THE URGENCY OF THE GOSPEL FOR A GROWING WORLD

India has a population of 1.3 BILLION souls and projected growth to 1.7 billion by 2050.   The population is 85% Hindu, 12% Muslim, maybe 3% Christian. Zambia has grown from 12 million to 18 million in just a few short years and is projected to be over 43 million by 2050. Hope Builders Ministries is now working in one southern district of D. R. Congo with a population greater than Zambia! The Continent of Africa will have a population of 2.5 Billion by 2050, doubling in population. China, India and Africa will have a population of 5.5 BILLION souls. (source populationpyramid.net)

The urgency for the Gospel has never been greater. Every generation is a new opportunity and a new challenge for bringing people to Christ and then maturity in Christ. “God has no grandchildren.”

THE greatest impact for the Gospel in any given place in the world is through the native population of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whether here in the USA or any country in the world, the native believers are the key to winning souls to Christ and discipling them to be like the Lord Jesus, displaying His righteousness to the multitudes who need to hear and see the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ.

In Zambia, Islam continues to grow rapidly and is penetrating new communities. It is not unusual to be wakened by their call to prayer early in the morning. Pastors must be equipped with the sound teaching of the Word of God, so as to not be compromised by the temptation to convert to Islam in order to receive free hospital care and education and other physical benefits while losing their soul. Only the TRUTH of the Gospel will keep souls free.

Materialism is the idol imported from the West. Sincere western Christians help to build this idol trying to “fix” every physical problem with more and more money and stuff. Western missionaries who, for the most part, do not (and can not) live like the natives they have come to serve, unwittingly give and leave a false impression of the Gospel and of God. Then there is the “prosperity” gospel, also imported from the West, which continues to poison multiple millions with its lie of temporal health, wealth and power “in the name of Jesus.” And the perception of wealthy, healthy western missionaries help to reinforce this terrible lie.

To rapidly win communities for Christ Indigenous Christians are the key. By their lives lived out in proper context, in their own culture and language, many are able to see the GOD of the Bible, The Lord Jesus Christ, and hear the message of truth that will save them eternally from the penalty of sin and presently from the power of sin. The “unreached” are reached by their own believing neighbors.  This is the MISSION of Hope Builders Ministries to equip, encourage and empower native Christians to reach their communities and cultures for Christ and make disciples who make other disciples.

It is the reality of missions that native believers effectively win far more of their neighbors to Christ than foreign missionaries do in a lifetime of diligent and sincere effort.

Hope Builders also comes alongside the believers, working through the local church and pastors, to help them with strategic needs like Bibles and training materials, bicycles and motorcycles, clean water wells for their communities and dignity projects – helping the indigenous church care for the poor and needy in their churches.

The Salvation of souls is the PRIMARY goal of missions  and we must be about the Lord Jesus’ Mission to seek and to save the lost. If this is the primary goal then that is where we must put the emphasis, the Message of the Good News from the lips of those who have received it.

Join us and support #IndigenousMissions

Christmas in India

imageYesterday our brother and co-worker Stephen and his family sponsored a Christmas program in Patipalli village. It included the preaching the Gospel and giving some gifts of clothing to poor widows. Pictured is Stephen, his wife Glory and his dad and mom (Ausgustine and Martha).

Thank you for praying for HIMIndia as we work to support indigenous ministry in India. Our primary focus is equipping, encouraging and empowering pastors to “equip” their people to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12). At this time over 500 pastors are being blessed with additional training, training material and bibles.

BUT along with this we are careful to not forget the poor. Galatians 2:10

imageStephen spent $400 of his own money (he receives about $500-600 per month from HIMIndia) to bless this church he founded in Patipalli village. HIMIndia also has a training facility there next to the church. Pastors from as far as 50 miles come there for special training, meetings and fellowship.

HIMIndia encourages them by partnering with them in carrying the Gospel to their neighbors who are steeped in a culture of idolatry. As in biblical days the local religious leaders are hostile to a religion that worships ONE God and teaches that He is the ONLY true God. Unlike other religions Christianity persuades by the imageliving Word and living love.

Pray for them. Partner with them. They sacrifice daily. Let us join them in sacrifical living and giving.

We are Christ’s Ambassadors being prepared for His Kingdom and preparing others for His soon coming reign.

