Friday, December 20, 2013

Do You Know "The Story"?

At howFar we share this life saving story around the world!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Muramvya Community Church Complete

The church we planted in 2008 at Murumvya, Burundi is now complete.. The long process of acquiring land and government permits to construct the church is now over.  
Robert Gubala and Mark Maynard

The church was constructed with under the supervision of my African son, Robert Gabula, howFar's Construction Superintendent. Robert has built churches and schools across eastern Africa for howFar Ministries, The How Far Foundation, and Crimson Foundation for Education.

We affectionately call him Bob the Builder!

Mark Maynard Preaching at Murumvya, Burundi

The church was dedicated in August of the year by howFar Founder and Missionary Mark Maynard, Pastor Renovaunt who, and Gene Mason.

Mark Maynard and Gene Mason pray for new believers.

Two young men respond to the gospel after Mark Maynard preaches from Romans 10:13. "Whoever will call on the Name of the Lord will be saved."

The church reaches Batwa Pygmies who until we engaged them where listed as a 1.2 by The Joshua Project on the Progress Scale. A 1.2 describes a people group as: Evangelicals greater than 0.01%, but less than or equal to 2%. Professing Christians less than or equal to 5%.
Joshua Project Progress Scale
The Joshua Project Progress Scale is an estimate of the progress of church planting among a people group or country. The Progress Scale is derived from values for Percent Evangelical and Percent Christian Adherent. However, for a few hundred people groups the Joshua Project Scale settings have been manually assigned, and are not derived from religion percentages.
Level Description
Unreached / Least-Reached
Less than 2% Evangelicals and
Less than 5% Christian Adherents
Very few, if any, known Evangelicals.
Professing Christians less than or equal to 5%.
Evangelicals greater than 0.01%, but less than or equal to 2%.
Professing Christians less than or equal to 5%.
Formative / Nominal Church
Less than 2% Evangelicals and
Greater than 5% Christian Adherents
Very few, if any, known Evangelicals.
Professing Christians greater than 5%.
Evangelicals greater than 0.01%, but less than or equal to 2%.
Professing Christians greater than 5%.
Significant / Established Church
Greater than 2% Evangelicals
Evangelicals greater than 2%, but less than or equal to 5%.
Evangelicals greater than 5%.

Just five years after we began our work among the Twa they are listed as an 3.2, the highest level on the Progress Scale.

We are thanking God for the work He has done amoung the Batwa people group and for those of you who haven given financially to give this beautiful gift to God's chosen at Muramvya, Burundi.

About Burundi

Small, poor, densely populated, and landlocked, Burundi lies just south of the Equator in central Africa. From the capital, Bujumbura, on Lake Tanganyika, a great escarpment rises to fertile highlands. Agriculture employs 90 percent of the people, with most being subsistence farmers. Since independence in 1962, Burundi has been plagued by ethnic conflict between the majority Hutus and the Tutsis, who tend to dominate the government and army—but are only 14 percent of the population. A 2003 cease-fire and new government offer hope for peace. Source: National Geographic

Fast Facts

Bujumbura; 378,000
27,834 square kilometers (10,747 square miles) Slghtly smaller then the State of Maryland.
Kirundi, French, Swahili
Roman Catholic, indigenous beliefs, Muslim, Protestant
Burundi franc
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $500
Literacy Percent:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Humanitarian Aid Projects at The How Far Foundation

Take a look at the humanitarian aid work howFar is doing in sub Saharan Africa.

Donate today!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fundraiser Nets $10,000 for Congo Humanitarian Aid

I want to give a special thanks to everyone that participated in our 1st Annual How Far Foundation Fundraiser held in Ohio. This event was able to raise just over $10,000 that will shortly be on its way to The Democratic Republic of Congo to provide desperately needed beds, medical supplies and food for the following:
"The howFar Orphanage which houses 120 children age 5 to 10 who have lost their parents in the war. The home offers a place of safety for children who would otherwise be on the street. 
The howFar Abused Women's Center which counsels and trains women who have been raped by soldiers. The North Kivu region, where the HowFar Compound sits, currently has the highest reported instances of rape in the entire world.
The howFar Widows Center which trains and counsels women who have lost their husbands in the war."
Special thanks go to Jerry and Rick Kolar and their K & K Portage market for catering the event, to Jay Drake and Andrea & Mark Orchard for proving the wonderful music, to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the autographed Dion Waiters basketball and to all the people who traveled from near and far to make this such a successful event. 

Jim & Gail Kelly and Mark & Renee Maynard at How Far Fundraiser

And of course to Mark and Renee Maynard for their love, commitment and inspiration for founding and leading howFar.

We want to make this event bigger so if you are interested in helping with next year’s event and didn’t get on the sign-up sheet please let me know. Also, I am leading a trip to Africa early next summer so if you are interested in the “adventure of a lifetime” and didn’t get on that sign-up sheet, let me know so I can keep you in the loop as we begin to plan the dates, costs and itinerary.

