25 Years Since My Repentance…as a Pastor

01 Sep

25 Years Since My Repentance…as a Pastor

Image of child in UgandaAn unforgettable Ugandan smile

25 Years Since My Repentance…as a Pastor

David’s Third and Final Photo Blog from East Africa

Dear Family,

Ever since my repentance, as a pastor, about 25 years ago—a repentance that was precipitated by an honest reading of Matthew 25:31-46—I’ve been trying to serve those whom Jesus referred to as the “least of these.” During the same time, I’ve been continually burdened by the fact that most professing Christians do not have the “least of these” on their spiritual radar. For them, caring for the poor and marginalized among our spiritual family isn’t a component of their faith in Christ. But it should be. The New Testament makes that abundantly and overwhelmingly clear. It warns that, if we don’t care for the suffering poor among our spiritual family, we aren’t actually members of that spiritual family (see, for example, Matt. 25:31-46; 1 John 3:14-19). We don’t actually love Jesus!

I eventually wrote a thorough book on this subject titled, Through the Needle’s Eye: An Impossible Journey Made Possible by God. Anyone can read it for free at DavidServant.com. Then I wrote a very truncated version titled, Forever Rich, that is all about laying up treasure in heaven. That book can also be read for free at DavidServant.com, and we’ve given away thousands of hard copies over the years. Both books make a strong case for biblical stewardship that includes caring for the poor. Biblically, this truth is inescapable. But when was the last time you heard a sermon about it? Caring for the “least of these” is not on the spiritual radar of most pastors. They receive offerings every Sunday, and most of the money is used to serve the people who “gave” it! Very little, if any, is used to relieve the sufferings of fellow believers who are hungry, thirsty, naked, and so on.

After 25 years, however, I’m still on the same track. And I won’t be getting off of it until Jesus calls me home. I am thankful for all of you who have joined me in building the ministries of Heaven’s Family over the past 20 years. Together, we’ve made many sacrifices and invested a lot of time and energy, as well as tens of millions of dollars, into caring for the “least of these” in over 80 nations of the world. With the Lord’s help, we’ll invest hundreds of millions more in the decades to come.

I anticipate that those hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in much more “development” than “relief.” One way to describe the difference is relief gives food whereas development gives seeds. Relief should only be temporary, as it is never sustainable and it can easily create unhealthy dependencies. Development helps people become self-sustaining to care for themselves and others, including those who temporarily need relief.

And that is why I am so excited about how Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way Ministry, coupled with our Disciple-Multiplication Ministry, is transforming thousands of lives among East Africa’s extremely poor. There is no doubt that it will continue to transform lives, generationally, because good news naturally spreads. Such a momentum has started that, if we stopped any and all efforts from our side of the Atlantic Ocean, eventually all of East Africa will be “Farming God’s Way,” perhaps in a hundred years. If, however, we can work to overcome the obstacles—such as ignorance, unbelief, superstition, and tradition—we can greatly accelerate the speed at which Farming God’s Way, coupled with the genuine gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, spreads through rural East Africa. It will be revolutionary.

And that is where you come in. It only costs Heaven’s Family about $34 to train one household head in the basic methods of Farming God’s Way, with the result of doubling or tripling the next harvest’s crop yield. That increase turns a failing subsistence farmer into a successful cash-crop farmer, which means he or she can begin to participate in the local economy, which benefits everyone. Successful farmers can afford to send their children to school, as well as buy some chickens or goats to feed them. Family members are less sick because of better nutrition. Marriages and families are strengthened. And most importantly, disciples of Jesus are made through what some are calling “Agricultural Evangelism.” The evangelists have double good news to share!

Will you join me in supporting Heaven’s Family’s Farming God’s Way ministry every month? $34 per month will result in one family being lifted from extreme poverty every single month. In one year’s time, your investments could lift 12 East African families from extreme poverty through their newly-gained knowledge of Farming God’s Way and their own hard work. (Imagine doing that for 20 years and meeting 240 families in heaven who will be thanking you for changing their lives!)

If you will join me, Jerry Jefferson, who directs both our Farming God’s Way and Disciple-Multiplication Ministries, will be sending you bi-monthly updates that highlight the transformation of one East African family. If you are ready to start investing, click here. And thanks in advance!

Below are five more photos from East Africa with captions. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

David Servant's signature

David Servant
President, Heaven’s Family

Image from trip to AfricaDominic was our waiter at a Nairobi Airport restaurant. He works 14-hour days, 6 days a week, and makes $120 per month. He has an associate’s degree in Business Management and is saving money to go back to get his bachelor’s degree. We gave him at $25 tip and a booklet I wrote that explains the gospel.

Image from trip to AfricaThis precious little girl’s father left her mother and the family seven years ago. Her mother was destitute, but is now prospering through Farming God’s Way, and she can afford to send her children to school.

Image from trip to AfricaIn one part of Uganda where we traveled, it is the custom for women to greet men by kneeling on both knees! When I returned such a greeting by getting down on my knees, onlookers almost had heart attacks!

Image from trip to AfricaThis young man discovered that he could make more money Farming God’s Way than he could as a software engineer!

Image from trip to AfricaThis Kenyan woman was so exuberant about her success utilizing Farming God’s Way. She represents one of thousands whose lives are being changed for time and eternity because some professing Christians actually love Jesus, and they reveal it by their concern for the “least of these”!

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