Africa: Christian Long Before Europe

Africa: Christian Long Before Europe

One of the best classes I took during my undergrad years was a class on the history of Christian in Africa taught by Jonathan Hildebrandt (who also wrote a book on the subject). The best part was that the class didn’t start in the modern era, where a lot of folks and books start, but in the first-century with the Twelve Apostles and those who followed in their footsteps.  While the full history is too long to trace here, it is noteworthy to mention that the Gospel of the Kingdom spread throughout Africa very early on – there were even large nations deep within Africa continent who declared Christian as the national religion long before the Roman Empire did so.  (Makuria is one such nation which has recently come into the news due to a recently discovered burial crypt.) Below is a video that highlights an aspect of Christian in Ethiopia, one of the very, very few African nations to successfully resist European colonialism. However before you watch the video, here are some cool tit bits about the history of Christian in Africa. I would also recommend reading Ramon Mayo’s blog series on “Christianity is Not the White Man’s Religion” where he not only explores the spread of Christian into Africa, Syria and other non-European areas. (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) Acts 8 tells the famous story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. What folks may not know is that this Eunuch went back to Ethiopia and started telling everyone there about Jesus – effectively making him the first missionary to cross international boundaries. “This man...
Vineyard Bantayan Relief Mission

Vineyard Bantayan Relief Mission

Below is an update from the Vineyard Cebu regarding their prayer concerns regarding their outreach to northern Cebu island communities and Bantayan island, which was severely hit by the super typhoon. Be sure to check out their video at the very bottom of this post. If anyone wants to partner with them directly, let me know and I will connect you. Additionally, Vineyard USA is working with Convoy of Hope to care for the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Convoy of Hope has shipping containers of food and supplies en route to the Philippines, to be followed by containers of hygiene kits, canned goods and fruit pouches. 100 water filtration units will arrive in country with their second relief team. Your financial support is vital to their response. To assist with a donation, please click here. Letter from the Vineyard Cebu: Grateful for: God’s love, mercy & faithfulness – thus far, none of the family members/relatives from the Team has suffered loss of life. Everyone is alive! God’s provision & generosity & His people’s care & generosity as well. There has been an outpouring of provision in every way, financially many have shared as well. We are thankful that we can move/act quickly & be able to bring these to families. His promises & Word- ever since these tragedies- earthquake, then tornado (Mandaue City, but near us), & super typhoon there has been much sadness- but we have been really receiving beautiful promises from His word, & beautiful prophecies for the Filipinos & the islands. The children are doing well. And it is good in spite...
Please pray for the Vineyard family on Bohol island

Please pray for the Vineyard family on Bohol island

The recent earthquake in central Philippines (magnitude 7.2) seriously damaged two Vineyard church buildings on Bohol (in the towns of Inabangga and and Sikatuna). Another church building sustained a large crack (in the town of Dimiao). Many of Vineyard church members in Inabangga and Buenavista are camping out in the town square or “plaza” until it is safe to return to their houses and begin repairs. Much of Bohol island does not have electricity and because of damaged roads and bridges travel by land is not easy from one town to another. Also, the Arms of Love Children’s Home just outside Tagbilaran Bohol has sustained some damage. Because of this the children have had to vacate the Home until the damage can be properly assessed. Please pray for our Vineyard family as well as all the people and communities that have been significantly affected by the recent...
Cassie Wallace, Sign Language Consultant-in-Training with Wycliffe Bible Translators

Cassie Wallace, Sign Language Consultant-in-Training with Wycliffe Bible Translators

We are pleased to announce that Cassie Wallace will be speaking at the Payette River Vineyard this coming Sunday, April 21st, at 10:30 AM. Cassie is a young lady from Boise, Idaho, who is getting ready to go to Manila, Philippines, as a Sign Language Consultant-in-Training with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She will be joined by special guest worship leader Pat Dansereau. The Deaf The Deaf are the least reached people group in the world. Globally, less than 2% know Christ. The Gospel that we have has been primarily kept in the hearing world, a world the Deaf cannot access through the spoken word or through print. Why? Among the Deaf, 85% cannot read…At all. The 15% who can read normally only attain a 3rd or 4th grade reading level. Further, the sign languages they use are not just signed versions of the local spoken languages. These are independent languages with different grammars, vocabularies and idioms, which means the Deaf who can read are reading in a second language. Bible Translation The Good News of Christ in the heart languages of individuals has the greatest ability to be understood and to touch hearts. However, about 200 million people representing nearly 2000 languages do not have access to any scripture in their heart language (translation statistics). Over 260 of those languages are sign languages, which are the heart languages of the Deaf. Not a single sign language has a complete Bible translation. Only one, American Sign Language, even has a New Testament. Wycliffe Bible Translators’ mission is to see the scriptures accessible to all people in the language of their heart....
Vineyard Kenya: The 15th Association of Vineyard Churches

Vineyard Kenya: The 15th Association of Vineyard Churches

Vineyard USA just sent out their monthly newsletter with some great articles highlighting some of the things God is doing in Kenya, Africa. Apparently, a few weeks ago the churches in Kenya were released as their own Association of Vineyard Churches (AVC) – meaning that Vineyard churches in that country are now self-governing, self-promoting and self-funded. (yay!!!) The first article talks a bit about the formation of the Vineyard movement in Kenya and how things got started there: “Really, it started off with a small prayer group of women near Nairobi that mainly focused on praying for other women who had come to faith for different reasons. They were praying for their husbands and for their own spiritual renewal. One of the key leaders of the group was from Australia; she and her husband returned to Australia for a visit and ended up going to a conference about the Vineyard in Perth. When they returned to Kenya, they brought the Vineyard materials and teachings with them, and that one small group there ended up being the formation of the first Vineyard church.” From there, the Lord connected them with the the South Africa Vineyard AVC (who ended up sending them a pastor missionary early on) and the Vineyard USA (via an Vineyard missionary working with a NGO in Kenya). The rest they say is history. The second article is by Mark Fields, Vineyard USA Missions Task Force Director, who talks a bit about Noah Gitau who Jesus choose to lead the new AVC: “Then he [Noah] told me a story of something that happened while he was working for...
Pakak Project: Organic Farming

Pakak Project: Organic Farming

Chris and Cathee Mapes, Vineyards missionaries in Pakak, Philippines, recently started an awesome organic farming project teaching farmers how to make and use “homemade natural fertilizers and pesticides.” This will save the farmers TONS of money that is usually spend on chemical fertilizers and pesticides – items that are normally bought on credit with a 10% monthly interest. As one farmer said: “…on a good harvest, which is May or June harvest, i get around 43 cavans, i set aside some for our consumption, and i sell the rest….sometimes i get paid 15,000 pesos…i use 10,000 to pay off the fertilizers, pesticides, etc that i get on credit with interest…2000 to 3,000 i use to pay for the hand tractor, fare, milling and other things….i barely have enough left to get basic necessities for my family….at least this time i don’t owe anyone fertilizers or pesticides.” While this sounds good, the use of homemade natural fertilizers and pesticides is something really, really new in this areas. This means that not everyone in the village is ready to make the switch as they are concerned with how good the organic products will work… as in are the fields going to be protected against rats, birds, insects and other such things… Accordingly, Chris and Cathee are asking for folks to pray for a good crop yield for these farmers and their fields. If things go good, then more farmers will be willing to make the switch, saving them necessary funds for their family. Read more about Chris and Cathee’s ministry on their website, “Mapes...