Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Beyond the Anchor Cross: Mission from Everywhere to Everywhere

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

When missionaries are commissioned for service by Global Ministries, an anchor cross is placed around their necks. The anchor cross is a symbol in early Christian iconography that serves as a reminder that we are firmly grounded in Christ while engaging in God’s mission.

By sending missionaries—including young adults—from everywhere to everywhere, Global Ministries is connecting the church in mission. Missionaries are partnering and engaging with volunteers; evangelizing and church planting through mission initiatives; addressing global health and diseases of poverty; and responding to the needs of local communities for the transformation of the world.

Learn about our missionaries, who will be featured regularly in “Beyond the Anchor Cross: Mission from Everywhere to Everywhere,” and consider supporting their life-transforming work.

Innocent P. Afful, originally from Ghana, is a missionary serving in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Afful works as a coordinator for orphans and vulnerable children for the Ecumenical Churches of Christ.

Read the article excerpted below from New World Outlook magazine, January/February 2016 issue, and watch a video highlighting Afful and the children he serves.

The Heart & Hands of Christ in the DR Congo

By Innocent P. Afful

As a missionary, I have the great privilege of serving God’s people in both rural villages and urban communities. I do this, as is written in James 1:27, by taking care of “orphans…in their distress” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo or DRC). The Heart and Hands of Christ Orphanage (Le Coeur et les Mains du Christ) in the Barumbu suburb of Kinshasa, DRC, currently houses 205 orphans.

Innocent Afful takes a little time out with children of the Hearts and Hands of Christ Orphanage in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
Innocent Afful takes a little time out with children of the Hearts and Hands of Christ Orphanage in Kinshasa, DR Congo. Photo: Courtesy Innocent Afful

Having come originally from Ghana, I now serve the Ecumenical Churches of Christ (ECC) in the DRC as coordinator for orphans and vulnerable children. Based in Kinshasa, the ECC is a council composed of 74 member denominations, including The United Methodist Church. This council represents 31 million believers, 320,000 congregations, 28,720 schools, and 48 colleges, and it is related to 60 percent of the medical centers in the DRC. My work, which is part of the Diakoinia Department, focuses on the most vulnerable children. In the Kinshasa area alone, there are estimated to be about 18,000 children who are in distress.

Many of our children in the Heart and Hands of Christ home are conflict orphans. From the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, after President Mobutu was removed from office, many conflicts raged across the country. Some of our children here today lost their mothers when, pregnant and forced to flee for their lives, the women were so weakened that they died while giving birth. Other children came from very poor homes, having been born to parents who were unable to care for one more.

Now that the widespread conflicts are over, you might think that Congolese children would be safe in their villages, but that is not always the case. In October 2015, we received three children who were brought to us from Bandundu, a province east of Kinshasa. The chiefs in their community were fighting, placing local families in jeopardy, so the children ran away. Someone found them wandering and turned them over to the social welfare system, which, in turn, brought them to the Heart and Hands of Christ Orphanage home. Now that they live with us, are registered in school, and have received their textbooks, they are doing a lot better than before.

Read the full story here.

Innocent Afful

Innocent Afful



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