Investing in the Call of Others
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
One thing many of us really desire is to leave a legacy. Whether it is to our children, our churches, or a particular cause, we dearly want to know that what we do today will have an impact beyond tomorrow.
A central way this outworks in missions is through leadership training - equipping present and future leaders to be more successful, more effective, and work towards greater achievements than their predecessors. Many of our ACCI Missionaries have the express goal of training and raising local leaders in their country of service. They acknowledge that it is these leaders who are best positioned to reach their community and to accurately present the gospel to those around them, both now and in years to come.
Leadership Development in Mozambique
Robbie Housen has been ministering in Mozambique for many years. One of her great achievements in this time, supported by Australian churches, has been to establish the Hope Training Institute (HTI).
With a vision of enhancing the leadership of the oftentimes divided church in Mozambique, HTI trains students over a four year associate degree program. Students experience two years of formal bible curriculum, then a one-year internship in a local church, followed by one year of planting a new church.
After experiencing many years of war, Mozambique still struggles with many social, economic and other development problems. In order to address the varied needs of local communities, students are prepared both through their education and through gaining practical skills.
In many provinces, including the location of HTI, over 30% of the population is HIV positive. It is not only physical aspects of the disease that cause problems for this group of people, but feelings of shame and hopelessness are also common. Depression and suicide can be prevalent. Through fear and ignorance, people with HIV can also experience condemnation within many churches.
Several graduates of HTI, some of whom are HIV-positive themselves, are committed to work with others facing this challenge, sharing the hope and life that is only found through salvation. Not only are graduates equipped with thorough training and education in Christian theology, leadership and ministry, but they are also taught vocational skills to practically assist the communities they will work with. This includes agricultural skills to know how to grow food, knowledge of how to make bricks, and also how to build wells to access clean water.
In this way, graduates complete HTI with knowledge and experience in how to bring long-term, positive change to communities, both spiritually and practically. HTI is currently developing to offer higher-level courses, to provide even greater opportunity to Mozambican leaders wishing to excel and further develop their ministry giftings.