Rainbow Church of Christ has been active in foreign missions for decades. Not only to we send financial support be we send our members to assist in the work we support.
Matt 28:18-20 referred to as the great commission- Jesus said, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things what so ever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you to, even to the end of the age.”
A brief summary of a few of those works Rainbow supports or actively involved with are as follows:
As history, Rainbow was initially using the World Bible School correspondence method to teach the lost in southern Africa, especially Zimbabwe in the late 1990’s . We supporting a native Zimbabwean missionary named Jacob Moyo to follow up and baptize these converts.
While we had many conversions, the effort was very time consuming and expensive for many of the students due to the high inflation and postage rates. We found that many students could not even afford the cost of a postage stamp to mail the lessons back to Alabama. We knew there had to be a better way.
Austin Vimba, a local Zimbabwean preacher known to us introduced us to a well educated and faithful member of the church at that time named Velaphi Mlangeni who was well known from his work in broadcast TV work in Zimbabwe.
We decided to open up a local World Bible School office in Bulawayo which helped us reach many more souls in a much more timely manner and where students could come in to the office and study and learn more about the Church and Velaphi Mlangeni was hired in 2002 to head up this work where he has now done so for over 17 years.
World Bible School Office
The World Bible School office has grown and is now located in the same building where the Bulawayo City Center church meets in down town Bulawayo. Velaphi, Stella (his wife), Prisca and Sipo work from this office.
Since it’s inception in 2000, 53 new congregations of the Lord’s church have been established with over 15,000 students and 3,000 conversions.
Zimbabwe has faced much drought and economic hard times. This has necessitated the need to buy food for families in rural areas facing starvation. This has been an ongoing work at Rainbow and our supporting congregations.
Rainbow, through our missionaries, distribute dozens of bags of mielie meal (coarse maize) to the members of the church in rural villages each month. One 10 kg bag will feed a family of 4 for one week. One bag now cost almost $8.00 USD. Most villages have between 25 to 60 families.
We realized a need for a more long term solution was needed. That solution is teaching drip irrigation for community gardens and drilling community wells (boreholes).
The drip irrigation work in Zimbabwe was organized by Rainbow and Jacob Moyo was sent to Zambia to learn this farming method to bring back this farming technique to local villages. Jacob along with his son, Nic, continues this work today and are now sponsored by the Concord Road church of Christ in Nashville. They teach drip irrigation farming techniques and preach the gospel.
Drip irrigation requires water and many young ladies are responsible for walking often miles every day to fetch water for the family. This is often dangerous and the water is often unhealthy. These young girls are unable to attend school because of their responsibilities to their family.
Rainbow, with support from our sponsoring congregations and our members funded 3 wells in 2019 in , and have sent the funds to complete a third well in . We have in 2020 drilled a well in
Bells , and have two additional wells funded for later in 2020.
These wells provide water to the villages allowing for irrigation of the community gardens and provides a long term solution to the people of the villages we help. The well pumps are often solar powered with a 2,500 liter tank called Jo Jo’s.
The School of Biblical Studies
The School of Biblical Studies, started on 20th August, 1989, with 12 students attending a 2 year Diploma course. In 1992 the school introduced a 3 year Diploma course. Then in 2002 the school introduced a 4 year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies. This degree prepares students to preach the gospel as well as teach Bible in Primary and Secondary Schools. One year later in 2003 SBS introduced our 4 year B.A Ministry course of study to prepare those who are willing to preach and work full time with local congregations.
In 2014, the School of Biblical Studies celebrated its 25th anniversary. It is now a university with multiple levels of study. The current enrollment is 106 students.
The 319 graduates since the school’s beginning are currently serving churches in Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Niger, Chad, South Sudan, Bangladesh, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Australia.
The School of Biblical Studies in Jos, Nigeria, under the direction of Solomon Aguh and his capable staff, is doing a great work.
The Rainbow church of Christ has partnered with the Gadsden Church of Christ, formerly the Central Church of Christ for many years in supporting the work in Jos, Nigeria. Many preachers have received preaching degrees returning to their homes in Nigeria and abroad to spread the gospel and establish new congregations.
Gospel Chariot Mission Program
This fine work under the oversite of the Northside church of Christ in Benton, Arkansas and is directed by George and Ria Funk.
As history, George and Ria Funk were baptized into Christ whilst running their own business in South Africa in 1986. The good news was just too good to not share which led them to becoming full-time workers in sharing the Gospel in Johannesburg. Since 1994, the work has grown to no longer be about a city or a country, but a continent.
They take pride in their ability to network and empower God’s people to fulfill the great commission across Africa. Gospel Chariot Missions partners with World Bible School, short term bible schools, and Nations University to equip men and women to be effective Christians in their communities. As George says and believes that “team work is dream work”
Read more about this work at gospelchariot.org. They have built trucks that is essentially a church on wheels which include sleeping quarters for evangelists, a storeroom to carry literature and supplies, a stage with a sound system to preach from, a tent that can sit 300, and a baptistery when someone needs to be baptized.
These trucks travel across 20 African countries all year round to preach the gospel.
Rainbow Hispanic Ministry
Rainbow has supported the Hispanic work at the Collinsville Church of Christ in Collinsville, AL for many years. This work is overseen by the Elders of the Sandrock congregation and has been successful under the direction of Carlos Perez. Rainbow recently began a Hispanic Ministry in Gadsden with the help of Carlos. Services are conducted each Sunday at 4:30 at the Rainbow Church of Christ at 2201 Rainbow Drive in Gadsden.