Sowing Seeds of Joy

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We prepare, plant, and harvest; our blueprint for ministry: prepare the
soil in prayer, plant the seed of the Gospel by faith, and harvest souls for
God's kingdom. We train, prepare, and lead you on mission trips. The aim
to challenge you to step out your comfort zone and to experience God
with new eyes.

Operating as usual

[04/10/21]   Where Are All the Black Missionaries?
Tags: Cross Cultural Global Church
April 2021

By Chris Kemp, Sowing Seeds of Joy Board Member

“Where are all the Black missionaries?” I first heard this question on a short-term mission trip to Papua New Guinea about ten years ago. My team and I found ourselves in a small village talking with some of the locals, and this man wanted to know about America. “We have seen the White missionaries come, but where are all the Black missionaries? Have you forgotten about us?” His question was a good one, and although I believe it was innocent, it stung a little. Where are all the Black missionaries?

It’s a hard question to answer, and a complex one. People of color have certainly not been absent from the world mission’s movement of the Christian church since its inception. People often forget that Israel lies at the crossroads of three continents – Africa, Asia, and Europe. Consequently, when the church began, it began in a context of diverse races and ethnicities passing through or living in the Holy Land at the time.

In chapter 8 of the book of Acts, we see the apostle Philip witnessing to an Ethiopian eu**ch. As he explains the gospel, the Ethiopian comes to believe in Jesus as his Savior and said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). He was baptized and he returned to Ethiopia with the gospel, and is often credited with being the first missionary to Ethiopia, which still has a Christian witness today.

What’s more, the early church saw other people of color leading the church from early on. The first apostles were Middle Eastern Jews, and Paul was from Syria. It’s doubtful they looked like the northern Europeans they’re often portrayed as in popular art. Black, Brown, and White people have comingled and intermarried in this part of the world for millennia prior. Even Moses’ wife was Black.

I think it would be fair to say most people in the Middle East are brown skinned, it’s pretty sunny there. And though we don’t have physical descriptions of all the apostles, we do have one of the early church fathers, Athanasius. He was the man who stood for the doctrine of the Trinity against the A***n controversy of the 4th century, which threatened to destroy the church, and he was a person of color. He also played an integral part in the Council of Nicaea, that would inform core Christian Doctrine for the next 1600 years until today. He was Egyptian, and referred to as ‘the Black dwarf,’ as noted by church historian Justo Gonzalez.

Missions did not begin with Europeans. However, when Europeans began to be missionaries as well, they wrote about it and kept good records, which is why we know who they are. The gospel spread over the entire known Roman world and beyond primarily due to Middle Eastern and African Christians. Missions by ‘people of color’ actually predates European missions. So, the first part of our answer is that Black missionaries have always been there, from the very beginning. But what about today? And what about the African American church in the United States specifically?

To answer that question fully, we would have to take a step back at history and address slavery, segregation, Jim Crow laws in America. Although time won’t allow us to address all of these issues, suffice to say African Americans weren’t free for a long time to travel anywhere, let alone to other countries. The oppression of slavery crippled the Black church’s ability to spread its witness beyond the borders of its own nation.

The first African American missionaries we know of like George Liele and John Marrant, found themselves on the side of the British during the American Revolutionary war, which opened up opportunities to leave America’s shores. Liele eventually ended up preaching in Jamaica, and Marrant in Nova Scotia, England, and even to the Cherokee in America.

It’s only in the post-civil rights movement era, as the foot of racism has begun to be removed from the neck of the Black church that it has become possible for African Americans to imagine opportunities to spread the gospel beyond their own communities. And as awareness begins to grow, a small but growing number of African Americans have heeded the call to leave their native shores for foreign ports of call with the gospel.

Today we see missions’ organizations like Sowing Seeds of Joy that are committed to mobilizing communities of color, where in decades past this was even less common. More Black missionaries are returning to nations connected to the African diaspora, and parts unconnected thereof, with the message of salvation by faith alone in Christ. And not only are they doing it with words, but also in song. The music that rose like a phoenix from the ashes of slavery, Black gospel music, has touched people around the world. From Spain to Japan there are Black gospel choirs, full of natives of those countries who love the music, and through it, are learning to love the Savior it sings about.

Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…”

The work of African Americans rising up as missionaries is only really beginning in earnest in America. There was an understandable delay, as for many years the Black church had its hands full with overcoming slavery, Jim Crow, and soul crushing oppression. But that is no longer true. Although there is still work to be done in America, a new generation is arising with eyes that can see abroad.

With each passing year, I hear more Black Christians telling me they want to go on missions and serve the Lord abroad. And they make good on their promises, I’ve been on many short-term mission trips with them. So, to my friend who asked where all the Black missionaries are, I would say this, “I’m here now, and more are on the way.”

