My Hope uses a continuation of television, churches, and relationships to present simple Gospel messages to entire countries. Months of preparation are put toward this program. Since 2002, BGEA has brought the Gospel to 53 countries through My Hope. Here is how it works:
- My Hope coordinators train pastors in every region of each country about the My Hope project.
- Pastors train Christians in their churches to pray for others, then host them in their homes, inviting unsaved friends and family for refreshments and to watch the evangelistic national telecasts. These people are referred to as “Matthews,” based on the disciple Matthew, who brought many people to Jesus.
- At the conclusion of the My Hope broadcasts, hosts share their personal testimonies and invite their guests to receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
This project is targeted for early December.
The idea to do this project in Zambia stems from the Malawi project in November 2010. BGEA International Ministries leadership prayed about representatives from different countries in that region they could invite to observe the elements of the Malawi project. Zambia was one of countries that received an invitation.
Through prayer and conversations, BGEA leadership sensed very strongly that Zambia seemed ready for My Hope. Now, there is a team on the ground making preparations even now for this eternally crucial project.
It is the hope of BGEA International Ministries to see 6,000 churches involved in the project, having at least 10 people (Matthews) from each church trained for the broadcasts. If each of these Matthews can reach 10 people, that means 600,000 people could be exposed to the Gospel.
Zambia is fairly urbanized, so it is somewhat different from the highly rural populated Malawi, with 40 percent of its population living in cities. So there is a lot of work to be done in cities as well as the Zambian countryside. Even still, the My Hope Zambia team is preparing to do projections where television might not be available. Alternatives to the national broadcast are being prepared, such as DVDs and radio. Radio is highly important in places with no electricity.
Declared a Christian nation in 1991, Zambia is very open to something like My Hope coming to their country. However, the Zambian church needs to be emboldened to share the Gospel–the lay people more so than the pastors.
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“The level of clarity in the proclamation of the Gospel has gone down. That means there is a good chance of people not hearing a very sound Gospel. So, we need to go and engage the people,” said Hans Mannegren, Director of International Ministries for BGEA.
Mannegren also explained that in this country, the pastor tends to be the one the lay people look to for spiritual involvement. Many do not believe they, too, can share the Gospel. “Many believe they can’t do anything to be involved. Part of our job is to unleash them to be the witnesses they are. We want to say, ‘You can be a witness, and here is how.’ Through this, people often find they have a gift for evangelism. We want to empower them to do this.”
Even though the project is many months away, there is already a large amount of interest in it. One army chaplain approached the My Hope team, asking if there was a way he could train thousands of his troops. He explained that quite the majority of the troops are Christians. The impact of the Gospel in Zambia would be great, given the position and the exposure these troops are given to so many people.
“Personally I am very excited about Zambia. Pastors will be getting equipped. They are gaining evangelism tools. They have sermon outlines to use many times over. Also, the church members have been looking to them as only resource to reach people for Christ,” explains Mannegren. “Now, the Matthews will be unleashed and empowered. Then, Zambia will have an army for Christ. The impact this will have on the country is way beyond what we can imagine, and probably what we will be able to report.”