 

Praise the Lord,

Jeff Hawkins
Hope Builders Ministries
HIMIndia/HIMAfrica

Shifting Missions

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

Missions has taken on a different priority in our post-modern western culture. Like so much of politics, we are filled with good intentions and miss the root/primary issue. The real purpose of Missions as defined in the Great Commission is The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The buzz words are many, but one phrase rings loudly. That is, doing  missions is “building the Kingdom of God.” But the Kingdom of God becomes something we are building in our own image and according to our vain imaginations. And we are doing it with “good intentions.” But bottom line we are to be getting people ready to enter the Kingdom of God. They must be born again (John 3:3) and they must be holy (Ephesians 5:5; Galatians 5:19-21; etc.). They must be disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:22).

This could and probably should be a long discussion on “what is the Kingdom of God?” and “what is our part as disciples of Christ in the Kingdom of God?” But right now I want to touch on the “shift in Missions” seen in the last few decades.

To put it bluntly, Our mission is the sharing of the Gospel to the salvation of souls bound for an endless eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire.

Christian Missions is about Soul Salvation. Today we have syncretized the message of eternal life in Jesus the Christ with many social programs. Now I know I will/am wading into a muddy pool here, but follow me for a bit. We have syncretized our Christian Mission with social development. The very thing we fought about in the Christian culture wars of the early 20th century with liberal denominational churches we have instituted into our own vision of missions in the missional church today.

Fellow missionary Michael Pfuam serving in Zambia says it this way talking about “Syncretism in World Missions”

In “modern” mission work we come across the intentional “change of the bad circumstances” e.g. the fight
against poverty, fight for democracy, freedom from abuse … These are all good and noble attempts. In focusing on these, missionaries become developmental workers, diplomats and politicians. Home churches collect vast amounts of money for developmental projects and the “eternal soul of the lost” is no longer the central focus of their investment and mission-work.
Values of our secular society take over, leaving the focus of the great commission on the sidelines.

Quoting Hugh Thomas Kerr, “Missions is not about sociology but salvation;
not economics but evangelism;
not reform but redemption;
not culture but conversion;
not progress but pardon;
not the new social order but the new birth;
not revolution but regeneration;
not renovation but revival;
not resuscitation but resurrection;
not a new organization but a new creation;
not democracy but the gospel;
not civilization but Christ.
We are ambassadors, not diplomats.
(Wesley L. Duewel, Ablaze For God, Francis Asbury Press, Grand Rapids Michigan USA, 1989, page104-105.)

Today the church seems not to believe that the Gospel is able to save people from their sin on its own. It needs help and so we use social causes to win the hearts of people so that they can then “hear” the Gospel. Two observations is that the Scriptures are clear that the Gospel is powerful to save in and of itself. Christ and the Apostles did not establish social justice and social reforms to introduce the Gospel to people so that they could “hear it” or “see it” to be saved. Any relief Paul raised was for the starving Church in Jerusalem and not the whole world. Secondly, my observation is that very little real Gospel ministry gets done with the establishment of social relief. I would contend the church has gotten the cart before the horse. Social change takes many years but begins with heart change, a change of mind and only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can accomplish this.

In short Christian Missions is about getting out the message of Jesus Christ, not creating a better world, “the Kingdom of God.” And I would contend that the best way to continue to spread the Gospel is through home missions, i.e. indigenous missions.

We should be evangelizing here at home and incorporating the converts into the local church and teaching them the Word of God so that they in turn do the same thing. That is we should be making disciples who are making disciples…

The Western Church should be helping churches around the world to do this NOT by being the great white savior and going ourselves but instead supporting the equipping of the church in Africa, Asia, South America etc to do the work of making disciples in their cultures. They need sound teaching. They need Bibles. They need help with infrastructure like transportation etc. We need to partner with them to help them do the work that we will never be able to do effectively because of culture and language.

That is the mission of Hope Builders Ministries and why I (HIMAfrica/HIMIndia) have partnered with this ministry. We are a conduit of blessings from the Lord to the church in Africa, India and around the world helping to supply the needed training and Bibles and bicycles and material support they need to do the work in their culture and economy.