Jim Kelly - howFar Board of Directors

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Donate to howFar Orphanage - DR Congo

One hundred twenty children who have lost their parents in the war in northeastern DR Congo need your help!

 Print your cards and send your donation today! howFar will you go?

How Far Foundation, Inc. 4295 Suwanee Mill Drive, Buford, Georgia 30518

howFar Expands Work Amoung Refugees In Congo

The How Far Foundation, Inc. has expanded its humanitarian aid activities in Goma, DR Congo. Three new initiatives are in response to the escalating turbulence in the region caused by M23 Rebel activity. 

howFar Orphanage houses 120 children age 5 to 10 who have lost their parents in the war. The home offers a place of safety for children who would otherwise be on the street.

Right now children are sleeping 6 to a blanket or old mattress! We are raising funds to equip the new orphanage with bedding.

The staff at howFar Orphanage provides one large meal per's more than many people in the area get.

howFar Abused Women's Center counsels and trains women who have been raped by  soldiers. The North Kivu region, where the howFar Compound sits, currently has the highest reported instances of rape in the entire world.

"Official UN figures also show that recorded cases of sexual violence in North Kivu soared from 4,689 cases in 2011 to 7,075 in 2012. Many more cases remain unreported."
Women who have been raped are customarily shunned by their families and are forced onto the streets.

The howFar Center for Abused Women provides and place of safety and job training as a seamstress.

Widows Center trains and counsels women who have lost their husbands in the war. 

To donate to any of these projects go to  100% of your tax deductible donation goes directly to DR Congo!

howFar will you go?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 2013 Congo Mission

How Far Foundation and howFar Ministries will dispatch a team of eight from Atlanta on July 17 to work in refugee camps near Goma in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Batwa Pygmy villagers from Mudja, located adjacent to the How Far Foundation Compound and Medical Clinic, have been displaced by recent activity by M23 Rebels.

We visited Mugunga III Refugee Camp in April - Goma, DR Congo

Approximately 1200 people from Mudja are living in a small camp with little food and no medical care.

According to the International Internal Displacement Monitoring Center nearly 2.5 million people have been displaced due to the ongoing clashes between government forces and M23 Rebels.

The team, led by howFar Founder Mark Maynard, will distribute supplemental food packs, medicines to treat Malaria, Typhoid and Cholera. The team will also distribute adjustable Hemisphere eyeglasses from the company Adlens to those in need.

The team will also provide counseling to women who have been raped or abused by soldiers.

Monday, May 6, 2013

April Africa Mission Update

I just returned from 18 days in sub Saharan Africa visiting our churches and projects in three countries. Here are a few of the highlights of the mission.


I had the great joy to preach to over 500 people at a crusade Easter eve and then again on Easter in Kagina, Rwanda. Many people responded to the gospel message at both events.

Crusade at Crimson Academy - Kagina, Rwanda
"Pasika Nziza" - "Happy Easter"

Democratic Republic of the Congo

One of our primary goals for this mission was to visit our church at Mudja in DR Congo. In January, M23 rebels captured DR Congo's eastern capital of Goma burning homes, stealing supplies and weapons and killing innocent people in their quest to control eastern DR Congo. The rebels will stop at nothing as they grab land rich with minerals worth millions of US Dollars.

M23 Rebels Move Toward Mudja
A Town Near Mudja Burns During the War
600,000 Refugees Run as Rebels Advance

International pressure forced the rebels to retreat northward toward Nyiragongo Volcano and right into the village of Mudja. 

The rebel occupation of Mudja left the village devastated - women raped, huts burned, livestock stolen and all of their food confiscated.

Part of the Road to Mudja
Mt. Nyiragongo  - Active Volcano
Where a Home Once Stood - Burned By Rebels
Mudja Village Gathers 
Flour Ready for Distribution
Sharing  - The Woman at the Well
I Woman in Mudja Receives Food From howFar

How Far Foundation Clinic - Mudja, DR Congo

Nurses Care For Elderly Batwa Pygmy Man
Mudja Village Leaders at howFar Clinic

Your gifts made it possible for the How Far Team to deliver 3000 pounds of food, restock the How Far Foundation Medical Clinic and share a message of hope from God's Word.

Sister Celest

When in DR Congo I stay at the Catholic Compound so that I can share with the Sisters who live and work there. My friend, Sister Celest, always asks me for books and recordings to help her learn English. She was thrilled to receive a Messinger -  a solar powered audio player with 67 sermons from Charles Stanley and the New Testament - in English and French. She will hear the gospel of grace apart from works.


From DR Congo we drove 8 hours to Murumvya, Burundi where we planted a church in 2008. The long process of acquiring land and government permits to construct a church is almost over.  The church, in a Batwa Pygmy community, is nearly complete.

