Pastor Stephen opens TWO new Areas

Tirelessly Working

Tirelessly Working

Pastor Stephen Prasad has opened two new areas of ministry for HIMIndia this month. Following is his report and then a slide show of pictures from his travels. Please continue to pray for HIMIndia and our partner Stephen Prasad. He is committed to the training of the rural tribal pastors in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states of India. WE are his partners.
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The Report:
Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On March 18 I traveled to Saluru Mandal, Vizianagar District, Andhra Pradesh. The next day I met with 28 pastors and conducted the HUB Training Program with HIMIndia. The men were from different tribal and rural villages. Many traveled over 30 miles to hear the Word of God. With these 28 pastors I started 3 new hub groups and appointed 3 hub leaders dividing them according to their locations. We started studying Old Testament Survey from the Mini Bible College material. The new Hub Leaders are pastors Prasad, Philip and Valaparao. Thank you for praying for them.

Finishing in Saluru Mandal I traveled on the 21st to L.N. Peta in the Srikakaulam district. This is also a tribal area. Most of these pastors have never received any formal Bible training. They do not have any schools near them. There were 22 pastors attending. Here I also started teaching Old Testament Survey with the MBC material. I formed them into 2 HUBS and appointed hub leaders.
These two areas have much need for the Word of God. There are no Bible Schools to attend and most of the men are very poor not being able to afford schooling and support their families at the same time. They are very excited about the MBC training material and the HUB model.
Praise the Lord for HIMIndia making this material available and the strategy to train rural pastors in the Word of God. This will be very beneficial to the rural pastors and we consider it a Divine gift to lay pastors and Tribal pastors in India. The course is especially designed for those who cannot afford to attend Bible College because of a lack of money, education qualifications and their existing ministries. Who would shepherd the flock if they were gone away to school for a number of years? Hence, it is a tailor made program for them, teaching sound doctrine, bible study methods and protecting them from false doctrine and cults, which abound. We meet for 3 days every month to study together. HIMIndia does not charge them for the material and provides food and accommodations for the 3 days. God has provided me with other trained pastors to help instruct these men in the Word of God. Praise the Lord!

 

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DON’T FOLLOW YOUR HEART!

HIMAfrica - Jeff Hawkins:

You can’t trust your emotions when making decisions, especially when determining “what is the will of God.

Originally posted on HIMAfrica - Helping Indigenous Missions:

In the morning will I seek You

In the morning will I seek You

Reading in the Gospel of Mark this morning and came across a principle we all need to remember in chapter 7:1-23.

The Principle is that we are NOT to follow our “hearts” but instead we are to follow/obey the Word of God.

That means, no matter how good or right something “feels” to us we must obey the Word of God. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were putting their traditions above the Word of God (It felt right to them), but Jesus condemned this notion/excuse for not obeying the Word of God.

The heart (emotions) is deceitful and wicked! Who can really understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

And this is why we must “Diligently GUARD your heart, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Our hearts, our emotions are very fickle and very delicate. We have to keep a…

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DON’T FOLLOW YOUR HEART!

In the morning will I seek You

In the morning will I seek You

Reading in the Gospel of Mark this morning and came across a principle we all need to remember in chapter 7:1-23.

The Principle is that we are NOT to follow our “hearts” but instead we are to follow/obey the Word of God.

That means, no matter how good or right something “feels” to us we must obey the Word of God. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were putting their traditions above the Word of God (It felt right to them), but Jesus condemned this notion/excuse for not obeying the Word of God.

The heart (emotions) is deceitful and wicked! Who can really understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

And this is why we must “Diligently GUARD your heart, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Our hearts, our emotions are very fickle and very delicate. We have to keep a close eye upon them. DO NOT run by your emotions. Let the truth, the principles of the Word of God guide your steps and decisions of life.

“He that has an ear to hear, LISTEN UP!” Jesus, Mark 7:16

Jeff Hawkins is the director of HIMAfrica and HIMIndia, associate ministries with Hope Builders Ministries.

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Testimony from Zambia!

Titus Shampande - District Leader HBM Zambia

Titus Shampande – District Leader HBM Zambia

On Saturday the 2nd of February 2014, I went to Kansununu Church started last year with my wife. It is 60 KM away. We reached at 1 PM and after we had rested for a while, we went visiting at the nearest villages. A church leader and his wife accompanied us.