Zambia 2014 Pastor Training Seminars

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

Hope Builders Ministry Zambia

https://picasaweb.google.com/118109803832574516972/ZambiaJune2014#slideshow/6038143596065210786

All pastors need training. If a man is called to pastor, he is called to training in the Word of God. It has been said that “no man is an island.” This is especially true for pastors. We all need continual training in the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the teacher of all believers in Jesus Christ. This is one of His functions in the believers. He was given to “teach you all things” and “guide you into all the truth” (John 14:26; 16:13). The Holy Spirit is our primary teacher, but God also gives us mentors or human teachers. 2 Timothy 2:2 indicates that this is a generational process of disciple making. Paul taught Timothy who was to teach faithful men who would teach others also.

The HUB Model used by Hope Builders Ministries in Zambia and India is a disciple making model. One man is trained by another man who in turn trains another. HBM uses a 1 on 3 approach multiplying the disciple-making process rapidly.  One pastor trains 3 others (Peter, James and John) who in turn each train three others, etc.

This past June HIMAfrica led a team in Zambia conducting 7 pastors conferences with Hope Builders Ministries Zambia. HBMZ Administrator Matthew Daka accompanied Pastor Jeff Hawkins, Pastor Stephen Slater and seminary student Travis Milner from Lusaka to Kabwe to Kitwe to the Northwestern Province through the Kafue National Park and back to Lusaka. Seven different conferences were conducted serving about 300 HBMZ pastors. Two and three generations of disciples were represented at each conference, showing the growth of the ministry God has given through this disciple making process.

The theme of each conference was “Gospel Essentials – What God in Christ did to save us from His righteous wrath.”

Thank you for your prayers and support of HIMAfrica and HIMIndia serving with Hope Builders Ministries.

 

 

 

Zambia Pastor Training

Pastor Titus Shampande and rural Solwezi HUB

Pastor Titus Shampande and rural Solwezi HUB

In June Pastor Jeff Hawkins, Pastor Steven Slater and Travis Milner will be joining the HBMZambia team training pastors in 6 conferences in the Central, Copperbelt and Northwestern Provinces. We are expecting 400 to 600 rural pastors to attend. The teachings will focus on the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, His life and ministry from His birth to His ascension and what it means to our salvation and our daily lives.

This will be a 4 week trip and cover about 2000 miles. The teaching team will live with the pastors during each of the 6 conferences.

Zambia is a developing country that continues to struggle with the averse effects of poverty and corruption. 86% of the population of over 13 million souls live below the poverty line. Over a third of the children are malnourished and 40% do not have access to clean water and proper sanitation. This is especially true in the rural areas. Education is improving but it is thought that upwards of 90% of the rural population (65% of the people) are illiterate. Many sicknesses still plague the country from malaria and cholera to AIDS.

HUB Conference and Bible DistributionZambia is also a very “Christian” country. It is strategically located in the center of Sub-Sahara Africa and landlocked between 8 other countries. Some reports have Zambia listed as 87% Christian. From my personal experience I do not see this, but Christianity does have a huge impact on this country. 25% of the Christians are considered to be evangelical. BUT the great need is Bible training. “Christian” cults like the New Apostolic Church abound. False teaching is prevalent with most congregations being influence by the “Prosperity Gospel.” Many are preaching false gospels and motivate by money and selfishness.

Because of the lack of good Bible training superficiality and ignorance abound in the church. “Too few know the Word of God and how to live the Christian life.”

Zambia District LeadersThis is why Hope Builders Ministries has partnered with indigenous pastors to form Hope Builders Ministries Zambia. This indigenous led ministry has a vision to “saturate Zambia with Bible believing churches who have trained pastors.” Since 2007 HBM has shepherded the training of thousands of pastors and helped plant over 2000 new churches. HBMZambia has now taken the lead in training more pastors and planting more churches. Over 1500 pastors are being trained in a discipleship model by fellow pastors who have received the 3 year bible training from HBM.

Teaching the Word

Teaching the Word

HIMAfrica/Jeff Hawkins has partnered with HBMZ to provide the resources their pastors need for Bible training and ministry. The Bible Conferences are supplemental training and an encouragement to the brothers who are thankful for the help from their American brothers and sisters.

We are asking God to provide $15,000 to fund the pastor conferences in June and purchase 600 study Bibles for the attendees.  Give here or mail to Hope Builders Ministries, POBox 317, Greenwood, VA 22943

You can contact Jeff@HIMAfrica.com for more information. Jeff is available to speak in your church or small group by appointment.