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Hearts on a mission

In the pulpit

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POSTED: March 22, 2010 10:52 a.m.
Dr. Joseph Rayman and Dr. Peggy Rayman, a husband-and-wife team, are passionate about their mission. The couple says they are inspired by the scripture of Matthew 28:19 to take the Gospel into African countries and train others to spread the word.
In 1998, the Raymans started a mission called Africa on Fire. “When we got married, we made a decision that our lives would be devoted to getting people involved in the mission,” Joseph Rayman said.
While they were living in Virginia, the Raymans decided to move to coastal Georgia. Joseph Rayman was familiar with the area, having served 15 of his 20 years in the military at Fort Stewart. The couple moved in 2001 and currently lives in Long County.
Africa on Fire is designed to help people in local churches understand the Raymans’ mission. “Our basic training is kingdom mandate training. We assist churches in forming mission cell groups and help expand their home missions to include foreign missions that will adopt unreached people,” Peggy Rayman said. “Since relocating to this area, we have trained approximately 200-300 people in 10-12 churches. Churches in which we held training include Mt Zion, First Zion, Midway Presbyterian, Midway Congregational, Thebes African Methodist Episcopal, St. James Church of Christ Holiness, Temple of Praise, River of Life and Bethesda.”
“We have also conducted training when the Church of Christ Holiness held their national conference. Mt Zion, Bethesda, St. James Holiness and Temple of Praise now have their own mission conferences,” she said. “Our main focus is training and mobilization. We focus on discipleship and teaching people the cost of discipleship. When we visit African countries and meet with African pastors, we let them know God is calling them as well to spread the Gospel to those who are unreached. We work with them to provide their leadership with whatever training they need to become strategic in reaching those natives who are unreached. Most of the unreached areas do not have electricity or television.”
AOF mission groups have traveled to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. The trips take anywhere from 10 days to a couple months.
“In late 2008, we turned AOF over to all African-American leadership so my husband and I could focus on the next phase of the vision, which is the Coastal Georgia School of Missions,” Peggy Rayman said.
Classes started at the school on Jan. 4 with four students. They meet at the Historic Dorchester Academy in Midway.
The Coastal Georgia School of Missions’ goal is to produce disciples who will go to those places where Jesus has not been named and disciples who will support and care for those who are going, according to the Raymans. The school is affiliated with the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries.
The Raymans are graduates of Regent University. Joseph Rayman teaches at Central Texas College and Columbia College. “My wife and I are ministers, and she is an ordained minister. We are members of Bethesda Church,” Joseph Rayman said.
The Raymans have spent hours educating people about their mission and taking mission trips to various countries. In October, Peggy Rayman will attend the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. “Every 30 years, the global mission community gathers to meet, pray and plan about strategies and what God would have us do,” Peggy Rayman said. Some 4,000 church leaders and policy makers from 200 nations are expected to attend.
For more information about AOF and CGSM, call the Raymans at 654-4864 or go to www.africaonfire.org.

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
 

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