Muramvya Community Church - Burundi
The 60 ' x 40' Structure Will Seat 150 People 
Beautiful View From The Church
Worship with the Tradition Drum
Pastor Renovant Share with His Church
Four Came For Salvation
Muramvya Community Church - Burundi

The church gathered to worship and thank God for His gift to them. They had been banned by the government to gather and worship under the trees so this event was a tremendous blessing to them.

Your prayers and support enabled us to:
  • Share the gospel with well over 1,000 people.
  • Feed 250 very hungry families for one week.
  • Restock a medical clinic that offers the only access to care for 25 miles in any direction.
  • Build a church in Burundi.
  • And much, much more.
Watch for additional stories of what God is doing in the coming weeks!

Our work in Africa is far from finished. Please continue to support our work so the we can be obedient to His call.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"I Burned Them In The Fire That Night..."

I had just finished preaching in the new church at Muramvya, Burundi. Four young adults came forward to pray for salvation. Then, one old woman came and asked me to pray for her. “Do you remember me?”, she asked. “Yes”, I replied. “You told me about Jesus when you came to our village a few years ago. My daughter and I accepted Christ and you baptized us in the river the next day.” “Yes”, I said with great excitement, “How can I pray for you?”. “I want to be blessed like any other Christian”, she said. “Tell me what is happening in your life”, I asked.

“I never told you about my life. The day you came and told us about Jesus I was overwhelmed and knew that what I had been doing was wrong.  I immediately went home and gathered up all of my medicines, herbs and tools. I burned them in the fire that night and have never thought of them again.”

“I was the village witch doctor…but now I am a follower of Jesus Christ”.

     “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred
      us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” Colossians 1:13

“My daughter died soon after you came to our village and life has been very hard for me. I am old and have her three children and cannot feed them. I just want God to bless me like any other Christian so I can take care of them.”

Will you please pray for this dear saint?  

I am praying for 5 families to each give an additional $15.00 per month to bless this woman. Will you be one of them? Please don’t assume that someone else will help her. 

howFar will you go?

April 2013 - Muramvya, Burundi

Monday, March 25, 2013

Muramvya Community Church - Burundi

Construction on Muramvya Community Church, Burundi, is moving along very quickly! The target date for completion is April 15.

Pray for the Batwa Pygmy community as they looking forward to worshiping in their new church.

Muramvya Community Church is a church plant of howFar Ministries.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Power Equal To The Task" - Departing for Africa

Helen Keller once said, "It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal."

Her words profoundly resonate with me as I prepare to return to sub Saharan Africa. 

The tasks of making disciples in people groups who are just beginning their walk with Christ and of taking the gospel to tongues and tribes who are yet to hear is daunting.  It is a task for which I must ask for power equal to the task.

And as I do, I am reminded of the promises made to us. 
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

Please pray for me as I work in Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo from March 28 - April 12.  Here are a few of the projects that I will be working on.

  • Interviewing and hiring a Chaplain for Crimson Academy of Kagina, Rwanda. The primary school was born out of a church that we planted several years ago. Construction will start on a Secondary School within the next three months so that graduating students from the Primary School can continue their education. A Secondary School education is Rwanda is rare and only goes to the wealthy and to the highest performers. The Chaplain will minister to the spiritual needs of the children, their parents, and to the community at large. Please pray that God brings us the perfect man for the job. 
  • Meeting with local government officials in Kagina, Rwanda.  It is very important for us to have a good relationship with the local government officials - particularly with other, more radical, groups moving into the area. Our goal is to partner with them to meet the needs of the local community; spiritual and physical. The government is very happy that we have brought a church to the community, a community center, a Primary School, and Rain Water Harvesting System and soon, a Secondary School.
  • Visit Church Construction in Burundi.  After three years of delays we have finally started construction on a church in the Batwa Community at Muramvya, Burundi. Lord willing, the church will be completed the last week of March and I will dedicate it while there.
  • Pastoral Training Partnerships.  I will be meeting with representatives from International Training  Center ( A division of Walk Through The Bible) to discuss enrolling our indigenous pastors in the Pastoral Training Programs. ITC has a campus in Rwanda and are developing them in Burundi and DR Congo now.
  • Visit Mudja Church. I hope to obtain a VISA to enter the Democratic Republic of the Congo so that I can visit our church at Mudja. You will remember that the Batwa village was decimated by M23 Rebels in February. My goal is to encourage them, assess the situation and make plans to strengthen Mudja Baptist Church and to offer humanitarian aid. We will visit the HowFar Medical Clinic in Mudja and thank the team for their hard work. We hope to take an expanded Medical Mission Team to the Mudja area in July. 

Your prayers and donations make our evangelical work possible. Your gifts are changing peoples lives here and into eternity!

CLICK HERE to make a special directed gift to help the people of Mudja rebuild their community!

Mark Maynard
Founder & Executive Director

Friday, March 8, 2013

Is His Love In You?

‎"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?" (1 John 3:17 ESV) howFar will you go?

Click HERE to make a tax deductible donation to help those who cannot help themselves today!