In 1989, Assemblies of God leaders in Africa held a continental leadership meeting in Malawi. In unison, church leaders determined that the greatest hindrance to the anticipated church growth of the coming era was inadequate training. At that time the leaders felt that Bible training programs in Africa were not reaching their potential. They identified several issues, such as a lack of qualified teachers and inadequate resources for teacher training, which if not addressed would result in limited effectiveness for training a new generation of leaders.
The leaders also acknowledged a related problem: the practice of sending key national leaders to the United States for training, which, in some instances, resulted in losing the leaders to life and ministry in the United States or to other organizations. Moreover, the leaders expressed concern that African churches in general did not have a vision of the local church as a missionary-sending agency.
In response to this need, the Assemblies of God launched a training ministry called Africa’s Hope that quickly began to impact every major region of Africa. The presupposition for this ministry was that Spirit-empowered, biblically trained leaders are Africa’s hope. Under the direction of Dr. John V. York, his wife Joy, and their team of fellow workers, Africa’s Hope served as an umbrella ministry with multiple initiatives:
Africa Pentecostal Leadership Institute (APLI) provides quality leadership training to select church leaders.
Eleventh Hour Institute (EHI) raises missions awareness and vision in the African church.
Africa Library Services (ALS) provides books for libraries and facilitates training for library personnel.
Discovery Series offers a diploma-level curriculum that provides affordable material written from a Pentecostal perspective for the African context.
Endorsement assists schools in evaluating their mission and level of effectiveness.
Over the past two decades, Africa’s Hope has demonstrated an ability to discern needs and empower students. We continue to give this task our utmost devotion. We are on the eve of another phase of unprecedented evangelism and mission work. We should not ignore the opportunity before us.