A mission of hope

People gather under a large tree for the crusade.
People gather under a large tree for the crusade.

Bishop Alfred Jackson and six members from his church, Tabernacle of Praise Church International in York, visited a village called Limbe, Malawi, in Africa last month.

The group spent 10 days in the country, with a population of 13.6 million people, heading up crusades, leadership training and ministering to the area children and adults. Malawi is about the size of Pennsylvania and is located in the middle of the countries Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania in Africa.

Jackson stayed in Africa for an additional nine days during the visit to spend time at another mission in Kenya. The 53-year-old has been traveling to Africa working with various missions since 1986. Those missions have led him to become founder and CEO of the nonprofit Kingdom Covenant Ministries International, whose goal is to repair the breaches and rebuild the walls of Christianity. It is made up of 15 churches in the Carolinas, Georgia and Texas.

KCMI is working in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Malawi. Jackson estimates a total of $250,000 has been spent within the past three years in assisting the various missions in Africa with necessities such as food, as well as financing for the mission trips.

Fundraising auction Dec. 1

To continue the work in those countries, KCMI will host its third annual Missions Gala/Silent Auction at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 at Grace Lutheran Church, 426 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill. The speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Steve Strauss, director of the Serving In Mission USA. Tickets are $35 and can be obtained by calling 684-0103 or (704) 578-6845. Donations can be sent to KCMI, 229 Wood St., York, 29745.

We recently caught up with Jackson to find out about their October mission trip to Africa and the importance of the work they are doing.

Q. What has KCMI been able to accomplish in Malawi?

A. "We have one school in Malawi that goes up to the 10th grade (it's the last grade required for schooling) and a building for them to prepare food. We bought teaching materials for the kids. Most of the children are orphans and very poor." He also said they have about 325 children attending the school.

Q. What are KCMI's goals?

A. "We need to rebuild the fabric of society and the walls of Christianity that have been torn down through neglect, compromise, lack of integrity, abuse and all the other things that happen when the church is not strong."

Q. Why do you visit those African countries?

A. "The response to the gospel is so much greater in the country. There is so much of a sense of need. They want to hear about Christ. God did say go out unto the world. I believe his intentions were for the entire body of being Christian-minded, not to be only minded with the needs at home but all over the world. We are so blessed here in American that we take so much for granted like water, electricity and roads."

Q. On your first mission trip to Liberia in 1986, what do you remember most?

A. "The smell of the water. We had to boil it before drinking it. The day I left there, I knew I would be going back. It stirred my limitations and expectations. I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about Africa."

Q. What are the latest projects in Africa and future goals?

A. "The school building in Liberia is not complete. It needs a roof. The main thing we focus on is feeding those children. It costs $1,000 a month. Once that is taken care of, the money is then dispersed and given to support several pastors with monthly financial support and assist them with educational training, leadership training for marriage and family. We want to establish businesses in those countries so the people can establish it themselves. We want to create resource/business centers. We are working to create that with computers with Bible study software for the pastors to study. On the business side, it would be an Internet cafe." The mission group also envisions providing medical clinics, and well for fresh, clean water.

Q. When are you planning to visit Africa again?

A. "I'm going to Liberia in December. I plan to spend a week there before Christmas."