He started along with a few others with prayer support for missionaries, and then gradually began to raise funds for a few of them. Today, Rev Toyin Kehinde is leading a huge support base for missionaries across Africa.
With Global Mandate Conference, Kehinde who is the Senior Pastor of Agape Generation International Church is reaching out to hundreds of missionaries, providing regular funding for them irrespective of their denominations or the mission agency.
He told Church Times in a recent chat that he has learnt over the years to obey God and follow his leading. He said, “The mission project has become bigger and larger than me. Every vision is always bigger and greater than the man who carries the vision. It is now left for the person with the vision to trust God and believe him to carry out the vision.
“Great things always begin small. Every vision starts small and it grows. With faith consistency and courage, you will grow it. At Global Mandate Conference, we keep improving and building every year. We have seen God move from the little level to where we are today.”
He noted that support for missions is a major need in the body of Christ. “Many missionaries are suffering silently even those from mainline churches. Few people are thinking of them. It is a major need. Many have left the field because they don’t get support. Many of their children are vowing not to serve the Lord when they see the pain their parents are going through. Some of them have lost steam.”
Missionaries leaving their field
Rev Kehinde recounted the story of a missionary who abandoned the field and came to cool off in Lagos. “After leaving the field, he came to see a family friend and decided to worship in our Church along with the family friend. It was around the time we were having the yearly conference for missionaries.
“When he saw that the conference objective is to look after missionaries, he broke down and was crying and said he was a backslider. He said he did not know there was something like GMC. He is now back on the field. This is just one out of many other instances of people abandoning the mission field for lack of support.
“Some leave due to old age and never get anybody to replace them. Some leave because of sickness and so many other reasons. What we are doing in GMC is finding all possible ways to support them. We harness support from city pastors and people who have a heart for missions and distribute to missionaries who need them. So we keep appealing to people to think of missionaries and send support to them as God gives them grace.”
Beyond support, Kehinde noted they also need fellowship together. “During the yearly conference, missionaries come from across Nigeria and some African countries. They come to share experiences and tell their stories. The fellowship encourages them because they see colleagues who are going through their kind of challenge and are also able to overcome the challenge. Those who have attended once don’t like to miss it.”
The organisation according to him, has been running on the currency of faith, trusting God each year to make the supply. “We set out to do the work every year and set our budget. We then wait on the Lord to make provision. As he provides, we deploy the funds. We spend millions yearly to bring the missionaries to the conference and also give monthly support to some”
How to know productive missionaries
But how does GMC monitor the performance of these missionaries? “One of the things we request from them is to send periodic reports which show what they do on the field. We do trust they are faithful in the reports. If we don’t get reports from them, that is a red signal.
“But then several things could be responsible for their non-performance. We try to find out what is going on. You may not expect converts on daily basis on the field but then, the missionary must be seen to be doing something in the direction of reaching out to souls.
“We understand that conversion is the work of the holy spirit. Our duty is to preach the gospel. What we do is support the missionary to be able to do the work. If the missionary is equipped and does the work and yet there is no fruit, the next thing is to intensify prayer for the work. We may have to rethink the strategy, mode of operation and also look at the disposition of the missionaries.” he said.
Tough mission field
On seemingly tough mission fields, Kehinde said, “Before you go to a field, it is with the view that God is asking us to go. We must have the persuasion that God is sending us. If you don’t have the persuasion, you don’t go. The other thing is that where God does not speak specifically, we can use our knowledge of what is happening globally and see where the gospel can be preached.
“Even though the Lord has not spoken expressly we till go ahead. There are times we take the move. But God may restrain us. We seek the face of God. We look at our strengths, and weaknesses and make decisions.”
He shared the experience of a mission field in Ogun State where he carried out evangelism some years ago. “In that community which is around Atan/Agbara, the inhabitants were impervious to the gospel because of some diabolical powers that have been operating there for years.
Read also: 2022 Global Mandate Confab: When missionaries met with City pastorshttps://churchtimesnigeria.net/global-mandate-city-missionaries/
“The few people that wanted to give their lives to Christ were restrained. There is a footpath that leads to the town, whenever it rained, the place never got wet. They told us there is a strong occult presence that defied a solution. When we got there we assured them God would break that power but also requested that if God did it, they should surrender their lives to Christ. They agreed. So we prayed.
“Before we left the village, rain began to fall. The same place that never got wet for years became wet. That brought revival to people, I remember also going to preach in India some years back. We got to the city and were told it was against the law of the land to convert people to any other religion.
“In fact, the secret police came to us and collected our documents. We used a school compound for the programme. The brethen there said we should just talk about the love of God and not ask people to surrender to Jesus.
“But I just made up my mind, to defy them. God was so faithful that day. Signs and wonders began to happen. The police officers that were to monitor us rushed forward to give their lives to Christ even without making an altar call. And the police became our friends.”
GMC 2023: harvesting in a digital world
The theme of this year’s GMC is Harvesting in a digital world. It will start from Badagry on Monday, April 17 and 18, also in Alimosho, on April 19 and 20, and then Lekki, on April 22 and 23. The organisation will be hosting about 110 missionaries from Nigeria and six African countries.