Derek Morris, President of Hope Channel International
Impacting the continent, inspiring the world!
I was truly blessed to see what the LORD accomplished through the Hope For Africa evangelistic meetings, September 2-16, 2023, at the Newlife SDA Church in Nairobi, Kenya. This life-changing series of Bible-based sermons, inspiring health presentations, practical family life talks, and beautiful music, was broadcast to approximately 10,000 downlink locations in 11 countries across the African continent. All presentations were translated into seven languages: Kiswahili, Luganda, Kinyarwanda, Amharic, Arabic, French, and sign language. At the time of writing, more than 100,000 precious souls have been baptized and thousands more are preparing for baptism. We recognize that the results of the Hope For Africa evangelistic series were a direct blessing from God, but we also recognize that He used people to accomplish His mission of transforming lives.
What impressed me the most during the Hope For Africa meetings was the close collaboration between Hope Channel Kenya, the ECD Media team, Newlife SDA Church, Hope Channels across ECD, local churches, pastors, and lay members. Everyone worked together as one body in Christ. The result was truly amazing. On the final Sabbath, the response to Pastor Mark Finley’s closing appeal was overwhelming. The Spirit of God moved like a mighty rushing wind and hundreds of precious souls swarmed into Newlife SDA Church and pressed toward the platform. As I sat on the front row and witnessed the moving scene, I was reminded that everyone is precious to God. The Son of God left heaven at an infinite cost to redeem all who would accept His sacrifice on their behalf. I also realized that thousands more were responding to this same appeal at approximately 10,000 downlink locations across the continent of Africa and around the world. We were seeing the prophecy of Jesus fulfilled before our eyes: The harvest truly is great! (Luke 10:2)
What was the most important element that made the Hope For Africa meetings such a resounding success? The anointed preaching by Pastor Mark Finley? The outstanding health presentations by Dr. Chidi and Teenie Finley? The practical family life talks by Pastor David Mmbaga? The melodious choirs? The excellent organization by the media team? The answer is “all of the above”. Working together under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we witnessed a great miracle of God.
This collaborative spirit will be an inspiration to Hope Channel teams, church leaders, and church members around the world. Can you imagine the day when Hope For Africa is replicated on every inhabited continent with similar or greater results? We are told the final movements will be rapid ones. I say, “Hallelujah!”
While there was much rejoicing during the Hope For Africa meetings, there were also some moments of deep sadness and grief. On the final Friday morning, our gifted lifestyle medicine specialist, Dr. Chidi, received news that his precious wife Ucheena had passed away unexpectedly a few hours earlier. The news was devastating—and yet Dr Chidi demonstrated that, as followers of Jesus, we do not need to grieve like those who have no hope. While experiencing profound grief, Dr. Chidi gave thanks to God that his dear wife of 23 years, Ucheena, was so close to the Lord. He bore a living testimony that there is hope in Jesus even when we pass through the valley of the shadow of death. I appeal to all who read this Newlifer magazine to remember Dr. Chidi and his precious 7-year-old daughter Chiamaka in your prayers. This tragedy reminds us that we are living in a sin-ravaged world. How we long for the glorious return of Jesus when the dead in Christ shall rise in the blessed resurrection and we shall be reunited with our loved ones who have fallen asleep in Jesus. What a joyful reunion that will be. The Lord will wipe away all tears from our eyes. Then our loving Creator and Redeemer will create a new heaven and new earth where righteousness dwells. Hallelujah, Amen.
Hope For Africa is not the end of our missionary activity, but it is a vivid reminder that we serve a prayer-answering, miracle-working God. Like the Good Shepherd, He is searching for all His lost sheep. Like the woman, He is cleaning the house, looking for His lost coin. Like the loving father, He is looking into the distance, longing for His lost son to return. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and accept His gracious gift of salvation from the penalty and power of sin. Jesus is coming back soon to gather the redeemed of all ages but until that day we still have work to do. This everlasting Gospel must be preached in all the world as a witness to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Then, as Jesus promised, the end will come. He will return in glory and receive us to Himself, and we will live with Him for all eternity. He will create a new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells. This is our hope, Hope For Africa, and hope for all who will believe. Hallelujah. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!