Windows into Africa Village Church Planting: Ministry Changing Lives

January-March 2016 issue Free Methodist World Missions Pulse

The Village Church Planting (VCP) model impacted lives in Africa even before the FMCUSA began implementing it in 2010. The movement has taken off in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia and Togo. Trainers identify people suited to planting house churches, and then train and mentor them.

VCP in Guinea-Conakry by Pastor Belley

church plant 2 webWindow 1: When we visited Pastor Martin Fara Tonguino, we experienced many difficulties over the 60-kilometer motorbike trip, but also saw the Lord’s hand at work. The village chief offered us a rooster, and we were welcomed with cola (a special show of hospitality). We distributed flashlights to allow better worship at night. The villagers shared a good testimony by stating that Pastor Martin is the pastor to the entire village.

Window 2: Papa Siba Aubin followed several religious faiths. He was confused and misled by the vice of alcohol. Papa Siba had been a liquor salesman, but the day he heard the gospel through Pastor Jean Baptiste, Papa Siba was changed. Touched by the good news, he and his family wanted to follow Christ. He left his bar. The hold alcohol had over him is now gone. Thanks to the teachings of VCP, Papa Siba opened a cell church in his house. Christ changed his life.

VCP in Solai, Kenya, by Pastor Philip Kamau

John Wakihia

John Wakihia

Window 3: I am John Wakihia. I was saved a few months ago. After I was saved, I was rejected by my family. I had been a drunkard. My wife left me, and for many days I was very lonely. Since Pastor Kamau led me to Christ, I have been changed. My family and my community trust me. I am praying my wife and I can be reconciled.

VCP Kenya, Center Nyakeyo, by Pastor Benson Gichure

Window 4: In July we visited a village called Mosobeti/Maraba.
“We are servants of God, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone who is ready to receive Him as Savior,” we told Mary, a woman sitting under a tree outside her home.

In her 64 years of life, Mary had heard many “servants of God” with many discouraging words and was not convinced we had good news. She had tried different churches but was told she could not be saved or share anything in the kingdom of God if she is a second wife. Some leaders promised Mary salvation if she had sexual relations with church leaders. One church allowed members to interchange wives. Some had rules that required bearing many children.
After hearing this heartbreaking story, we prayed for wisdom in how to share God’s unrestricted love for her.

church plant 6 webWe showed Mary many encouraging Bible verses about heaven and God’s promises. Finally, we told Mary that heaven is for holy people. After a long discussion, Mary agreed to receive Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. She welcomed us in her home, where we prayed with her and shared food with her. God moved in Mary’s heart to offer her home for a church. We have conducted four services in her home.

Editor’s Note: VCP is also referred to as Community Church Planting in some parts of the world.