Vision & Mission
The Rapiers have had a sustained international ministry since 1981 and to Southern Africa since 1989. While the base of operation for their ministry has shifted from Southern Africa to the United States, the mission of their ministry remains the same.
Their ministry was born out of the personal discipleship Bill received first from the Navigators as a young man serving in the U.S. Army and subsequently from other Christian leaders while living in the Chicago area. That discipleship experience convinced Bill that mentoring others would be the focus of his ministry as a missionary. Bill also determined that mentoring/discipling church leaders would be the best commitment he could make to help the church of Christ succeed.
The ministry of African Leadership Development has evolved through several distinct stages. The first stage, from 1981 to 1989 in Germany, field tested and confirmed the importance of mentoring church leaders. The second stage, from 1989 to 1991 in Swaziland, validated the importance of mentoring church leaders in under developed countries in Africa and confirmed how the provision of resources could empower local church growth. Certain concepts of “remote ministry” were tested during the next stage of ministry, from 1991 to 1996, while living in the U.S. and dealing with significant family medical issues. Serving most recently in Southern Africa, from 1996 to 2004, (ALD was birthed in Africa in 1997) Bill began to link German and U.S. churches with churches in Southern Africa. This validated the concept of networking with the global church through “church partnering” programs. Now, back in the U.S., their ministry enters yet another stage. They believe the concept of partnering with churches in Southern Africa is ready for broader deployment among churches in the U.S.
Many churches in the United States have a rich and sustained commitment to worldwide evangelism. This is made manifest, at least in part, through the missionaries that churches financially support. Also, inviting missionaries to speak, conducting annual missionary events, reporting missionary profiles in church newsletters and adding new missionaries to the support budget all contribute to keeping missions forefront in the minds of church members. While having rich missions histories, U.S. evangelical churches face three key questions:
1. Are there new and additional methods that might be applied to engender deeper, personal passion within church members for worldwide missions?
2. Are younger generations of church members developing a passion for worldwide missions as prior generations have?
3. Are there practical methods by which U.S. churches can partner with the churches of their supported missionaries?
The Rapiers believe that the answer to these questions is “yes”.
One of the unique ways ALD has been able to "assist" the church is to develop a new orphan care ministry called Houses of Hope Africa (HOH). Please see the website for the latest updates. Thanks for partnering with us to see the kids lives changed!
What Are Pastors saying about ALD?
"Thanks Bill, for being there for me when I was going through a very tough time. The enemy was working hard to defeat me. You helped me keep going. Thanks!"
"If a guy like you can study, so can I." Edward has been encouraged to learn all he could and formalize it through getting an Honors, Masters, and working on his PhD in Missions.
"Merci! Mfundisi (Thanks pastor) The 15 years we have worked together has changed my ministry. I am a different pastor today. Thanks again."