Into-Africa was established by Pastor Alvin Smith to be an auxiliary resource to our works/workers in West Africa to help support the incredible burst of church planting in the 2000’s. This not only includes finances for facilities, wells, special needs etc. but Into-Africa is also extremely effective at garnering credibility and favor with host governments.
Into-Africa, Inc. is a bona fide 501(c)(3) charity incorporated in 2007. IA is a member of the ECFA (Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability) an accreditation that entitles a ministry to use the sought-after ECFA seal of approval. The continuing use of the seal depends on the ministry’s good faith compliance with all ECFA Standards. Joining ECFA is an arduous process due to their requirement for lots of documentation and exceptional record keeping.
IA has five board members that serve as trustees and counsellors. The consisting members of the board are Alvin Smith (Director), Harold Warner (Senior Pastor), Steve Anderson (former missionary), Mark Kinney (church council member), and Brett Heck (local business man). Their purpose is to provide oversight to the important decisions that affect the various projects of IA. IA has no employees, therefore everyone that serves does so on a voluntary basis.
Into-Africa might be best understood as the humanitarian wing of our world evangelism efforts. As things pan out, the remarkable revival in Sierra Leone, has not only put workers into many nations in West Africa but also into rapidly changing Europe. The idea of IA was born out of tackling this dilemma: How do we support an explosive church planting thrust in the poorest nation on earth where great human need is a constant reality? The oft quoted verse, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17) is contextually a stern admonishment not to overlook the basic human needs of those we minister to. In short, IA adds alms to the altar calls.
The Lion’s share of funds raised for IA are from outside supporters. Most of them are Christian businessmen who are not a part of our congregation looking to give to a good charity. As they hear about what God is doing through our workers and the needs common to the continent of Africa they’re pleased to respond.
To a much lesser extent IA is funded by individuals that give intermittently –the same way they would give to any other charity they feel is effectively meeting needs. Typically, these contributors, after hearing about IA, approach IA with a desire to help in some way; financially, joining a project team or going on a medical mission.
Into-Africa works in concert with the Lighthouse Medical Mission led by Dr. Bob Hamilton. LMM is an outreach vehicle that has touched multitudes of souls and opened many wonderful doors in Africa and other parts of the world. In many of the African nations where we serve we are required (or strongly encouraged) to provide some form of humanitarian relief to maintain a presence there and these teams more than meet the need.
There is more happening here than vaccinations and tooth pulling. The strategy is to offer medical services during the day as the church conducts a revival meeting at night. Many seeking medical attention wind up getting saved and healed in a revival service. Impact is not only made on them but many times the medical professionals fall under the power of the Holy Spirit as well.
Like all ministry, the blessing is reciprocal. A nurse in the Tucson congregation, Flo Johnson, has been on nine medical teams and has taken several co-workers with her. After seeing all that God is doing these people are changed forever. The same can be said about the many Fellowship workers that have had the opportunity to serve on one of these teams.
Into-Africa dedicates a large part of its budget to building multi-purpose facilities that can be utilized as a church, a school, or a clinic. We have learned that tents do not fare well in the climate of West Africa so we attempt to build structures wherever the work warrants it. These buildings become the base of other ministry opportunities as well. For example, without these buildings there would be no accommodations for the medical teams.
The following are the nations and cities in which we have constructed Church buildings: Bo, Sierra Leone (Central), Bo, Sierra Leone (Kandeh Town), Kenema, Sierra Leone, Kenema, Sierra Leone (Kissy Town), Lunsar, Sierra Leone, Port Loko, Sierra Leone, Makeni, Sierra Leone, Wilberforce, Sierra Leone, Moyamba, Sierra Leone, Rokel, Sierra Leone, Tongo Field, Sierra Leone, Kabala, Sierra Leone, and Cotonou, Benin.
Into-Africa played a role in assisting our churches in Sierra Leone and Liberia during the recent Ebola outbreak. We sent large amounts of bleach, protective garments, food and financial aid. When you consider that these countries were shut down for almost a year because this threat, you can see how crucial our efforts can be when supporting the preaching of the Gospel with humanitarian assistance.
Into-Africa’s most important goal is supporting this explosive church planting enterprise. We zealously give ourselves to this wonderful vision in which God has given us the privilege to serve.
All Financials are available to our sponsors and donors. Please send your request to Asmith@Into-Africa.org.
Thank you for all of your support.
Dr. Alvin Smith | President & CEO