HeartCry Missionary Society

Paul Washer's HeartCry Missionary Society

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HeartCry Missionary Society

HeartCry Missionary SocietyPaul Washer founded HeartCry Missionary Society in 1988 during the 10 years he spent serving as a missionary in the jungles of Peru. In 2020, HeartCry Missionary Society, which is based in USA, supported 224 indigenous missionaries, down slightly from 255 in 2018 (See below for their distribution around the world and costs).

Strengths

1.  HeartCry Missionary Society supports only indigenous missionaries, who cost less than Western missionaries, as HeartCry states: "Many [Western] missionary families require $4,000 to $7,000 a month to work in a foreign land where the average salary is often less than $200 a month. In contrast, the indigenous or native missionary is able to live on the same salary as his fellow countrymen" (source). Indigenous missionaries also don't require language training, cultural adaptation or furloughs.

2.  HeartCry Missionary Society does not solicit funds: "Every need of this ministry will be obtained through prayer. We may share our missionary vision with others and even make known to them the specific tasks that the Lord has laid on our hearts to do, but we may not raise support through prodding or manipulating our brothers and sisters in Christ. If this ministry is of the Lord, then He will be our Patron. If He is with us, He will direct His people to give, and we will prosper. If He is not with us, we will not and should not succeed" (source).

3.  Paul Washer preaches the true Gospel and demonstrates servant leadership. HeartCry Missionary Society's 990 tax form for 2006, the last year it appears to have been filed, indicates an annual salary for Paul Washer, raising a family of four at the time in Alabama, of "$36,000" (source), which was 33% below the median income for a family of four in Alabama in 2006 (Adjusted for inflation, $36,000 in 2006 is $48,071 in 2021). Instead of taking as much as he can, Paul Washer was taking as less as he and his family can, so that more can go to the missionaries in the field.   

Weaknesses

1.  Weakening supervision.

Since surviving a major heart attack in 2017, Paul Washer has been mostly confined to USA, with rare trips to Western European countries that have hospitals with cardiac care units; he is unable to visit indigenous missionaries serving in remote locations. HeartCry's missionaries around the world are currently supervised by 6 US-based "Regional Coordinators," among whom 5 have no missionary experience and one served as a missionary in Zambia for 3 years. The need for greater scrutiny and supervision of the indigenous missionaries and the reports they file have come to light.

2.  Reaching the reached.

As the table below shows, HeartCry HeartCry Missionary Society in 2020 spent more in Europe ($1,330,000) than in Latin America ($474,000), Middle East ($359,000) and Eurasia ($214,000) combined, and supported 24 missionaries in western Europe, the majority of whose people have rejected the Gospel, while supporting 1 missionary in China, the majority of whose 1.4 billion people have yet to hear the Gospel. In 2020, HeartCry also spent $105,000 in Canada and currently supports two missionaries there, one of whom to plant a church in Fredericton, a town of 58,000 that already has more than 40 conservative Protestant churches.

Region Expenses Missionaries* Expenses / Missionary
Europe $1,330,000 53 1 $2,091 / month
Africa $   878,000 44 2 $1,663 / month
Asia $   835,000 79 3 $   881 / month
Latin America $   474,000 21 4 $1,881 / month
Middle East $   359,000 14 5 $2,137 / month
Eurasia $   214,000 16 6 $1,115 / month
North America $   105,000 2 7 $4,375 / month
Total & Average $4,195,000 224 $1,561 / month
       
* The number of missionaries by region (above) and country (below) are from heartcrymissionary.com as of April 2021 and total 229.
1 Romania (17), Spain (9), Moldova (6), Ukraine (4), Scotland (4), Italy (3), Finland (2), France (1), Germany (1), Switzerland (1), Netherlands (1), Sweden (1), Portugal (1), Poland (1), Kosovo (1).
2 South Africa (13), Zambia (11), Kenya (10), Malawi (3), Uganda (2), Botswana (1),  Nigeria (1), Zimbabwe (1), Tanzania (1), Sudan (1).
3 Protected Country A (20), Cambodia (14), Nepal (11), India (9), Protected Country B (9), Vietnam (6), Indonesia (5), Timor-Leste (2), Pakistan (1), China (1), Japan (1).
4 Peru (21).
5 Jordan (4), Undisclosed (4), Egypt (3), Israel (2), Afghanistan (1).
6 Russia (11), Belarus (4), Kazakhstan (1).
7 Canada (2).
 

3.  Eroding cost advantage.

In 2020, HeartCry Missionary Society gave $2,826,868 as salary to its 224 indigenous missionaries, which equals $1,051 per indigenous missionary per month. While that is still lower than the cost of sending Western missionaries, it is now 5 times more than the "$200 a month" claimed as quoted above.

4.  Financing construction to gain credibility.

In 2019, Paul Washer said about financing a church building in Italy, "HeartCry was able to help bring the construction to an end. We were able to provide many of the things that were lacking in the construction," and said the building was needed because Italians "see that building as, 'Oh, you're permanent. You're real.' And maybe even, 'You're not a cult. You're not a sect who just meets in some hidden place somewhere. You're out in the open.' And it's more inviting to the Catholics and others to come" (12:22-12:32 and 13:12-13:3 in this video). Building a building to draw idolaters is unbiblical, as the one who "draws" (John 6:6) people is God, on whose power another Paul solely relied on to plant a church in Italy some 2,000 years ago.

Solutions

1.  Promoting exemplary indigenous missionaries with leadership qualities to become Regional Coordinators and basing them in their respective regions will lower the cost of supervision, strengthen it, facilitate recruiting and qualifying new indigenous missionaries, and offer them career progression.

2.  While the lost in Canada and the rest of the West need the Gospel as well, reaching them should be the priority of the churches near them. Focusing on the "foreign land[s] where the average salary is often less than $200 a month" will enable HeartCry Missionary Society (website) to spend far less to reach far more people who also tend to be more open to the Gospel.

3.  Before building buildings to impress Catholics in Europe, four walls and a roof should be built to protect the persecuted Christians in Africa and the Middle East from gun fire.

HeartCry needs to regain the edge it had when Paul Washer was in the jungles of Peru.