Lance and Mindy Hines
Imagine what it would feel like to not have a church in your community - not a single one... Hard to fathom, isn't it?
For many of us, there is a church ever few miles. But for many people in Southern Africa, the thought of having a local church in their community - seems like a dream.
In Southern Africa people often walk for hours in the scorching sun, grateful for the privilege of attending church. When they arrive, they give themselves joyfully and without reservation to enthusiastic worship - thrilled to lift up the name of Jesus. Often their pastor lacks the most basic Biblical training, and struggles week in and week out to deliver a sermon. Children's ministries often consist of telling Bible Stories and acting out the characters, in keeping with the oral story telling traditions of Southern Africa's vibrant culture. Large, over-grown shade trees often double as church sanctuaries. Strong harmonies fill the air as the youth, women and mens choirs sway and dance their way from the back to the front of the congregation where they lift Jesus name higher, and higher, and higher. The smile on the face of our Heavenly Father must stretch from ear to ear, and His eyes must sparkle with delight as His children sing of their savior, Jesus. As the preaching begins, a holy hush settles over the congregation and anticipation fills the air. Alters fill as people recognize their need for Jesus, and run to Him, laying down the heavy burdens of their lives.
Churches like the one pictured above are the epicenter of connection and community for many villages in Southern Africa and the body of Christ serve as salt and light, impacting every aspect of the community.
But in the absence of a local church - people live in thick, heavy, oppressive darkness unlike anything I've ever known.
Village after village go unreached and untouched by the truth of the gospel.
These unreached villages matter to Jesus, and they matter to us.
So we press forward - committed to the unfinished task of planting churches in every community.
Bit by bit, the light of the gospel is penetrating these dark and unreached areas...much work remains to be done.
Please join us in praying for church planting efforts throughout Southern Africa.