The Journey

“About 15 years ago my wife Helen asked me to prayerfully take a look at newsletters which had been faithfully sent to us with information about an Aussie couple, Kent and Ruth Hodge, missionaries in Nigeria. Helen knew that we were being “nudged” by the Lord. A new season was opening for Kent and Ruth and we were to champion them in every possible way. What a joy and privilege it has been to partner with them, open new doors for them, pray for them, cry with them, go with them and to witness them transforming lives in the thousands.

“Kent and Ruth are precious, passionate, focussed, Godly people. Powerful disciple makers and peace makers. Outstanding off-spring of the Prince of Peace. They mirror the Apostle Paul…”as poor, yet making many rich: as having nothing, yet possessing all things”. The story of Kent and Ruth Hodge and Christian Faith Ministries feels like a present day chapter of the book of Acts, with the Spirit of God as the author and the empowerer. I think it will be a long and triumphant chapter, telling of thousands of champions humbly rising and standing strong on the shoulders of these two amazing “imitators of Christ”.”

Ps Steve Blake.

co-founder, President, Liberty for the Nations. Australia

 


 

Kent and Ruth have been missionaries in Africa for 34 years since 1986. They first worked in the south of the nation helping to train 8,000 pastors who planted thousands of churches around Africa and the world.

Then at the end of 2006 they shifted with their team to centre in Jos, to reach the northern part of the nation. This is when their journey took on entirely new challenges they hadn’t faced in the south. It began with community violence which took thousands of lives. This reoriented their theology around Jesus’ call to follow him in enemy love and the new community Jesus said he was building, in contrast to the individualism that is prevalent. After this the terrorist organisation Boko Haram struck Jos for three years with attacks, daily at some points, which escalated prolonged conflict withing the city. Boko Haram spread throughout the north east regions of Nigeria, where Kent and Ruth’s Christian Faith Ministries (CFM) team serve those who are suffering.

CFM learned principles of peace that must be applied to conflict and injustice throughout the world. When CFM moved to its permanent 33-acre site at the centre of Nigeria’s hostilities between Muslim Fulani cattle herders and Christian crop farmers, they needed to go deeper into understanding the roots of conflict in the sub-Saharan region, where many people were being killed. Ethnic groups compete, striving for survival on degraded land. This brought CFM to learn the basics of environmental degradation and its causes, and to discover that the “solutions” put forward globally are often more profit driven than genuine. CFM embarked on regenerative farming methods that renewed its soils, greatly increasing output, and for the first time in decades brought peace between herders and farmers in their locality.

This is when the Covid-19 “pandemic” hit. Here the same monopolistic forces which dominate the degenerative farming methods that produce environmental destruction and hostility also work in the health industry. Prices are high, local health resources are relegated, rural regions remain undeveloped and the poor are left out of health care. Global aid often does not address local development issues with justice but connives with monopolistic forces that rape our nations. These forces must be dealt with for there to be peace. CFM’s calling is to be a witness to a new economy, one of sharing like we see in the book of Acts, where relationships are built, rather than domination.

In this embodiment CFM brings the gospel of Jesus Christ, who suffered and rose from the dead to birth us into God’s sabbath/ jubilee principles of restoration for our creation and communities. CFM trains pastors, opens churches, operates mission stations, nurtures victims of terrorism and persecuted believers in safe houses, runs schools for children, provides peace building and educative centres in computer and other vocational skills and operates a hospital. Please come on a journey with CFM in implementing the justice of Christ that renews our lives and nations.