In the late 1700s and early 1800s, African-American Christians burst from the segregated worship settings of the country to form predominantly-African America denominations and churches. That early American movement of Christianity was not merely a reaction to exclusion and racism in White churches and denominations–though it was that, in part. The explosive growth of African-American churches and denominations also catalyzed gospel and church planting missions in the country, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa. For half a century or more, African-American Christians blazed gospel trails around the globe, until European colonization and imperialism chilled that fervor. Attention turned to matters at home and African-American missionary activity stalled to a near complete halt.
But in God’s mercy and goodness, African Americans continue on the mission field, spreading the gospel and bringing relief to persons in need of the Savior. Today, I want to introduce you to Lloyd and Jan Chinn, leaders with World Venture and members at Crossover Bible Fellowship in Houston, Texas. You can read a little about how they came to faith in Christ here. You can read Jan’s devotional blog here.
Lloyd and Jan, along with their two sons, served as full-time cross-cultural missionaries in Ghana for ten years before taking on a regional leadership role with their sending organization. Here’s a description of their current work according to the World Venture website:
We serve as International Ministries Director (IMD) for Africa. Our responsibility is in three areas: strategic planning, leadership development and organizational leadership. As IMD, some of what we are responsible for: providing pastoral care, leadership and supervision for international workers in Africa; assuring that WorldVenture personnel in Africa are being cared for and challenged toward ongoing personal and professional development; addressing personnel and field crises in Africa; and calling and leading international workers in Africa to spiritual, relational, and organizational health. We also have some responsibility for recruiting needed workers and identifying new fields of service.
Currently, we serve 108 units which comprises over 200 adults (some singles, some couples with children) in 12 different countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda); visiting each of the countries at least once per year. It is our sincere desire to see international workers across Africa spiritually empowered, unleashed to soar in their respective ministries and to facilitate the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ across the continent of Africa.
Imagine that–supervising 200 full-time workers in twelve different countries all over sub-Saharan Africa! To say they’re doing an incredible work is an understatement.
Not only are they doing work abroad, but they’re also working valiantly to re-engage churches in the States in gospel missions abroad. For one example, check out the upcoming BRIDGE Conference on August 24-25 in Houston, Texas.
They’ve also teamed up to write a study guide aimed at helping the church re-engage international missions: Expanding Your Global Vision: From the Front Door to the Frontier.
Take a few moments and get to know the ministry of the Chinns. You’ll be encouraged and blessed!