At one of the villages, we found many people sitting and we greeted them. One of the villagers told us that they had a 12 year old boy who was very sick and they were all waiting for him to die. In this village only 2 people are members of our church and the rest are Jehovah’s witnesses.

Titus and fellow pastors

Titus and fellow pastors

Titus New Motor

District Leader Titus Shampande and wife

Titus and wife

When the Father of the sick boy saw us, he invited us to go in the house and see the sick boy. As we entered the house, many close relatives were seated by the sick boy who lay on his bed and he could not even speak nor take a cup of water. The boy’s father told us that his son had been in the village hospital for 3 weeks and they said to take him to Solwezi but they were unable to do so and so discouraged that they decided to take the boy back to the village as they had now lost all hope. They did this because all the people in this village suspected that this boy was bewitched by an old woman.

When the boy’s father and the sick child arrived at the village from the village hospital, people grabbed the old woman and started beating her because of the boy’s illness. The Boy’s father pleaded with us to help him because if the boy dies, then the people would also kill the old lady.

I calmed the people and opened my Bible. I spoke the word of God on what the Bible says about sickness and death. After I preached the word, the people who were in the house went outside and only the parents and the church leader who accompanied me were left in the house. We prayed for the boy and sang songs of praises to our Lord Jesus Christ. After the prayers and singing, we went back to the village where we had to spend the night. It was now about 8 PM.

At around 3 AM, the father of the boy knocked on the door were we were sleeping. I thought that he has now come to tell us about the news of the boy’s death. The man told me to go to his house as the boy was now speaking and asking for some food to eat. We went there and found the boy eating porridge. We gave glory to our God for the healing of the boy. Even the many people that mocked at us when we were singing believed in God.

On Sunday, 7 people from that village and the suspected old lady came to church and they gave their lives to the Lord. The boy also he is well and the parents are praising God for the healing.

Reporting, Titus Shampande
HBM Zambia District Leader

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Riches Gospel: A subtle kind of occultism

By Learnmore Zuze Learnmore Zuze

“THERE is someone sitting here who wants God to bless him with a car yet that selfish person continues to bring a paltry twenty dollars into the offering basket. How do you expect God to give you a six thousand-dollar car when all you give him is twenty dollars?” This statement has almost become a slogan in contemporary churches today. The statement captures well the essence of a gospel that is spreading like a bush fire in the wind in our motherland.

The gospel of giving in order to attract riches has taken Zimbabwean Christianity by storm. Followers of the materialism gospel are consistently reminded that their promised blessings and ‘breakthroughs’ will not materialize unless they give huge donations to church ministers. Marketers of this gospel have touched the hearts of thousands of eager Zimbabweans seeking to escape from the jaws of poverty.

Whereas the focus of the Biblical gospel is salvation and repentance from sin, today’s followers have been schooled in a new kind of message which focuses on the acquisition of worldly riches. This all-popular riches doctrine emphasizes materialism. It is focused on the hear-and-now. It has had startling success in Africa in general. A daily newspaper of June 2012 carried a headline story in which economists acknowledged that some prosperity churches had reached a level where they could even bail out struggling corporations.

African pastors who struggled to own a standard house have come to own private jets on account of the riches doctrine. This gospel is premised on the idea that sacrificial giving to church ministers will bring great returns. It has seen the poorer of the poor taking the little they have to donate to mega rich church ministers in the hope of receiving blessings and wealth in return. I quote a live recorded statement by a famous Harare based preacher, “If you are still poor then you aren’t giving hard.”

No-one can deny that the Bible has many scriptures which tell of God’s blessings. However, the tragedy of those who peddle the gospel of riches is their myopic focus on earthly riches and their reluctance to emphasize the core objective of the Gospel (salvation of mankind) which is the very reason Jesus died (John 3:16). Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus ever teach that His Gospel would also be a tool for attaining earthly riches? Throughout all history you will not find a man who gave greater condemnation to earthly riches than Jesus Christ. Jesus identified more with the downtrodden and the common man in the street. He spoke against riches in more ways than one:

  • “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” (Luke6; 24)
  • “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Luke 18:12)
  • …You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt 6; 24)
  • “Do not build for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and   rust can destroy.” (Matt 6:19, 20)

However, what the devil has done today is to come up with a well crafted manner of misleading Christians, particularly in Africa. It would have been easily picked if one were to come and start contradicting Christ’s stance on earthly riches. The Deceiver has thus brought in Christianity mixed with occultism and the average Christian does not even know, let alone suspect it because Old Testament verses are twisted in this regard. This very popular concept that is being taught in the wealth churches is a replica of the concept practiced in the occult.

