“I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” ~ Jesus
Global Seed Planters loves to plant churches. We believe that a healthy church brings God’s light to a dark place and is the expression of the love, truth and power of Jesus in a local community. We are serious about the importance of the local church. Our Director has helped plant hundreds of churches in every nation she has worked in: Mexico, the Philippines, India, China, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.
In America and many other countries in the world, when people hear the word “church” they think of the building that they go to on Sunday morning. But in many countries of the world, church is not a building. It is simply a gathering of people who are following Jesus and gather together on a regular basis for worship, teaching, prayer and shared friendship.
Some of the most powerful services that I have been to in my life, look nothing like a church in America. I have been to healthy local churches that meet-in secret, under a village tree, in a cave, in a clearing in the woods, in a mud hut, in a home or apartment or in an abandoned building.
On my first trip to northern Uganda in early 2006, I went to an IDP camp outside of Gulu called Unyama. The situation in this densely populated hell hole was atrocious. There are no words that could adequately describe the horrible conditions I observed as we circled the refugee camp. I asked my driver, “Could we please go inside, I want to talk to the people.” He reluctantly agreed. As soon as I got out of our vehicle, a tall, elderly man named Sabino came to greet me. Early in the conversation I asked him if he knew Jesus. He did! I asked him, “Do you have a decent place in the camp for the people to gather together to worship God?
“The local church is the hope of the world, and its future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders.”~Pastor Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Church
There was not. But Sabino took me for a short walk outside the camp to a beautiful piece of property that would be perfect for a church. We talked, prayed together and came up with a simple plan. I would go home and raise a few thousand and Sabino and this humble congregation that lived in indescribable poverty and squalor would build a church where the people of Unyama could gather and worship God.
In a year the church was finished and a very enthusiastic congregation gathered to dedicate their new church. It was done in African style with lots of loud singing, lively dancing, and powerful testimonies of changed lives. I rejoiced to see this vibrant local church bringing life and joy in the very area where Joseph Kony once brought terror and death.
It doesn’t end there. Since 2007, that little church, in only 7 years has planted 5 other additional churches in some of the most remote, oppressed villages on earth. People who never heard of Jesus before are now following Him, many have been delivered from demons, the sick have been healed and people are growing closer to God. It was not merely a church that was planted in Unyama but rather a small example of a church planting movement. The church planting researcher and author, David Garrison describes a church planting movement as “a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweep through a people group or population segment.” Unyama is part of a strategy to see churches planted in every village as people leave the IDP camps and return back home to their land.
“The Hope of the world is a Jesus centered, Bible believing local church in every village of the world.” ~ Ted Olsen, Global Fellowship