Mervyn Thomas is a retired accountant, financial systems analyst, church elder and treasurer, with a passion for self-sustaining empowerment projects accompanying church planting. In this blog, he shares the story of ‘Kingdom Impact’, a project to support pioneering ministries across the world with systems that enable unexpected growth to flourish in the hardest places.
In 2017, myself and a friend wished to support a ministry in South Africa called Kingdom Impact South Africa.
The ministry is led by Andy and Rose Freeks together with their family. Andy and Rose had previously managed “Miracle House”, a home for children, and then led a Church at Aliwal North in South Africa before spending 4 years working for All Nations Church, Bedford. On their return to their Native South Africa, they took as “tent making” a motel business at Oviston which is roughly halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town in a nature reserve and lakes of the Orange River.
This area is economically deprived with very high unemployment, especially for young people. Their vision is to use the motel facilities as a Christian retreat/training centre and to plant a number of churches, starting at Oviston and then moving into neighbouring towns. They are now at the stage where they are impacting a cluster of adults and about 50 young people – all with great needs – an outreach ministry but not yet a planted Church.
With the business not yet making a profit, this embryo ministry with potential to grow needed external support – a point that is particularly relevant to church planting in third world countries, where it is so difficult to fund ministry without external support. We felt a call to help, but having been unable to find a Church to process our donations and gain the ‘Gift Aid it’ advantage, we saw a need not just for finance but also for a system to help administer resources so that they could quickly, easily and most effectively support projects like this. We decided to form our own charity, and Kingdom Impact
came into being! The name was chosen because we felt God’s call on us to support this Kingdom enterprise. We put together the CIO, registrations, affiliations, and a great purpose written project accounts system which provided everything needed to fully comply with the exacting requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority’s anti-money laundering procedures.
Two years later, we are now serving 20 projects across Africa. £30,000 annually is distributed from UK donors sharing our call. The projects cover ministry support, employment generating projects, orphanages, education sponsorships and even an ecology project in the rainforest of Cameroon. Our fundraising ethos is to gather like minded individuals responding to God’s call on their resources, not only of money, but also being actively involved in “their” project.
Early on we wanted to be able to commit to donors that 100% of their donation plus the 25% Gift Aid would be used to make a Kingdom Impact without deduction for administration. We have been able to generate income through licensing our accounts system “Kingdom Impact Accounts” to Churches, Charities and businesses, and we now offer a fully supported system that is in the cloud. The license includes installation, training and uniquely for accounts systems statutory reporting and audit (or S.A Tax returns for businesses). You can find out more (and perhaps even see how the system could serve your church!) on our webpage here
The process of forming and running Kingdom Impact Today has been one of the most satisfying times in a long life. As we responded to God’s call we saw answers to prayer at every stage of the process. It has been deeply satisfying to apply many things learnt during my time in business to empower ministries and projects. Both the challenge and the opportunity is here to grow into something much bigger.
Written by Mervyn Thomas