Located in Dallas, TX., Sowing Seeds of Joy is a Missions Training and Mobilization organization. Its missions… “As a bridge to the nations, Sowing Seeds of Joy engages the Black, African American, and People of Color communities through cross-cultural missions training, discipleship, and spiritual formation for the work of advancing God’s Kingdom. To learn more, go to

Chris Kemp is a husband and father of three wonderfully energetic children. He has a Master’s in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Bachelors of Journalism and a minor in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is an ordained minister. He has gone on 12+ mission trips on 4 different continents and lived in Spain for six months. He and his family love travel and seek to spread the love of God wherever they go. Also, he and his wife are happy to partner with Ron and Star Nelson, the founders and leaders of Sowing Seeds of Joy, to help mobilize people of color for missions.

Invitation from Ted to Attend the Mission Leaders Conference 04/01/2021

Invitation from Ted to Attend the Mission Leaders Conference

Mission Leaders Conference
As the board chair of this tremendous missions organization, I highly recommend this conference. REGISTER NOW

Meet People You Otherwise Won't Meet
The Mission Leaders Conference brings you face-to-face with other leaders in the Great Commission community. It's a place to network and catalyze relationships in global missions.
Choose from 80+ sessions including 12 workshop tracks with almost 100 presenters. Join us for three days of collaboration, forging new networking relationships, and learning new ideas.
Watch the invitation video
September 2021
Hyatt Regency
DFW International Airport /
Broadcast Worldwide

Invitation from Ted to Attend the Mission Leaders Conference Invitation from Ted to Attend the Mission Leaders Conference Meet People You Otherwise Won’t Meet The Mission Leaders Conference brings you face-to-face with other leaders in the Great Commission community. It’s a place to network and catalyze relationships in global missions. Choose from 80+ s...


Join us! 🙏🏾 Pray, Give. or Go!
Mendenhall,Mississippi🌾 Summer 2021 Travel-Learn and Serve. 🌾🌾 You still have time! March 17th is the deadline for deposit. #missions #ministry #jesussaves #kingdom #africanamerican #blackmissionaries #sowingseedsofjoy


🌱Sowing Seeds of Joy Kenya Support efforts on the field 🌎🌾Pray for Missionary Pastor James Wanje. Donate to ministry here:


It's a beautiful thing to have Sowing Seeds of Joy missionary James Wanje back on the field -the mission is still the mission. I n his words, "Today with my team, we were able to do what we love Sport’s evangelism. We bring young girls together to play soccer and we get an opportunity to tell them about Jesus. Sowing Seeds of joy. I love being on the ground." #mission #SSOJ #ronnelson #Sowingseedsofjoy #starnelson #Kenya


Great work the team is doing in SA.

God-Appointed Partnerships.

Over the last two month we’ve been blessed with amazing opportunities to form new partnerships and humbled by the opportunities to continue to be vessels in equipping people by helping them to understand themselves and others. Our week long training for staff that works with children with disabilities focussed on staff team-building, communication skills, stress, women’s issues and dealing with personal trauma and grief.

We’ve enjoyed starting 2021 with a bang and excited to see how God continues to grow these partnerships.


NAAMC National African American Missions Council

Ron & Star Nelson (Trainers in Short-Term Missions & Mobilizers: Texas, USA)

Devotional Verse: Psalm 126

Missionary couple Ron & Start Nelson are the founders of Sowing Seeds of Joy an organization dedicated to connecting, equipping, training, and mobilizing all people for global missions. They have trained hundreds of short-term teams in urban city and international ministry. Ron & Star are also the creators of the Missionary Certification Program.

#naamc #blackhistorymonth #missionary #Jesus #faithoverfear #overcomer #leadership #blackexcellence


📢Pastor Ron Nelson, Sowing Seeds of Joy Co-Founder/Director will be leading a workshop (see below) on Saturday, February 20 at 12pm CST for Standards of Excellence (SOE).

🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾Mobilizing African Americans for Short-Term Missions

Special STM ConneXion Registration offer for Sowing Seeds of Joy churches and partners.
Sowing Seeds of Joy churches, partners, and friends may register for STM ConneXion 2021 as a special guest for ONLY $20/per (early bird price is $35/per) using this link:


Join our team!

🌾🌎🌾Your prayers and support mean so much to us. Cuba July 2021
Our Cuba Ministry Team is preparing to go in 2021. COVID-19 has affected many of our planned trips. This team has a call to support ministers in Cuba with resources to encourage and train pastors and their various ministries. You can partner with us to encourage our team by supporting them financially or with teaching material.
● Pastoral and Ministry Training (Travel and training materials)
● Bible study and ministry materials in Spanish
● Resources for children in Spanish
● Resources for bicycles
#themissionistillthemission #givingtuesday #donate #dallas #virtualdonationdrive #amazon #sowingseedsofjoy #amazongiftregistry


⏰It’s not too late! Get your FREE 🆓virtual ticket to Mendenhall, Mississippi today!⏱3 More Days before we go!

