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Let me begin by asking a very simple question. Should churches use their missions money wisely? I’m sure everyone agrees that the answer is yes! Let’s go a step further. If there are numbers of indigenous believers on the ground on any mission field, why would we send a western missionary family halfway around the world to plant churches in that place at great expense to them and their children? If you add the extreme costs of maintaining them when there are nationals who can accomplish the same things more effectively at pennies on the dollar, you begin to answer this question!
Yet, for many churches, perhaps more than you know, this model is repeated year after year with the mission dollars people give to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. You know what? Nobody in business would ever run a company like that. It doesn’t make good sense and is not good stewardship!
There are certainly many places on earth where pioneering missionaries are still vital to the spread of the gospel, but in many countries, the history of our missions movement has made it possible for us to focus on training the nationals for more effective ministry.
Allow me to introduce you to one of those nationals who is preparing to play a key role in training his own people and in church planting all over East Africa. His name is Shinga Fidele, and this man is someone special. He is conversant in five languages and has an abiding passion to train pastors all over East Africa including Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. This Rwandan pastor has been my personal translator for the past seven years and has also completed every course we have offered. It has been our privilege for the past seven years to work with Fidele and over two thousand other native pastors in eight countries on three continents.
Fidele needs a sponsor to allow him to become a trainer himself. Unlike a western missionary who requires an average of $6500 a month to live, Fidele requires only $300 a month to live and serve as a GBTF trainer all over East Africa! The first of his support has already been donated! If you can give up one coffee a week and support any one of these pastors for just $ 20 a month. You can even designate that your support go toward funding Fidele!
Bruce Snavely, PhD