Karl Hargestam believes every person on earth deserves at least one chance to hear the Gospel. Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice when some have never heard it for the first time? Karl is an innovative missionary who uses helicopters to go where no missionary has ever gone before. He is also leading City Serve which has given away millions of dollars worth of food to the hungry and he is the founder of Joshua Campaign in Ethiopia. On today’s episode you will be inspired by his innovative ideas.
Learn more about City Serve: https://cityserve.us/
Learn About One Chance for Every Person: https://ocfep.com/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Karl Hargestam believes that every person on Earth deserves at least one chance to hear the gospel. Why should anyone hear the gospel twice when some have never heard it for the first time? Karl is an innovative missionary. He uses helicopters to go where no missionary has ever gone before. He’s also leading city serve, which has given away millions of dollars worth of food to the hungry. And he’s the founder of Joshua Campaign in Ethiopia. On today’s episode, you will be inspired by his innovative ideas.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:49):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary, and evangelist Daniel King.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:13):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today I am with a very special guest, Karl Hargestam. Thank you for joining me today.
Karl Hargestam (01:24):
Well, thank you. It’s good to be here with you, Daniel. We always, It’s good to see you always when we get to, It’s not that often we get to meet, but this is good. It’s good to be with you here today,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:32):
Brother Karl. You have been involved in evangelism and missions for many years. You have a great heart for reaching the unreached people. And my knowledge of you begins when you were a missionary in Ethiopia, going to the unreached there, and you founded Joshua Campaign, which has done many gospel campaigns across Ethiopia for the last, almost 20 years now. And tell me a little bit about how Joshua Campaign got started and your early vision for reaching Ethiopia.
Karl Hargestam (02:07):
Well, you know, the, so the call, the call that got on my life and the, the vision was really when Jesus spoke to me, and he did very clearly was for Matthew 24, in fact, the whole chapters about Jesus return. And I felt this incredible overwhelming urgency of his term. But they spoke to me from Matthew 24 and also Revelation where, where the gospel clearly has been preached. That that, you know, John in seven, nine sees his multitude dressed in white robes from every tribe, language people nation. Five nine says that what his blood has been purchased, men from every tribe, language people, nation. So the final church that Jesus comes back, the bride of Christ is a full of blood washed church from every tribe, language people nation. But what Jesus was speaking to me is that this is not finished.
Karl Hargestam (02:59):
Will you give your life to reach the final reach. Verse 14 says, The gospel of the kingdom will be preached, not should, not, maybe not. Hopefully the gospel prophetically Jesus says, the gospel of the kingdom will be preached as a testimony to the whole world and then, then will come. I felt this overwhelming thought idea that Jesus come back soon and he’s asking me. So he was asking me to preach the gospel towards Unre and finish assignment I didn’t know about unreached. So 30 some plus years ago, that was not a big talk book in mission or churches or anywhere. And and in fact it was embedded in a vision that was literally a movie. And in India was a helicopter. I didn’t understand much of this other than I said, Please see the Lord. And somehow, you know, the Lord answered the miraculously.
Karl Hargestam (03:46):
So I was on my way very quickly to Africa where the helicopters planted churches and unreached. What I did not know is that in that vision was a mass hillside of people coming to faith. It was like flames over sides of people. And within a few years, we start having meetings with a helicopter, 50,000, 40,000 hillside of people. I just kind of didn’t see me being the one preaching and signs and wonders start happening. I didn’t plan on being a massive evangelist or crusade evangelist. There was just kind of were happening within just a few years of that vision. So outta that, Josh Sch campaign was born. In fact, the clarification came when my son was born 97. So I’ve been in Africa a couple years. You know, story is long, lots of water under the bridge here. But really clarification to the vision of how to finish that assignment that I felt law Lord asked me was, which is the gospel for every tribe, nation people.
