It was passion for the lost among students that brought about the birth of Calvary Ministries. What God did among us at the time of the ministry’s inception is proof that God is no respecter of persons. He will use any vessel that is yielded to Him. A few exceptional young graduates in the 70’s went out of their way to raise, motivate, and challenge African Christians for evangelism and missions among target groups.
The Western missionaries did not believe that Africans could do missions. Hence, the missions’ concept was never incorporated into the curriculum of training for would-be missionaries. At best, Africans were sent to Bible Schools and colleges where they were taught pastoral care, and then assigned to pastor churches. With this background, it was difficult for the early African Church to accept a black man as a missionary; missions to them being only associated with the white man. God would not allow men to continue to box Him in a corner while He watched unreached nations slide into eternal hell, and so His eyes sought for men who would go for Him, and He found such among these young graduates.
Pa Elton was one of such encouraged these students. He had spent his life mostly in Western Nigeria as a missionary, and motivated youths to evangelize the nations. As one of these youths, my burden for the nations of Africa found great expression as we moved from one location to another preaching Christ.
By the early 70’s, Pa Elton who had constrained me to wait, told me, “Now you can go”, and I went on missions to the Northern part of Nigeria. I met a couple of youths on National Youth Service who had the same burden, also from the Western part of Nigeria.
The first vehicle we used for our outreaches, a Peugeot 404 for CAPRO came from TL Osborn Foundation through Pa Elton. This was used extensively in the north and even in Niger Republic. Apart from this, Osborn provided for my upkeep and maintained the vehicle for a while. At this time, the churches were unwilling to support the move of missions because it was still strange to them and they could not see it working. The youths themselves did not understand missions.
Without any training in Cross-cultural missions, the youths bonded themselves together to reach out to the Muslim North using the conventional method of mass evangelism. This however changed with time and experience. Consumed by their passion for lost souls however, the emerging missionaries pressed on and God honored their efforts with great fruitfulness.
Then CAPRO came into contact with the World Evangelical Crusade (WEC) in the Gambia and through them the concept of missions changed. We realized then that what we were doing was just evangelism. The frame-work of missions since then began to evolve and God in His providence began to confirm His word to us. Today, CAPRO owes its Structure, Church planting policy, Training, Media and Mobilization, Mercy work and development to the inspiration and support of individuals and organizations God brought along its way. With three decades of mission thrust, CAPRO is today, a model for many other mission minded groups. Even churches are beginning to open up, seeking to know more about the concept of missions as the Lord reveals Himself to them.
The current challenge is our planned entry into the Great Lake region and Southern Africa. The other is the need for defined strategy which has led to the introduction of a Special Missionary Training Program for professionals with a calling to “restricted” areas. It is a way of preparing career missionaries with vision and skill for the Arab world. CAPRO is stepping into this challenge and invites you to do the same!
By Amos Aderonmu, International Director of CAPRO