Southern Africa

  • Lance and Mindy Hines

Updated: Nov 25, 2018

2012 was the most difficult year of my (Mindy’s) adult life. In January, my Grandmother passed away. In June, my mom passed away. At the beginning of September, we left our two sons in the USA for college and returned to Mozambique with our sixteen-year-old daughter, Baylea. In late September, an unforeseen visa issue delayed our return to Mozambique, where our daughter was scheduled to start her Junior year of high school. Unable to make up for the lost time in school, Baylea’s only choice to complete high school, was an online program.

The last half of 2012, drug our daughter through the wringer. She grieved the death of her two Grandmothers. She missed her brothers. She missed her friends from school. She missed being able to live a “normal” sixteen-year-old life: driving, playing sports, and having fun with friends. Day after day, week after week, month after month, Baylea was home with me, while Lance resumed our responsibilities as missionaries.

We sort of bumped along through the process of grief together. The impact of compound losses during that time, cloaked our once vibrant lives with a strange, dark, shadowy existence. Some days were good, others – not so much.

During this time, Baylea and I sensed a growing compassion for Mozambique’s burgeoning population of street boys. (Photo Above) We decided to get involved, by helping with a ministry provided by one of our local Assemblies of God churches. Baylea and I helped the boys with learning basic reading, writing and math skills. The boys ranged in age, from nine to about twenty-two. Many did not recognize their letters and numbers. I will never forget the day I worked with a twenty-year-old young man, helping him learn how to write his own name. The common bond the boys shared, was life on the streets. The stories of their young lives revealed more pain than most of us can fathom.

In November of that year, torrential rains fell in Maputo, making life on the streets increasingly dangerous and miserable. Day after day, we prayed for the rain to subside, but the rain just seemed to fall harder and faster.

In the middle of a downpour, on Thanksgiving day, 2012, Baylea woke up in the early morning hours with a stiff neck, severe headache, high fever, rash, and nausea. Her symptoms were consistent with Spinal Meningitis, according to May Clinic’s online resource. *Momentary pause to express how very grateful I am for GOOGLE!

Reliable medical care in Maputo in 2012, was very limited. Lance and I sat beside Baylea, praying for her healing. Nothing mattered more to us, than our little girl’s well-being. But Baylea had a different perspective. She gently challenged, “Pray for the (street) boys. It’s raining hard, and they don’t have anywhere to go. At least we are inside, out of the rain. Pray for them. They need us to pray for them.” We had a time of prayer for the (street) boys asking God to be merciful, to grant them His help, and to cause the rain to subside.

Baylea’s physical condition only worsened, so we took her to the hospital. When we walked in, the smell of urine was overpowering. I felt my gut wrench, as I wondered what other sickness Baylea might come in contact with at the hospital that night. We watched carefully as they started an IV, drew blood, and ordered a battery of tests. The doctor never found the cause of Baylea’s illness.

We are convinced that God healed Baylea that night. As we thanked Him for what we had, and lifted up the needs of the (street) boys who had become so dear to our hearts. God heard and answered the longing of our hearts, and healed our daughter.

We spent Thanksgiving in the hospital that year. When Baylea was discharged, we drove home with overwhelming gratitude to God, and a renewed awareness of his good gifts. It was a Thanksgiving we will never forget. God used our season of sorrow and pain to sensitize us to the suffering of others. And even during our grief, God reminded us of how much we could thank him for. It’s all a matter of our perspective.

Perhaps, this is a time of difficulty and sorrow for you. If so, look for opportunities to re-orient your perspective. It is not easy…not fun…not something to be done casually or half-heartedly. But it is a worthy endeavor that God will honor in ways you never dreamed possible.

  • Lance and Mindy Hines

In 2001, we met Redson (pictured above) in Zambia, as a small group of influential, apostolic-minded, young people banded together to minister in local schools and churches. We had the joy of working with this incredible group, who were passionately committed to seeing children and youth come to know and love Jesus. Through their efforts, a transformational movement gained traction and took off!

These young, emerging leaders impacted their local churches throughout Lusaka, who responded by broadening their church based ministries to meet the growing needs of children and youth. Zambia's, National Youth department grew stronger and expanded under the leadership of President, Lipenga Banda.

