Speed the Light to Provide Hope for Africa
In an effort to help African pastors evangelize and disciple believers more effectively, Assemblies of God National Youth Ministries announced during its recent Fall Speed the Light Summit (STL) in Charlotte, North Carolina, that STL is partnering with Africa’s Hope to provide mobile training centers for local church leaders in Africa.
Over the past 25 years, the Assemblies of God in Africa has grown from 2 million adherents in 1990 to over 18 million adherents. Those believers amount to 73,000 congregations. It was the anticipation of this very growth that led to the creation of Africa’s Hope, a ministry of Assemblies of God World Missions, founded in 1989, that exists to develop Spirit-empowered, biblically trained leaders.
The rapid growth of the AG in Africa has not come without its share of challenges. The primary challenge being only 40 percent of men and women called to ministry have access to formal theological training. Traditional training and schooling methods are often not a viable option due to some ministry contexts where students and educators must constantly be mobile to avoid suspicion, surveillance, persecution, and possible capture. The threats are imminent enough where even public disclosure of certain countries, students, and educators is sensitive.
Despite the challenges, it’s the work of Africa’s Hope that is helping to lay the foundation to support the harvests of souls that have come in and those still ahead. There are well over 800 unreached people groups in Africa alone that represent more than 230 million people who have yet to hear the gospel.
It’s in light of the great work yet to be done that, as the ministry’s name implies, there is hope for Africa.
“We are on the eve of another phase of unprecedented evangelism and mission work,” says Africa’s Hope Director John Easter. “This [project] is frontline engagement with missions. There is no better way to exponentially advance the gospel than training and preparing those who can go to the dark places where there is no witness.”
Speed the Light has pledged to raise $250,000 for this project partnership. The funds will go toward the development of training materials in the 12 major African languages, and toward the purchase and distribution of mobile tablets loaded with these training materials. Over 14,000 pastors are trained each year and released to plant churches.
The mobile devices leaders receive will contain 38 diploma-level courses that train them in biblical theology, church planting, evangelism, cross-cultural ministry, administration skills, and leadership development. In addition, they will be loaded with supplemental reading and teaching guides, as well as a robust resource library of over 900 titles to provide continued training beyond the formal courses.
“God is doing an amazing work in Africa as literally thousands are accepting Christ as their Savior each day,” states Heath Adamson, senior director of National Youth Ministries. "This is also an amazing opportunity for Assemblies of God youth, through Speed the Light, to be a part of seeing thousands of African pastors and leaders receive the resources they need to continue their evangelism efforts and properly disciple those choosing to follow Christ.”