Merry Christmas…. to Africa

Everyone has that kind of relative, right? You know the one who shows up at the Family Thanksgiving Dinner after all the food has been put away or at Christmas time, empty-handed, looking for a handout. Well, I’ll call my relative (my mother’s brother) Uncle Singleton, but he’s not exactly THAT kind of relative. He’s from a little rural town in Ellendale, TN, but he spends most of the holidays deep in the bushes of Africa, specifically in Kenya, Nigeria, or Uganda being driven by a mission. His mission is to bring the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, to the people of Africa.

You see, my uncle is an International Evangelist, and a couple of months ago, we celebrated his 25th anniversary as Founder and President of Christ International Ministries. How he got from Ellendale to the continent of Africa is a miracle all by itself as you will see in the video. If you visit his website, you will find information about his ministry to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus to go and preach the gospel and to assist in the growth of the body of Christ. What’s so interesting to me is that his “only” preparation for such an undertaking is simply being “called” by God. It is a gift. It is an anointing. It is the favor of God. It is most definitely a calling to be driven by such a mission… to preach, teach, and support!

L to R - American Traveling Companion - Dr. Dewayne Swift, Evangelist Singleton Hopkins, Evangelist Sybil Hopkins, 2 women from the village

L to R – American Traveling Companion – Dr. Dewayne Swift, Evangelist Singleton Hopkins, Evangelist Sybil Hopkins, 2 women from the Nigerian village

On his first mission trip to Nigeria in 1989, his contact person was afraid to send someone to pick him up from the airport for fear of being hijacked. There he was in a foreign land all by himself, unable to speak the language, dependent upon strangers to help him to his destination well before there was anything remotely similar to google maps. I don’t think his destination is even on a map today! A brave taxi driver took him through checkpoints with men holding machine guns, and he eventually arrived at the designated home safely. Singleton doesn’t travel to the “city” part of these countries. He goes in the villages and deep in the bushes where no American missionary has travelled.  He has preached in the midst of rebel activity, in refugee camps, and even to orphans whose schools had been bombed. While traveling through one rebel line, the people immediately behind his group were murdered.

The first church Christ International Ministries built in Nigeria

The most recent church Christ International Ministries built in Uganda

Through what seems to be a very dangerous mission, Singleton has witnessed miracles right before his eyes. Blind eyes have gained sight and deaf ears have been opened. Souls have been saved, and heaven rejoices. As his wife Sybil describes it, “These past years have been one of amazement…It has been a tremendous blessing, and I appreciate God for allowing me to have the privilege of leaving this country to go to another place in the world and tell people about Jesus.” They have ministered to thousands, spreading the gospel, and providing aid to the people of Africa. It is rare that we ever see him during the holidays because he is usually in Africa during Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s the best time of the year for him to travel because in order to fund this ministry, Singleton owns and physically labors every day in a small lawn care business. He works full-time on his day job to have the means to fund his mission trips. Because lawn care in his part of the world is slow during the winter months, he chooses to leave that work behind to travel to Africa between November and January. To me, it seems like he brings Christmas to Africa. What a gift!!!

Some of the Nigerians who came to hear Evangelist Singleton Hopkins preach the gospel

Evangelist Singleton Hopkins preaching inside the Nigerian church which he helped build

So as we continue our American traditions celebrating the Christmas season, I ask that you consider sending a Christmas gift to Africa. We have an overabundance of most things here in America, including material possessions, all the modern conveniences that we probably take for granted, and of course the freedom of religion. What better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than to help fund a mission trip to remote areas of Africa, so they too can hear “The Good News!”  You can make a secure online donation to Christ International Ministries by clicking here. Your donations are tax-deductible to this 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

As I mentioned in the beginning, everyone has that kind of relative. My uncle is usually late for Thanksgiving dinner because he is probably in a remote part of an African village preaching the gospel. He doesn’t really show up at Christmas time empty-handed either. Instead, he is most likely using his hands to help build churches and schools in these same remote areas of Africa. He’s not looking for a handout. He’s reaching up, all the way to heaven, and he’s teaching these precious souls in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda how to reach heaven too. WHAT A GIFT!



4 thoughts on “Merry Christmas…. to Africa

  1. I am currently friends on Facebook with a Joseph Ayesiga in Uganda and I see they are having a tough time. I feel that God has led him to me to be of some help; however, with the unrest in that part of the country, I do not want to be aiding the wrong people, and I am just trying to find out if this person is truly who he says he is. He gave a reference of Singleton Hopkins, said he knew Joseph very well. I am just trying to verify this. I would be appreciative if you could help me. Thank you!

  2. Hi Sherrie, I have forwarded your comments and email address to Singleton and Sybil Hopkins at Christ International Ministries (CIM) requesting that they respond directly to you. They make trips to Uganda annually and will be able to verify if they know Joseph and advise you further about a reference for him. I pray that this is a meaningful contact and that all will be blessed because of it. Thanks for the outreach, and you can look to hear directly from Singleton or Sybil at CIM.

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