Guinea-Bissau is one of West Africa’s poorest of the poor. It is a former Portuguese colony, and today its population (1.8 million) is officially 50% animistic and 50% Muslim. In 2000, HCM sent a Brazilian missionary family there to pioneer a church-planting work. After intense labor under arduous circumstances, this outreach took root and grew. Today, the mission has more than 20 churches and 3 elementary schools.
Our churches today are indigenous. In their zeal for the Gospel, their outreaches emphasize evangelism and church planting. Our national pastors and their leadership teams train their laborers, send them out, and help them start new ministries. Churches are planting churches and pastors often lead multiple congregations.
Church locations may be a building with a roof or an open space under a mango grove. Regardless of location, they are growing in number and in faith.
Most buildings are small and simple. Members help erect the adobe structure by making mud bricks and setting them in place. HCM provides the church with the means to purchase the rafters, metal roof tiles, and labor expenses.
The byproduct of planting churches is Baptisms. Each year we are blessed to see between 50 to 100 baptisms as friends tell friends about Jesus and those friends surrender their lives to Christ.
Our Boat Ministry provides income for our church families through fishing and enables our members to reach out to coastal villages upriver through evangelism. We have planted eight churches through this outreach. The Boat Ministry has struck a good balance between Business and Mission – providing financial needs for our families and reaching the lost for Christ.
“Churches and Children” is our motto in Guinea-Bissau. We hope to start a school beside every church we plant. With a Christ centered and biblically based education, our schools help shape future generations of believers. To date we have three schools. We are prepared to build three more as the Lord provides.
Training and retraining our teachers are key components to educating and ministering to our students. Since these young adults grew up in a less than ideal educational system, we train them to teach under a new paradigm through clinics and seminars. Throughout the years, our training seminars gained a good reputation in the region and grew into biannual programs that reach significant numbers of our mission teachers, local public school teachers, and even teachers from neighboring countries.
Our pastors are passionate for evangelism and church planting, but many lack the biblical foundation needed to lead lasting ministries. As we “pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest field,” we also pray for the ability to train these leaders to be strong in their work. Our Institute for Development and Evangelism (IDE) aims to meet this need. We are halfway through the building process. Once the site is complete, we will implement our educational plans.
Our campus is a 2 acre parcel with tremendous Kingdom potential. It is located on the outskirts of the capital city and houses Bethel Christian School as well as the Institute for Development and Evangelism. We have several projects scheduled to complete this campus. We invite you to come help us on our annual short-term mission trips.