Published: 00:00 GMT Standard Time - Wednesday 19 January 2011
Church grows through Barnabas-funded ministry
Project(s): 00-477, 00-478
Barnabas Aid is helping the worldwide Church to grow spiritually and numerically by supporting hundreds of pastors and evangelists in places where Christians are under pressure.
We are currently giving financial assistance to 205 pastors and 228 evangelists and church planters in 27 countries, enabling them to focus their time and energy on strengthening Christians and proclaiming the Gospel to unbelievers.
One of them, "A", a church worker in Punjab province, Pakistan, has a fruitful ministry among teenage boys. He felt called to reach out to this group after noticing that many of them seemed bored and aimless, spending their days wandering the streets, watching films and playing video games in clubs.
"A" spent time with the boys on a regular basis for about three months, and 12 of them accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They are now growing spiritually and are regularly attending youth meetings and church services.
He also started a sports ministry for boys. A group meets every week to play sports followed by a time of prayer and Bible study. Five of the boys rededicated their lives to Jesus; one of them testified, “I found change in my behaviour. I started taking interest in my studies, reading Bible daily and learning how to pray. I have joy and peace in my heart.”
"A" is one of the 77 full-time Christian workers in Pakistan who are supported by Barnabas Aid. This includes eight female workers who minister specifically to the practical and spiritual needs of women.
"S", a children’s evangelist assisted by Barnabas Aid, brings the Gospel to children in South African townships where an Islamic presence is strong and gaining ground. She works through schools and outreach events.
One such outreach in a very poor slum area was attended by 90 to 140 children each week. "S" said, “Most of the children come from really destitute backgrounds and are very receptive to the Gospel message.” As well as receiving spiritual food – through singing and Bible lessons – the children are given a much-needed meal of hotdog rolls and juice and a loaf of bread each to take home.
Barnabas Aid is supporting 38 pastors who are planting churches in poor, rural areas in Java, Indonesia, where almost everyone is Muslim.
|This Indonesian pastor and his wife
received a church permit after developing a relationship with a local village leader
Despite facing resistance and opposition, the pastors regularly see how God can change a situation that was intended for harm into good. This happened when a Muslim filed a complaint with a community leader against a pastor, who, along with his wife (pictured), had started a church in a Muslim-majority village. After praying fervently about the situation, they felt led to invite the village leader to visit the church so that he could judge for himself what they were doing. He came, and afterwards he ruled that the church was doing no harm and closed the complaint. The couple developed a positive relationship with the village leader, and after some time he granted the church an official permit – something that happens very rarely in Indonesia. The couple praised God for completely turning the situation around.
The church planters are given financial assistance during the early years of the church’s life with the aim that once the congregation has grown large enough, members will be able to support them. But church growth is slow, and because people in these areas are very poor, new believers can contribute only small amounts. So Barnabas encourages the church-planting pastors to develop sidelines to generate a partial income, such as keeping ducks or chickens, growing rice or starting a small Christian school.
If you would like to support pastors and/or evangelists ministering in Christian-minority contexts around the world, please donate to project 00-477 (Pastor Support Fund)and/or 00-478 (Evangelist Support Fund).
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference project 00-477 (Pastor Support Fund) and/or 00-478 (Evangelist Support Fund).
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference project 00-477 (Pastor Support Fund) and/or 00-478 (Evangelist Support Fund).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/477 or Barnabas/478 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
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