By Rick Kern
For Al Hauck, missionary work is as natural as falling to his knees before the Lord and as supernatural as interceding for the nations he visits. He is the quintessential “World Christian” and his focus reaches as far as it does near.
“In Acts 1:8,” says Hauck, “the words of Jesus tell us, that you start in Jerusalem, your own heart. You go to Judea, your own family! Then you go to Samaria, your own community and finally you go to the outermost parts of the earth.” He continues, “And if you’re not doing the first, you’re not going to be effective at the fourth. So we work to try and get every believer to a mutual place where they are free to be whoever the Lord created them to be and express His love to those that are closest to them and then go to the places where He’s called you.”
It is a biblical perspective and way of life that has found a home in the hearts of everyone at Shepherd’s Heart Christian Fellowship (SHCF). Hauck explains, “So we send believers every week, the youth, back into their mission field — which is typically the schools and the colleges, and most of the adults to the places where they work and fellowship and shop and some people, to other states and other nations. So this has been a busy year for several folks at Shepherd’s Heart. We’ve had partnership with ministries that go over to Haiti and people who go to Columbia and people that go to Honduras. We also went to Uganda just recently. We went to Vietnam earlier in the year…”
SHCF was birthed in the Hauck’s living room on October 31, 1993 and as might be expected, they are a group given to radical faith and love as they express the heart of the Great Shepherd. “We really believe that the purpose of a local fellowship is to equip every believer to do the ministry and we start that by reaching up — it’s part of our motto,” Hauck explains. “And then reaching out to extend His love to others — that’s the Shepherd’s Heart, He’s the one who loved us.”
While SHCF is a beautiful expression of the life of Christ in the conventional sense, Al Hauck’s ministry and role in the fellowship defies convention yet remains compellingly biblical! For while he skillfully handles the Word of God, he also walks in some extraordinary and rare gifts. “I provide apostolic and prophetic oversight for the local church as well as all of our outreaches,” he explains. “So, I teach and preach; I minister. We put together ministry teams and travel…”
His gifts and calling have moved him deeply to put legs on his prayers and share the love of God in very practical ways. “I travel extensively under another ministry so that it’s not a burden to the local church,” he says. “We do some community work. We helped sponsor and establish a halfway house for women which has been open for six-years now.” Continuing he notes, “I’m part of the apostolic leadership in the Rochester area. So we work with other Kingdom-minded fellowships and congregations on furthering the Kingdom of God and pursuing the Lord for transformation in our outreaches.”
Recently, those outreaches have taken him to Bogota, Columbia and different parts of Uganda in Africa. It was a powerful time of ministry as they reached out to local church leadership in the South American nation. “In early August, we led a team from two local congregations down to Bogota to work with an apostolic leader there,” says Hauck. “He had a ministry outreach and has, for the past 30 years, been gathering pastors together once a week for prayer and fellowship and we spoke at their conference.” He continues, “They extended their weekly meeting to a one day conference. It actually turned out to be an international conference because they had two speakers — one from each of the churches in the U.S., a speaker from Venezuela, a speaker from Spain, and a speaker from Columbia.”
Additionally, Hauck and team helped equip church leaders to raise up and strengthen local churches while also working with their ongoing outreach programs. “They were feeding 2,000 kids, six-days a week,” Hauck explains. “They’re in the poorest part of Bogota, which is a fairly large city of about 8 million people and we helped them not only establish but also work with that new leadership and having what they need to equip their people with the Word of God.” Continuing he says, “We minister on whatever they asked, since last time. They asked us to help them assemble their first ever overnight intercessory meeting and they had about a hundred people come to it.”
Evidently it turned out to be a profoundly spiritual night where attendees sought God with one heart and one mind, reaching through time to lay hold of eternity. “Our host said it was a truly historic meeting for them, “Hauck recounts, “they had so many people come out and spend the entire night in worship and prayer for the nation from several different congregations.”
The connection with the church there was deep and Hauck is planning to return. “We’ll be going back the first week of December,” he says. “We were asked to come back and teach at a conference for one-hundred pastors and help equip those pastors from around all of Columbia and in part of Venezuela to be more effective at equipping their local congregations to do the work and ministry of the Gospel.”
Piggybacking on the trip to South America was a rather large hop across the ocean to Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa with a population of 39.5 million. Its varied landscape includes the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and the enormous, breathtaking Lake Victoria.
“In Uganda, the focus was a little bit different,” explains Al. “My wife and I have been going there for, I think this is our sixth trip in the last eight-years and we work with an apostolic leader there.” He goes on, “We spoke at three conferences. The main purpose of our going was to give the commencement address to the first graduating class of an apostolic school. It’s a two-year program that they go through to learn how to carry the gift of Christ into the different spheres of life.” To minister in this way, they brought in Christian leaders moving in these various mind-molding spheres. “There were people from the education mountain,” Hauck observes, “there were people from the business mountain, there were people from the government that had completed the two year program.”
It was a significant time of ministry that helped shape the destiny of the nation. “At the conference, we got to spend a lot of time with various pastoral leaders and apostolic leaders from different parts of Uganda and work with them,” Hauck explains. “We also got the opportunity to minister to some people that were there at the conference who were from Australia, so it was a very successful time. We were invited back next year, and also invited to Kenya. We’ve been there several times before but also hope to go to Tanzania and Zambia if we can arrange a time when we’re in Uganda again.”
Al’s take on the church of Jesus Christ among the nations is telling and moves him act. “The state of the church is that in almost every place we travel outside the U.S., they are hungry for the gift of the Lord and the person who is coming. So their faith literally pulls the anointing of heaven through the speakers and those that are doing the work,” he observes.
He continues, “It takes a while to get there, but it is beautiful and they are experiencing probably the beginning of awakening as the churches are working together across their denominational lines and beginning to work with business and government leaders to try and impact their community for the Lord. Though we didn’t get to meet the king of the area, he has about a million-and-a-half people in his region and he has signed a proclamation declaring that Christ is the King of his kingdom.”
For Hauck, the future is all about living up to the light God has given him — it’s not broken and he has no intention of fixing it! “My wife and I have been called to the nations and my son and I have a trip coming up in early November to Honduras. Then in early December, we’re going back to Bogota to work with the pastors there and we’re lining up next winter, we’ve been invited to Vietnam and East Malaysia so we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to go to those places and what the timing is around their holidays.”
For more information about Al Hauck or SHCF, visit their website at www.shcfellowship.org or call (585) 225-4090.