I thought I knew a bit about ministry – until a trip to Asia quite frankly changed my life.
I had been leading Holy Trinity Church in Leicester for eleven years, and I considered myself to be outward-looking. We established missional communities and planted three churches, two of which had gone on to plant again. We had our own little network and had released many to leadership and mission.
I’d heard of the work that GFA World (formally Gospel for Asia) were doing – and it blew me away. I knew we needed this passion and determination in the UK. As I flew to Asia, I had no idea how my spirit was to be stirred.
Upon arrival I met some incredible people – like the local Archdeacon who started his ministry as a missionary, leaving his hometown to reach other villages. He started out with no money, no accommodation, and no food. He told me how he would often go many days without food, he was beaten on more than one occasion, but he wouldn’t stop until he saw breakthrough and community transformation.
Slowly but surely, his persistence paid off – he has shown the love of God to thousands of people. It deeply challenged me. What lengths am I willing to go to reach people in my community?
I travelled round three centres of GFA World’s ministry – visiting children’s centres, hospitals, Bible colleges, and the GFA World training centre. This provided opportunity to witness expertly delivered amazing compassion projects.
Everything GFA World does is focused on spreading the peace and love of God. Whilst in Asia, I met with GFA founder Dr. KP Yohannan. He inspired me with stories of a new hospital that is being built that will impact many lives. This is an example of how the serving of people at their point of need connects with God’s love. Too often the church has divided along the lines of either proclaiming its message or demonstrating it in social concern. GFA World shows love for the poor in so many ways and integrates this with inspiring and crucial training.
As I returned to the UK, I knew something had to change. I handed over the leadership of Holy Trinity Leicester and took up a couple of national roles – one as director of church planting for New Wine, and secondly as the Development Enabler for the Archbishops’ College of Evangelists.
Can we achieve similar things in the UK? Maybe not, but we can give it a good go. God is restoring confidence in the UK church. We are out of lockdown and ready. It happened in the book of Acts, it’s happening today across Asia. And the same God is ready to do it in the UK. We just have to be willing to obey.
About GFA World
GFA World (www.gfauk.org) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programmes in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.
Written By: Rev John McGinley