The greatest need of the church both here and abroad is the training of laborers in sound doctrine, godliness, and the ability to communicate God’s truth to God’s people. Therefore, we believe that we can best advance the cause of Christ in the world through the training of His ministers in biblical doctrine and practice (II Timothy 2:2).
As Christians living in the West, we have an almost unlimited access to the Scriptures, we may study in the Bible institute or seminary of our choice, and we are privileged to have most of the great books of Christianity translated into our own language. This has been God’s blessing upon the West, and there is no need for us to apologize for our abundance. However, such blessings should motivate us to make the same resources and opportunities available to our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world.
It is this sense of blessing and debt that moves the HeartCry Missionary Society to train and provide resources for indigenous missionaries in some of the most remote parts of the earth. Our goal is to strengthen them in the very foundations of the Christian ministry (hermeneutics, theology, expository preaching, intercessory prayer, sacrificial service, and personal evangelism), that they might be faithful and effective ministers of God.
To put it bluntly, our passion and goal is to demonstrate to God’s men that God’s Word is not only inspired but also sufficient for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17). If they will be diligent to present themselves approved to God as workmen who do not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15); if they will “give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (I Timothy 4:13); if they will “preach the word, being ready in season and out of season to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (II Timothy 4:2); then God will prosper their ministries, and God’s people will be blessed through them.
In striving toward our goal of building up the indigenous church and its ministers, we have adopted the following means.
We consider the training of HeartCry missionaries, pastors, and evangelists to be one of the greatest privileges entrusted to us by God. This training takes its most personal form in our semi-annual Bible conferences, which are held in the countries where there is greatest need. Throughout the year, we are able to have an influence on the theology and praxis of hundreds of worthy laborers, many of whom have not had the privilege of studying in a formal Bible institute or seminary. A conference is usually held for four days, and the main areas of concentration are hermeneutics, systematic theology, expository preaching, pastoral ministry, family, and devotion. Once the conference is finished, the video recordings are uploaded to the HeartCry website and distributed by various other means within the country to make the material available to as many hearers as possible.
At the moment, we have been blessed with a wonderful group of pastors, teachers, and evangelists from around the globe who make up our conference teams. They are men who have given themselves to know God and His Word. The conference speakers see this work as a privilege and often either pay their own way or are sponsored by their home church. Such dedication on their part allows us to continue directing the greater part of the donations entrusted to us to the needs of the indigenous missionaries.
In many ways, the HeartCry conferences function as a double blessing in that those who teach often return to their home countries as blessed and encouraged as the indigenous missionaries who have been taught. It is very encouraging to teach the Word to laborers who sit on the edge of their seats to hear every word and who soak up truth with overwhelming gratitude and joy.
Another ministry through which we seek to equip indigenous missionaries is theological education. In addition to regional conferences for our missionaries, we also support several training institutions.
In Zambia, HeartCry helps fund three ministerial colleges: the Lusaka Ministerial College in the capital, Covenant College in the east, and the Copperbelt Ministerial College in the north. In Kenya, HeartCry supports the Kenyan Reformed School of Theology, which currently trains pastors from Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan.
In Peru, South America, HeartCry supports the Baptist Theological Centers (CTB) based in the capital city of Lima. It is founded and directed by British missionary David Barnes, and it is designed specifically for pastors already serving in the ministry. The Lord has expanded CTB’s ministry and influence over the past three years, and they are currently instructing over one hundred pastors and other students in several different locations throughout Peru’s cities, mountains, and jungles.
Partnership with 9Marks
9Marks, along with senior pastor Mark Dever and the Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in Washington, D.C., have been at the forefront of calling churches back to the standard of Scripture. They have produced a plethora of sound literature on the church and have developed a program to train men in the context of their church.
In the past two years, HeartCry has partnered with 9Marks by distributing their literature in many areas where we work. We also provide scholarships for indigenous missionaries to study in 9Marks’ extended International Intensive. This ten-day training program at CHBC gives pastors a “behind-the-scenes” look into the work of pastoring and the practical ministry of the church. We believe that this is an absolutely essential ministry. Churches, both at home and abroad, need biblical pastors who are committed to organizing and directing their churches according to the pattern set forth in the Scriptures.
HeartCry has given several scholarships to indigenous ministers so that they may study in seminaries here in the U.S. and abroad. Pastors and missionaries from Belarus, Nepal, India, Peru, Jordan, and Romania have benefited from this ministry to this point.
China Bridge Conferences
Every two months for the last several years HeartCry has sent preachers and teachers to Los Angeles and Toronto to preach to the Mandarin-speaking Chinese community. These sermons are then uploaded to various websites that are available to Chinese Christians in China and throughout the world (approximately one billion people worldwide speak Mandarin). Last year, it was decided to work exclusively through the Toronto location. The primary objective is to teach sound theology and practice to the Chinese Christians around the globe. Some of the main themes have been: the doctrine of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance and faith, regeneration, justification, and sanctification. A few years ago, Dr. Sam Waldron and others taught through the 1689 London Baptist Confession for more than a year. Brother Paul Washer has been teaching through the doctrine of God for the last two years. We currently have two hundred and thirty-five sermons available, and the project has accumulated Chinese listeners from around the world.
At times we are asked to support works and missionaries in different areas of the world where there is lack of leadership and/or theological immaturity. Such cases present us with something of a dilemma. In keeping with our missionary selection and accountability process (see pages 18-20), we cannot support missionaries through such a work; however, neither can we simply ignore the need. In such cases, we believe that our only biblical response is to provide them with training—as long as it is possible for us to do so without neglecting our other works. When the Pharisees asked Jesus’ disciples why He ate with tax collectors and sinners, He replied, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice’” (Matthew 9:12-13). Throughout the globe, there are sincere Christians who are immature and even unsound in many doctrines of the Christian faith because of a lack of instruction. Although we cannot endorse their works at the present, we can give ourselves to instruct them “until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. [And as] a result, we are no longer like children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:13–15).