By Jennifer Taylor
Christian Missionary Fellowship
P.O. Box 501020, Indianapolis, IN 46250
Doug Priest, Executive Director
Many people have learned of Christian Missionary Fellowship because of its work in Nairobi, Kenya; since 2006 Executive Director Doug Priest has invited ministers and other Christian church leaders to visit the area and learn about The Hope Partnership.
The Hope Partnership offers a strong Community Health Evangelism (CHE) program, teaches HIV/AIDs awareness and other basic health and wellness education, plants churches, and provides hope to the people living in the Mathare slums.
“At the Willow Creek Leadership Conference in 2006, Bill Hybels interviewed Bono,” says Priest. “The next day we began getting calls from pastors asking if we worked in Africa. I offered to take a few [of them] and show them the situation. Today more than 40 American churches support this work, and this year we’ll have our first Hope Partnership Dialogue to share best practices.”
Many of these churches promote the child sponsorship program, which CMF designed to be church-based.
“It’s about a church wanting to adopt an entire community,” Priest says. “The church partners with a specific area, and members sponsor the children, participate in short-term trips, build buildings, and really connect with the people who live there.”
CMF’s “Big Dent” program allows individuals and families to help the people of Nairobi create their own businesses. Microfinance loans are easy to give online, and the Hope Partnership team provides training and accountability for each new entrepreneur.
But CMF brings the same focus on holistic ministry and evangelism to many other parts of the world. Its Globalscope program has established campus ministries in Chile, England, Germany, Mexico, Spain, and Thailand. In the coming year the ministry will expand its work among the poor in Mexico City and Bangkok, develop a new campus ministry in Scotland, and begin working in Asia and Africa.
Like many of the missions listed here, CMF also partners with other ministries.
“Globalscope began as a summer internship program with kids from the Christian Campus Fellowship at Georgia Tech,” says Priest. “They asked for opportunities for more involvement, and since then more than 40 Tech students have worked at one of the campus ministries, some for a year or two, some for almost a decade.”
From Mexico City to the Ivory Coast, church planting is at the heart of CMF’s strategies. In Kenya, more than 10,000 people attend the 150 churches CMF has helped to plant. At the same time, CMF’s seven medical clinics for the Maasai people received national recognition and served 90,000 patients last year.
“Since our founding we have had several mission statements, but at heart they are all about world evangelization,” Priest says. “We believe this means obeying both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, demonstrating both faith and works, transforming both lives and communities.”
Jennifer Taylor, one of CHRISTIAN STANDARD’s contributing editors, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Read her blog at www.seejenwrite.com.