Who should consider going on this Mission Travel-Learn Experience? Those who have always wanted to serve out of state or individuals who are curious about ministries our partner in Mendenhall is able to accomplish in this season. This special virtual Travel-Learn trip will delve deeper into realities, challenges, joys faced by Christ followers in Mendenhall.

We will reflect on the witness of the community, address questions of emergency relief, ministering to individuals with special needs, youth, men, women, and community leaders among several topics to be covered. We will learn community history and area sites.

Come along on this Travel-Learn Experience and be inspired by the movement of the Holy Spirit through sisters and brothers at Mendenhall. To register for this unique "Travel-Learn Experience" opportunity, please APPLY through this link:

Go to the "contact us page" and fill out the "message" field in addition to name, email, and phone number.

Indicate your desire to register/sign-up to attend the experience through Zoom and receive tickets and Zoom link.


In collaboration with ProgressBibe, Sowing Seeds of Joy is looking for an intern to serve with this partner; check out the info...

Would you like to work with a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide?

Collaborate with data visualization engineers and designers to make sure dashboards and other data-driven products clearly communicate key metrics.
Support digital marketing and promotion effort, including website content development and branding.
Provide general support of day to day operations for progress.Bible

Do you have what we l re looking for? Apply today!

Contact: [email protected] for additional info / Spring Intern Position


News 🗞 That You Can Use!
Tailored Fund
One on One Fundraising Coaching

We provide super simple ways for Christian non profit leaders and missionaries to build partnership teams that last.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>February 18th at 1pm CST

“Fundraising in a Black Context” - Register at:


💻In many ways, COVID-19 has brought the world together – 🌎sharing the same experience of lockdown, isolation, and sickness, AND at the same time distanced people from each other! 💚Partners miss hosting volunteers, and we miss having family and friends waving you goodbye at the airports or see you drive away in the mission van or bus.

🌾Thankfully though the strong relationships developed over time with partners, the Sowing Seeds of Joy Short-Term Missions office in collaboration with The Mendenhall Ministries is delighted to offer this unique virtual Travel-Learn trip to Mendenhall, Mississippi. We will be hosted by our partners, at The Mendenhall Ministries. This “a la carte” visit will give us a holistic and authentic experience of Mendenhall, the ministry, and how God is using its staff, volunteers, and leadership to strengthen the witness of the Church in Mendenhall and the state of Mississippi today.
💻This unique virtual Travel-Learn trip will include videos, presentations, and live facetime via Zoom. The trip will be for 1 day (from 12:30pm – 3:30pm CST) 🗺+ 30-minute pre-trip orientation 🗺+ 30-minute post-trip debriefing. It will include activities that will give you a taste of an in-person visit.
✨Come and Go - As your schedule allows.✨
Here are dates to keep in mind:
● Registration/Application closes January 27, 2021 at Noon (CST) TIME EXTENDED! 🎉Opportunities to win Prizes and Give-a-ways🏆You must register at and enter your information into the “contact us” form. Must be present to win!
● Applicants are notified of status of registration week of January 25th to receive ticket(s), sign-on link. This virtual trip is free!
● Face-to-Face Travel-Learn Experience to Mendenhall – June 7 – 14, 2021>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #free #virtualtrip #learning #service #missions #Mississippi #africanamerican #Dallas #dfw #blackmissionaries


🗺We would like to share information with you about a FREE virtual Travel-Learn Trip (Event) through Sowing Seeds of Joy!
When: February 6, 2021 at 12:30pm.
How: Participants are to register for the trip via the Sowing Seeds of Joy website by completing the "Contact Us" form.

The Short-Term Mission Office at Sowing Seeds of Joy is inviting you to join our partners in Mendenhall, Mississippi, The Mendenhall Ministries, on a special Travel-Learn trip, February 6, 2021. We are able to accommodate 100 people on this VIRTUAL TRIP. Please don't delay if you feel called to be on this Mission TRAVEL-LEARN Experience to Mendenhall. January 23, 2021 is the deadline to apply. To register for this unique “Mission TRAVEL-LEARN” opportunity, please APPLY through this link:
Please feel free to share with other groups, ministries, and churches! We look forward to seeing you there! 01/15/2021

Publishing in Color Online Spring 2021 | Publishing in Color

News You Can Use: There is an event coming up that is for people of color to pitch ideas for books to a whole house of publishers. The event is called “Publishing in Color” and it is not just theoretical, every publisher there is willing to receive book proposals. For more information visit the website at: Publishing in Color website

Our Story

We prepare, plant, and harvest; our blueprint for ministry: prepare the
soil in prayer, plant the seed of the Gospel by faith, and harvest souls for
God's kingdom. We train, prepare, and lead you on mission trips. The aim
to challenge you to step out your comfort zone and to experience God
with new eyes.

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