I will illustrate. Before the advent of Christianity in Africa, the central spiritual belief for fortune seekers was to consult with witch-doctors. Witch-doctors were found amongst the elite and even kings would house them closer for divine guidance. People thus consulted with witchdoctors and were told to sacrifice fat portions of cows and goats to attract wealth. Very few of us in Zimbabwe would say they never saw stray sacrificial goats (mbudzi dzakarasirirwa) or a sacrificial black hen with a red cloth tied to its leg in the bushes. Such sacrifices were done to attract wealth or get rid of bad luck (exactly as they teach today).

Some daring witch-doctors would even tell fortune seekers to sacrifice their own family members to attract wealth. This concept is well captured in most traditional African literature. The thrilling Shona novel, “Wakandigona Wena” by B.C Chitsike aptly captures this occult practice; a clever witch-doctor, Vhurusaka, tricks an evil man who wanted to sacrifice his wife for riches into believing that she has been successfully killed in a ritual only for the man to be shamed later as his wife is presented before the entire village and the man’s evil intentions exposed.

What has simply happened under the modern day riches doctrine is that the juju priest has simply been replaced by a man wearing a shiny suit who drives the latest car in town. One researcher, J lee Grady, in an essay titled, The Prosperity Gospel Hurting Africa noted that, “I am aware of one pastor who asked his congregants to bring bottles of sand to church so he could anoint them.” Closer to home, people are parting with hundreds of dollars in the scramble for ‘holy water’ which they are told to sprinkle on their beds, work places and cash notes to attract wealth.

My dear friends, this is certainly not Christianity but a disguised form of occultism. God would truly want Christians to give but to give wholeheartedly whether a coin or a dollar. God reads the heart and looks for sincerity hence the irony to be found in Jesus story of praising a poor widow’s offering (two coins) ahead of the offerings of the rich. The truth of the matter for those who seek prosperity the Biblical way is summed up in this verse, “Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and all these things (cars, houses and wealth) shall be added unto you”(Matt 6:32,33)

(“All these things will be added” refers to  “daily needs” or basic needs… not cars, houses and wealth. Jeff Hawkins)

This is the last hour. Take heed that no one deceives you.

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Follow Jeff in India

Sharing in Narispatnam

Sharing in Narispatnam

On Thursday Jeff will return to Visakhapatnam, India arriving Saturday morning Indian time, Friday night US time.

Pray for safety in travels, both on the way and while there. Many miles will be covered driving from one location to another.

Follow Jeff at HIMIndia on Facebook.

The pastors are praying that Bibles will be provided to them for the conferences. If you would like to share the Word of God with them you can DONATE online or mail gifts to: Hope Builders Ministries, P.O.Box 317, Greenwood, VA 22943 Designate: HIMIndia

Hope Builders Ministries is a Proud Member of the ECFA

Hope Builders Ministries is a Proud Member of the ECFA

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Indigenous Ministry in Zambia

HBMZ Board of Directors

HBMZ Board of Directors

In 2005 I first visited Zambia and joined in a mission trip that exposed me to Indigenous Missions. Almost immediately I knew that I wanted to be a part of this. After four more extended trips God allowed me (HIMAfrica) to partner “full-time” in 2007 with the brothers in Zambia training pastors and planting new churches. Today Hope Builders Ministries Zambia is a registered Zambian led ministry. Pictured are the men who make up the Board of Directors. I love these men. They are dedicated and self-sacrificing working with many hundreds of other pastors discipling hundreds more in pastoral training. I, partnered with you, have the privilege of continuing to support this ministry as the HBM Zambia Coordinator. Thank you for your prayers and partnership. Let us keep on till Jesus comes.

Receiving Bibles to distribute in their Regions of ministry

Receiving Bibles to distribute in their Regions of ministry

 

Loaded with the Word of God

Daniel and Motorcycle

Regional Leader Phiri with new Motorcycle

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