study Bibles for Pastors in Zambia

Study Bibles for Pastors in Zambia

Believers must have the Word of God and be growing in the Word of God to be disciples of Jesus Christ. HIMAfrica working with Hope Builders Ministries Zambia networks with Christians in America to provide the much needed Word to Pastors and Believers who do not have ready access to a Bible. HIMIndia does the same for the brethren in India we are blessed to work with. Here we take for granted that every believer can afford and access a Bible. This is not the case in much of the World. Your can be a blessing to your brothers and sisters in Africa and India by making regular and generous contributions to our Bibles for Believers program. Check it out.

Along with this I want to share with you a word from my friend Herb Hodges. This dear man of God is a disciple maker. You will be blessed reading this word of encouragement from his November newsletter. You can also access his sermon “The Wonderful of God” at this link.

May you be ever blessed as you pursue the LORD in His Word and His mandate to make disciples “to the ends of the earth to the end of time.”
Jeff Hawkins
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Fellow Members in the Forever Family of our Father in Heaven,

I am appealing to the Holy Spirit for the special fulfillment of Ephesians 1:15-19 as I write—with special emphasis on the request that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge (Greek, epignosei, full knowledge, relational knowledge, friendship knowledge—i.e. not merely academic knowledge, head knowledge, but heart knowledge) of Him, the eyes of your understanding (kardia, heart) being enlightened (“opened up and flooded with light”); that you may know (know by seeing, perceive) what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.”  Over the years, God has by His grace given me numerous messages on these incredible verses, and each has blessed me immeasurably.

God has laid a familiar verse on my heart in recent days and hours, and has “thrown more light upon His Word”.  The verse is II Timothy 2:15, which says, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman (ergaten, a “laborer” or “field-hand”) that doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”  The word translated “rightly dividing” is a massive world-in-a-word, the word orthotomounta.  It is a combination of two Greek words: the word “ortho”, which means “right” or “straight” (orthodoxy is right or straight doctrine; orthopraxyis right or straight practice; as an example, an orthodontist is a doctor who straightens irregular teeth); and the word tomounto, which mean to cut or to divide.  This means that I must not take liberties with God’s Word of Truth.  Charles Spurgeon said, “You don’t have to defend or correct a line of Scripture; it is like a lion—just let him out of the cage and he will take care of himself!”

However (and here comes a major proviso)—you must learn how to “cut straight” each word of the Word of God, and lay it open in its full content, and as nearly to the full intent of its original use in the Biblical sentence as possible as is possible for you to detect, depending always on the Original Author, the Holy Spirit (the context).  Let me emphasize that we must read and study not just “the Word of God” in a translation, but the words of the Word of any text (after all,there would be no full Word without its giant lineup of separate words.  Any student who does not learn to “straight-cut” to the bottom of each word is not obedient to the rule of Jesus:  “Man lives by every word (emphasize every word) that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  You simply cannot fairly deal with every word unless you deal adequately with each word.  Remember that “all Scripture is God-breathed (i.e., it “proceeded out of the mouth of God”, generated by His breath), and is profitable (valuable, advantageous) for doctrine for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).  This is the essential exegesis (“leading out”) with which all true Biblical exposition and explanation begin.

Let me interrupt the flow of the ideas here with an aside—though it surely is not incidental to our understanding!  John 1:18 says about Jesus that “No man has seen God at any time, but the Only-One-of-a-Kind Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (NASV).  “He has led Him out”—from invisibility into visibility, out of the unknown into the fully known.  Again, the Greek word exegeoma, or exegeted, means to “spell out”, to “expose”, to “make obvious”.   Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  So the true student of Scripture will learn to take any key word of the text and “lead it out”—from invisibility to visibility, from the darkness of obscurity, isolation, ignorance, into the full light of complete exposure and awareness; from the indifference of the carnal heart into the “red alert” of full apprehension of its meaning, appreciate of its message, and application—so that a generationally multiplying lifestyle is the unmistakable result. 

Long ago, the patriarch Job said to God, “I have esteemed the words of Thy mouth to be more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).  May God give to each of us an insatiable appetite for His Word!   May the attached message drive you to the Book, with a craving to be satisfied.  Enjoy both the Menu and the Meal! 

