By: Dr. Ralph & Donna Holland
Building an apostolic network should be organic, not manipulated. Never would we have dreamed that close to 300 pastors and ministries would look to us for leadership; a paternal leadership. We are honored to serve leaders with transparency and integrity.
Pastors and ministers are looking for a safe place to belong. They need relationships, not competition. They need a family. In that family there must be fatherhood. They are looking for fatherhood, mentoring, and encouragement from someone that has gone a little ahead of them and can coach them from the position of experience. We facilitate our network-building by strategically hosting pastors’ conferences and training seminars in many countries as well as the USA. We always endeavor to be inclusive providing a safe environment for dialogue and that pre-Covid “pat on the back” so needed by so many. Organic!
Over the past 50 plus years, God has ordered our steps, taking us to more than 100 nations through relationship building. Our networks, INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS NETWORK, and MUNDO DE FE MINISTRIES embrace many language groups and cultures.
In the unique apostolic ministry that God has allowed us to serve, it has required understanding, embracing, and relating with different language groups and cultures all over the world. From country to country there are idiosyncrasies that require language adaptation, a grasp of historical context, the careful navigation through government restrictions unique to each setting, and the consideration of the economic challenges in order to guide every church toward the goal of autonomy while staying connected to colleagues in their region. God has given us an uncanny ability to do just that as we provide apostolic leadership. Organic!
How did all of this come about? A little of our story goes like this. As a very young couple (23 and 21 years of age) we began our missions ministry in 1971 in the Caribbean. Ministry took us to Haiti (with its unique French/African culture and extreme poverty), the Dominican Republic (a Spanish-speaking country), St Marteen (a French and Dutch island), St Croix and other islands of the Caribbean. This region was the beginning of our training to jump from one culture and language group to another without pause and immediately identify with each upon landing in their country.
Later, during our 8 years in Costa Rica, we established a strong central church, a Bible training center and effectively placed national leaders in strategic locations to plant 17 churches.
Our next foreign residence was in Guadalajara, Mexico. This time in Mexico marked a dramatic change in our ministry role from traditional missionaries to an international ministry of networking as had been declared over us in prophetic and wise counsel. The word over us was that we would come and go from nations all over the world. At the time, it seemed impossible, but God had it all in His plan. Organic!
It was in the next transition that we saw the plan of God begin to be fulfilled. The seeds sown in our years of foreign involvement all contributed to our new role upon setting up our ministry base in Dallas. Organic!
Characteristic of an organic apostolic ministry, the network must evolve and grow without self-promotion and solicitation so only to attract those whose hearts are pure and transparent. There is no agenda to secure a position; it is about the Kingdom, His Kingdom.
We began to serve in a ministry capacity that would give us the opportunity to empower, send and coach persons and ministries that would go to many nations of the world. Through our International Missions Network we continue to be a sending agency and provide oversight to national leaders and missionaries in Spain, Turkey, China, Russia, Czech Republic, Thailand, Turkey, India, Nigeria, Kenya, Israel, Honduras and Brazil.
Our time in Dallas also resulted in the founding of a large Spanish-speaking congregation based in the Dallas area. This church dove-tailed with our international calling to become the central church that would initiate and cover churches in many nations of Latin America.
A large ministry was founded in Nicaragua that has literally impacted and connected hundreds of pastors cross-denominationally and resulted in an example church being established.
In Mexico, the network of Mundo de Fe pastors crisscrosses the nation with the central church in Mexico City and many other churches that have started from that one central church. Some of our network pastors have been born out of our churches, others have asked to become a part, others head their own networks but feel the need to connect their smaller networks to our covering. Organic!
The Mundo de Fe Ministries network covers pastors in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Spain, and in many states here in the USA. One of the ministries that we cover in Spain also has churches in Portugal, Germany and England. The network also includes a pastor in Jerusalem who is a Peruvian Jew.
Our current role as apostolic covering and networking allows us to freely “come and go” to encourage and coach awesome ministries in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Organic!
When young men have told me that they would like to do what we do, (thinking of the exotic of travel), I tell them that “if they want to do what I do, they must be willing to do what I did.” Of course, we are where we are today and continue doing what we do because we are called and obedient to that call. God has called us; graced us; blessed us and anointed us. His provision is as is His character. Faithful.
This article was originally featured in Destiny Magazine, 2020 Fall/Winter Edition.
A book is currently being written about Ralph and Donna Holland that will share each step of the way on this calling that has been an exciting adventure. The author has chosen to title the book “Untiring” – Chronicles of love, faith and service.