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Foreign Missions

Into all the world

World evangelization was the heartbeat of Pentecostal believers when the Assemblies of God formed in 1914. At the first General Council, they purposed to cooperate, send missionaries, distribute missions monies and reach the lost in the far-flung corners of our world. Not everyone could go to a foreign mission field, but all could have a part in the sending.

The fresh Pentecostal experience gave these pioneers a deep awareness of Christ’s command to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15, NKJV). With new spiritual boldness and determination, our founding fathers commissioned the first Assemblies of God missionaries and pledged their prayer and financial support.

Brave men and women dared to cross oceans, climb mountains and trek through jungles to reach areas where people had never heard the name of Jesus. They established indigenous churches – fellowships that are self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating – and multiplied their efforts by building Bible schools to train others. Their sacrifice and faithfulness laid the foundations that have enabled millions to find Christ as their Savior in the ensuing years.

Our fourfold mission statement succinctly defines the goals and vision of Assemblies of God Foreign Missions.

Reaching: We are proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ to the spiritually lost in all the world through every available means.

Planting: We are establishing indigenous churches, following the New Testament pattern.

Training: We are training leaders throughout the world to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ to their own people and to other nations.

Touching: We are touching poor and suffering people with the compassion of Jesus Christ and inviting them to become His followers.

Our overseas fellowships are growing exponentially. More than 1,800 missionaries minister in more than 160 countries, and nearly 35.7 million believers worship in an Assemblies of God fraternal fellowship overseas. Pastors and church leaders are being trained in 1,845 Bible schools and extension programs. Through ministries of compassion and medical missions, our missionaries are partnering with national believers to reach out to the poor and suffering.

Since 1914, the Assemblies of God has maintained its commitment to fulfill Christ’s command to reach everyone with the good news of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. The methods of world evangelism are more diverse than in those early years, but our message remains clear: "… there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12, NIV).

Saved and called

I grew up practicing the animistic traditions of my village in Burkina Faso. I often helped my uncle, the village chief, make sacrifices of chickens, goats or sheep. Because of my uncle’s high position, I had the opportunity to go to another village and attend a high school operated by Assemblies of God missionaries. While I was there, God touched my heart, and I committed my life to Christ and was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

After studying physical education at a university in Ivory Coast, I returned to Ouagadougou to teach and was chosen to be the trainer for the Burkina Faso national boxing team for the 1980 Olympic Games.

In 1981, God called me into full-time ministry and led me to the village of Nandila. We worked with a struggling church that grew to nearly 400 people.

Presently, I am district superintendent, studying for a doctorate in ministry at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and pastoring in Koudougou, Burkina Faso.

– Etienne Zongo

Koudougou, Burkina Faso

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