Herb Hodges
Spiritual Life Ministries
2916 Old Elm Lane
Germantown
, TN38138
(901) 758-2777
herbslm@mindspring.com
www.herbhodges.com

The Wonderful Word of God

Why Support Indigenous Missionaries?

Following Christ

Following Christ

Partnering with indigenous ministries in Africa and India just makes sense.

When you support a Zambian or Indian missionary you have saved time, money and SOULS!

TIME is saved because these missionaries already know the language and the culture of their native country. They have a built in understanding of their people both culturally and linguistically. The average western missionary must spend years preparing to go (language studies and building support) and once on the field it takes MANY years to truly learn the culture and communicate relevantly. Over 60% of western missionaries do not return to the field after their first “furlough” meaning everything has to start over.

MONEY: It costs over $500,000 dollars to train, equip, move and keep a western missionary/family on the field for 4 (FOUR) years! The whole process takes at least 6 years. AND this does not include the cost of “doing” ministry on the field. Native missionaries already live in the economy of their culture. There is no moving, language studies or abnormal costs of living. Unlike the western missionary they live at the same standard of living as their fellows. For a fraction of the cost ($21,000 over 6 years) 40 native pastors can be trained and equipped in the Word of God and they stay on the field all their lives. IF we apply the western standard to the native church most of those who do leave home to study and prepare do not return to their rural setting but gravitate to the comfort of the city where most “missions” tend to take place. (Not that there is not a need, but there are already an abundance of native and foreign missionaries living there.)

Missions trips also known as “short-term” missions are very expensive. Many well intentioned believers spend multiple thousands of dollars to go on a mission’s trip for a few weeks. This same amount of money could support scores and even hundreds of native missionaries already on the field and working but without many needed resources.

Mazabuka, Zambia HUB Pastors

Mazabuka, Zambia HUB Pastors

SOULS: A HUB of 40 missionary pastors will win thousands of people to Christ, starting many new bible preaching, Gospel believing churches in their communities. It is amazing to see and experience the growth of the church in Africa and India. God is bringing in a GREAT Harvest of Souls through the ministry of the African and Indian Indigenous Church. Because of the cultural and language barriers a foreign missionary may win a few hundred people to Christ and plant a church or maybe two, but most do not last when the missionary departs (actual statistics).

CALL TO ACTION!
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the BRETHREN. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his BROTHER in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (1Jn 3:16-18)

Motorcycle for Pastor overseeing the training of 10 HUB pastors (400 men total).

Motorcycle for Pastor overseeing the training of 10 HUB pastors (400 men total).

A CHURCH or individual can sponsor a HUB of native missionary pastors for $300 a month. In 6 years this HUB can grow into 40 trained pastors and 40 Gospel Churches with THOUSANDS of new souls serving Christ and becoming Disciples. NOW that is  FRUIT which can be shared in the DAY of Visitation! Many will gather around the Throne of God with thousands of their brethren they had a part in coming to Christ.

The Mission Paradigm has changed. Many places do not need foreign missionaries, but they do need their fellow Christians in the western world to partner with them. The Apostle Paul collected gifts from the Gentile church to take to the poor church in Palestine. A few went to distribute the funds and give accountability to the project, but there were no missionaries sent to Israel. There were plenty of Christians there, even Apostles. They needed material help. This is the case in most countries around the world. The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is well established, but it is poor. It is not leaderless. (The Lord Jesus Himself “gave some to be “leaders” and the Holy Spirit gives the different gifts of leadership as He see fit.) The leaders there need help to train more leaders. They need Bibles and training materials. They can use bicycles and motorcycles to help them to cover more territory in places that do not have adequate roads. They need a bit of financial support to help them facilitate ministry.

Pastors Conference in India

Pastors Conference in India

HIMAfrica and HIMIndia has partnered with Hope Builders Ministries to provide the link between the American Church and the Church in Africa and India. With your partnership literally thousands of believers can be trained and equipped to take the Gospel to their own people in a very short amount of time with a loving and strategic investment on your part.

Join us today. There will be much to “boast” about in the Kingdom that is coming if you do.

Philippians 2:16  Hold firmly to the message of life. Then I can boast in the DAY of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or labor for nothing.