Tim and Joyce are assigned to support Africa’s Hope, a ministry of the Assemblies of God.
The continent of Africa is made up of 54 countries and more than a billion people. The AGWM Africa region consists of the 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Amidst the pressures of war, disease, food and water shortages, religious extremism, and poverty, the gospel is spreading and God is building his church. Every day, 50 new churches are planted.
Over the past 25 years, the Assemblies of God in Africa has grown from 2 million in 1990 to over 18 million adherents. Those believers amount to 73,000 congregations. The church growth we observe is remarkable, but only 40% of men and women called to ministry have access to formal theological training.
In 1989, Assemblies of God leaders in Africa held a continental leadership meeting in Malawi. In unison, church leaders determined that the greatest hindrance to the anticipated church growth of the coming era was inadequate training. At that time the leaders felt that Bible training programs in Africa were not reaching their potential. They identified several issues, such as a lack of qualified teachers and inadequate resources for teacher training, which if not addressed would result in limited effectiveness for training a new generation of leaders.
If the church is to meaningfully address Africa’s need, it must be led by Spirit-filled men and women:
- Leaders who have diligently studied God’s Word
- Leaders who have learned to apply God’s truth to the African context and cultures
- Leaders willing to give sacrificially of themselves in order to disciple a new generation
- Leaders who will stop at nothing to see the gospel taken to every tribe and tongue of Africa
The leaders also acknowledged a related problem: the practice of sending key national leaders to the United States for training, which, in some instances, resulted in losing the leaders to life and ministry in the United States or to other organizations. Moreover, the leaders expressed concern that African churches in general did not have a vision of the local church as a missionary-sending agency.
In response to this need, the Assemblies of God launched a training ministry called Africa’s Hope that quickly began to impact every major region of Africa. The presupposition for this ministry was that Spirit-empowered, biblically trained leaders are Africa’s hope. Under the direction of Dr. John V. York, his wife Joy, and their team of fellow workers, Africa’s Hope served as an umbrella ministry with multiple initiatives:
- Africa Pentecostal Leadership Institute (APLI) provides quality leadership training to select church leaders.
- Eleventh Hour Institute (EHI) raises missions awareness and vision in the African church.
- Africa Library Services (ALS) provides books for libraries and facilitates training for library personnel.
- Discovery Series offers a diploma-level curriculum that provides affordable material written from a Pentecostal perspective for the African context.
- Endorsement assists schools in evaluating their mission and level of effectiveness.
- Graduate and Postgraduate Training Centers facilitate six master’s-level centers and one continental doctoral initiative to develop the leadership capacities in church leaders.
Over the past two decades, Africa’s Hope has demonstrated an ability to discern needs and empower students. Contact us to find out more about how you can partner with Tim and Joyce to fulfill the need of training Africa’s spiritual leaders.