[Original Post By Vineyard Missions USA]

Editor’s Note: The names of the nations referenced here have been removed for the protection of individuals and churches.

As some international travel is beginning to open up to limited parts of the world, a few folks have been able to be out and about, and we, at Vineyard Missions, are starting to get reports back from those visits.
I’ve heard stories of unplanned church plants as believers were scattered due to various factors (like what happened in Acts 8), of continuing growth in unexpected places, along with stories of hardship, persecution, imprisonment, and endurance.
This has prompted me to think again about the very last words of Acts which read “He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” (Acts 28:31 NIV).
It’s important to remember that in the situation Luke describes, Paul sits chained to a Roman soldier, under house arrest, and facing a very uncertain future. Yet the Kingdom of God is still being proclaimed without hinderance; not in spite of hindrances, but rather, without hindrance.

God is working beyond what we can immediately see and is not necessarily hindered by what seems to hinder us.

One recently returned traveler from West Africa (thank you, Josh) shared an amazing update about a bit of what God is doing in one nation through the initiative of U.S. Vineyard churches there.

Let me share some of it with you:

  • There are between 8,000 and 10,000 people currently attending Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) every month. These folks gather together around the Bible to hear what God is speaking to them through His word in some 401 different DBS groups around the region.
  • Three previously unreached people groups are now being engaged in this nation.
  • One of the movements of these DBS groups has multiplied out to the 13th generation. That means a group has birthed another group and that group spawned another group which has initiated another group, and so on …out thirteen generations. In the words of long time Vineyard pastor and leader Bill “Jax” Jackson, “nothin’sgonnastopit.”
  • There are plans to engage a fourth previously unreached people group in 2021, as well as yet another people group in an adjacent nation.
  • 1,463 people would say they are members of the Vineyard in this nation, most of whom are brand new followers of Jesus.
  • Some 25 more traditional churches have already been planted from these Discovery groups
  • Plans have been developed to begin to translate and record stories and songs in every language in the country.

All this, along with other stories, gives me hope that God continues to work in the world in many ways that are not yet seen in this pandemic.

I want to be a part of what God is doing and so I will keep working, keep sowing, and continuing to invest all God has given me.


Mark Fields currently serves as the Director of Global & Intercultural Ministry for Vineyard USA. Prior to assuming his current position, he was the Senior Pastor of the Vineyard Community Church in Pomona, California, for more than twenty years. Mark is a lifelong learner and attended Fuller Seminary as well as the London School of Theology. He has traveled and ministered extensively around the world. Mark and his wife Karen have been married for nearly forty years, are the parents of three adult children, have a growing number of grandchildren, and reside in Southern California.