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

Indigenous Missions in Zambia

Sharing the Gospel

Sharing the Gospel

November 2014 Musenga HBMZ Conference

HBMZ Leadership Conference

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Jeff Hawkins HBM Zambia Coordinator

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HBM Zambia Leadership Team

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HBM Zambia Board of Directors

When indigenous Christians evangelize and disciple their own people marvelous things happen! New Testament things! Churches are planted and disciples are made. When one observes the missionary efforts of Paul we see that he spent very little time in the places where he and his team took the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They laid the foundation planting the church and appointing elders and then moved on to the next strategic location. Church growth came from the local church evangelizing, baptizing the converts into the local church and then teaching them to obey the Word of God. They made disciples! The spread of the Gospel to the interior region came from the indigenous believers.

This is what we see happening in Zambia. In the year 2000 Hope Builders Ministries began working with an indigenous ministry in Zambia. This mission focused on encouraging, enabling and empowering the Zambian church to evangelize their own people and plant new churches and make disciples. Hope Builders Ministries’ part in this was to help them to train their pastors and leaders. HBM continues to do that today.

The way the Lord has done this is by giving HBM the HUB model of disciple making. This model follows Jesus’ example of 1 on 3 disciple making. Implementing this strategy in Zambia has resulted in multiple thousands of new believers and churches in the 15 years that HBM has been partnered with the Zambian Church.

Today there are over 1972 pastors in training with Hope Builders Ministries Zambia, a registered and Zambian led ministry. Each of the pastors participate in a 3 year Bible training program produced by Calvary Academics in South Africa. HBM purchases this material and delivers it to the HBMZ office in Lusaka. The Administrator, Matthew Daka then oversees the distribution of this material to the far corners of Zambia and the men in training with HBMZ.

Regional and district leaders oversee the implementation and quality of the training. The US Zambian Coordinator works closely with the Regional Leaders and HBMZ Administrator to access needs and represent US partners to HBMZ and HBMZ to their US partners.

Today Hope Builders Ministries continues to support this indigenous ministry through the faithful gifts of partners in the USA.

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.

India Mission Trip

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Pastors in Orisha

Pastors in Orisha

Helping Indigenous Missions in India

In February 2014 Jeff will be joining Stephen Prasad and HIMIndia for a month of ministry to the new pastors in training. 198 pastors are now organized into 18 districts and taking pastoral training. Early next year the 180 pastors under the supervision of their district leaders will begin to train 3 more pastors each. Their objective is to complete the three year study and to start 1 new church during this same period. The prayerful goal is to start 540 new churches in the next three years each having a trained pastor. Pray with us. Join us.