This group of young, Zambian leaders grew, to hold significant sway in their local churches and communities. Today they are known as Godly, faithful, respected, men and women. Their passion to see Jesus transform lives continues to spread and impact others.

Thanks to Redson, and others like him, a great HARVEST continues in Zambia! Churches have been planted in dark areas, previously untouched by the power of the Gospel. Believers receive training as they grow to be mature disciples of Christ. Church leaders have greater access to leadership development, and a new Bible School is preparing young ministers to effectively serve their local congregations.

In those early days, we could not imagine the far reaching influence God would give this band of committed, passionate, energetic young people. Because of them, seed continues to be planted in the fertile soil of Zambia - and God continues to cause abundant HARVEST to spring up.

Looking at this photo, almost 19 years after we first met Redson and the other members of that incredible group, we can't help but smile. God's great harvest continues, and the next generation of Zambians is being transformed by the power off the Gospel.

Harvest is a miraculous partnership between God and man. In Luke 10:2, Jesus says that the harvest is plentiful, and then he admonishes us to pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send laborers into his harvest. This is the cry of our heart. Lord, send laborers so that we are effective in conserving the plentiful harvest in Southern Africa!

  • Lance and Mindy Hines

Lance grew up on a farm, as did my mother. Both of us have a fundamental obsession with all things related to the harvest! Our call to serve the people of Southern Africa begins and ends with the harvest in mind.

The best way to conserve Southern Africa’s abundant harvest is to plant, nurture and partner with local churches until there is a healthy, thriving church within walking distance of every man, woman, boy and girl! During 2017 alone, more than 500 local Assemblies of God churches were planted, and we are on target to see 600 churches planted in 2018. Praise God!

Across Southern Africa, the harvest is pouring in at record speed as individuals, families and entire communities are being transformed by Jesus and his great love!

While we rejoice at the incredible harvest, our hearts break for the 200+ million African's who have never heard the Gospel. There is much work to do, time is short - and our task remains unfinished.

A few basic truths about the harvest stand out to me:

  • Seeds must be planted before they can ever produce a harvest.

  • In John 12:24, Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

  • A harvest will never happen until we plant costly seeds of time, talent and treasure.

  • Growing mature, healthy plants requires a long-term investment of time, talent and treasure.

  • It is in the grit and the glory of everyday life that Christian love and servanthood are best developed. For this reason, new believers need to be nurtured in thriving local churches.

  • Heb 10: 24-25 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

  • Different crops require different harvesting techniques.

  • Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” I Cor 9: 22-23

  • For the sake of the gospel, missionaries across Southern Africa; learn new languages, adopt new cultures, eat different food, endure separation from family and friends, embrace endless transition as a “normal” part of conserving the harvest. If they didn't - the harvest would be incomplete.

  • The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few in Southern Africa.

  • My father-in-law, who raised crops for decades, would consider it to be the very definition of lunacy if someone were to: plant the seed, nurture, and care for crops as they grow, and then – lay off the work force so they can rest during harvest time.

  • During the harvest, farmers work as teams because the harvest is so abundant there’s no way one person could bring it in alone. Farmers work long hours, and maintain a laser focus on the ONE thing that matters most…the HARVEST.

  • In Luke 10:2, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

  • Notice how the harvest is promised - even guaranteed by the Father.

Good News for Southern Africa:

Many of you have been praying with us, that God would call missionaries to conserve Southern Africa’s ripe and abundant harvest. God is answering those prayers! In the past few months, 8 incredible new families have joined the team of Southern Africa missionaries. We still need at least 10 more missionaries to answer the Lord’s call to serve the people of Southern Africa. Thank you for praying! The harvest depends on it.

Some questions about the harvest I’ve been pondering:

  1. What seed have I planted during the past 30 days?

  2. In what ways could I focus more time, talent and treasure on the harvest?

  3. What creative, and innovative approaches are available to help me do my part in conserving the harvest?

  4. What am I willing to sacrifice to bring in the harvest?

  5. What matters more to me than the harvest?

#Africa #Harvest #AGWM #SouthernAfrica #Hinesmission #hinesinafrica #Missions #SouthernAfrica