After December 2016, HeartCry will end support for missionary pastor Andrew Zekveld. If this statement stood alone, thoughts might tend toward the negative: “Why is HeartCry ending his support? What has he done?” Actually, in this case, ending support for Andrew is one of the most positive and encouraging steps we can take––it is cause for great rejoicing in our faithful God!
You see, HeartCry’s intention never is to support a missionary indefinitely. In order for a work to be truly indigenous, that church cannot remain dependent upon foreign support. As a part of Christ’s body helping one another, your donations assist new indigenous churches until they can stand on their own. The goal is always biblical, mature, financially independent churches.
The Lord has brought Living Hope Baptist Church in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, to this level of maturity with uncommon speed. Living Hope Baptist Church began just over three-and-a-half years ago, in February 2013. Dave Webster, a seasoned and well-respected pastor, labored to lay a solid foundation. In the first two years, attendance grew to an average of forty, and the Lord added two more elders, Gavin and Les. In the period of March through June of 2015, Pastor Webster handed over pastoral leadership of the church to Andrew Zekveld. Over the next year, average attendance grew to fifty, and finances strengthened significantly. In October 2016, the elders decided, by faith, to take the step of financial independence from HeartCry. Here are segments of the letter I received from Pastor Zekveld:
“The Lord is doing far more abundantly than we can ask or think…. Another blessing that has caught us completely off guard was in terms of our finances, which leads me to following up on the funding that we receive from HeartCry. When we set our budget for the new financial year, the elders planned to pay my full salary starting in January 2017. This was done partly in faith that God would provide and partly with some frugal adjustments. Since then (June), the Lord had decided to open His storehouses…. It feels like robbery now to receive the funds from HeartCry when the Lord has been so gracious to us. Knowing the ministry that HeartCry does, we are confident that the Lord might have much better uses for the money that comes our way each month.
“Therefore, the elders and congregation of Living Hope Baptist Church, Pietermaritzburg, would like to express our deep gratitude to HeartCry for her faithful financial and prayer support since the Lord had started this good work here. We are confident that He will build His church, and His hand is already clearly visible in our finances. We covet your prayers, but trust you can use the financial resources elsewhere in the New Year.”