Karl Hargestam (04:45):
And from the first chapter of Joshua you know, Jesus speaks to his people and he reminds Moses, you know, the Lord ruins Joshua and Moses is dead. My sermon is dead. But then he reminds Joshua, the assignment he gave to Moses. And he’s not saying, Here, I have a new assignment for you. You know, a lot of times each generation we think I have a new thought, new idea, a new generation new anointing, double portion. You know, there’s a lot of things that we preach sometimes, but the Lord is telling to Joshua, really same here’s assignment, same assignment. Then he says, as I was with Moses, would be with you. So same anointing, same promise. Josh I used responds by faith in verse 11. And he says, Go through the camp, tell the people already we’re gonna be taking action. We’re gonna finish assignment cross Jordan and conquered at land, meaning not the promise land inheritance by faith in salvation but the gospel assignment that we’re all called to be part of. So that became clear out of that was Joshua campaign born and gospel crusades were launched into it’s really 3m, it was mobilization, massive man mission network. And I can talk about all three. And there are three organizations today that Joshua campaign was initially born from that.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:01):
Yeah. And I’m very thankful for Joshua Campaign. We’ve been, I think, either eight or nine times to do crusades with Joshua campaign in Ethiopia. Yeah. And we have always seen a tremendous harvest. It’s always so beautiful to see what God is doing there. The Bible says that Ethiopia shall quickly stretch out her hands towards God. And we see that over and over again. Now, in your ministry, you have a motto, one chance for every person. Can you explain why that’s important?
Karl Hargestam (06:30):
Wow. That became a very clear, you know, early on the finishing of the assignment, that every person born should have a right to hear the gospel should be birthright. We talk about right to water, right to school, right to healthcare give you all kinds of things that the world debates what’s important. And they’re all important. But the right to hear the gospel of Jesus once not saved, not only the Lord can do, but to hear it as Paul says, anyone who calls on the name of the Lord can’t be saved, shall be saved. But how can they, unless they believe, how can they believe unless they have heard, how can they hear unless someone preaches to them? So the right to hear the gospel should be birthright. So one chance to hear the gospel, only the church of Jesus can give. So the right to hear the gospel’s a birthright for every person and all the church can give it.
Karl Hargestam (07:19):
You have when they unreached challenge tribes that never heard of gospel since the cross. That should be an embarrassment for the church with all the money and resource and people we are. So you have places, tribes that never heard of gospel. You also have today with population growth. More people that have no access to the gospel that was alive when I was born on planet Earth. I mean, that should bother us too. Now obviously that can only be given up by Red Cross United Nation or any other kind of great institution or even Christian organization. Only the church of Jesus would preach the gospel to that. That’s why it’s so important we focus on this. So Joshua campaign, what about a massive evangelism initially one of, one of our initiatives and, and in Ethiopia, you know, we kind of were blessed being part of an early season where we prayed with, we had over 4.2 million decisions kind in a decade span to Christ there. But, and then we expanded into, you know, Pakistan and Indonesia and a couple other India. We, we done meetings in several places. That was not though my primary, even though that’s part of God’s call in my life. It was really about finishing Simon every tribe language people nation. So thus not just massive evangelists, but mobilization and a mission network that mobilized God’s church towards finishing Simon.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:35):
So you’ve been
Karl Hargestam (08:36):
Really three cycles. So
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:37):
You’ve been very interested in frontier evangelism going where Jesus has never been preached before. And in order to train people to do that, one of your initiatives is Mission one 11 training school to send people out into some of the hardest reach places in the world. Talk to me about
Karl Hargestam (08:58):
That. Yeah, that’s happening. So that’s kind of the second a, which is being in cycles of seven to 10 years. So the first was Joshua campaign. The second has been the second, a Michel 11, same also from the first chapter in Joshua verse chapter one, verse 11. He says, Go through the camp, mobilize the people. Get ready. So the mobilization or pioneers is martial 11 schools in the west. You know, we have worked in the developing countries, charting mission schools that is focused on church planning and national churches and leaders that we still work with. But in the west, us and Europe, we have mission schools that is challenging young people to give their life to a greater call, especially on rich people. So we take young people through training program and, and, and our big focus in tribal people that has never heard of gospel isity. So we bring them into tribes and mission schools and several countries around the world.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:53):
So tell me about how that works. Students go to a mission one 11 school and then you actually send them somewhere.
Karl Hargestam (10:01):
It’s really almost like a boot camp. It’s very catalystic. You know, the challenge for me was even when we started schools you know, in Africa or even Indonesia, but Africa, mostly our big schools would, lots of church planners in evangelists, they come to the city, they get kind of, you know, and I’m mo for higher education. But you know, they get trained and the more they get trained, the less effective they become, which kind of was grieving for a lot of us. I think even though we need you know, high quality leaders this has been true also in the west, US and Europe. So bringing students into a place where they don’t lose the call but actually find it, we knew that a istic experience has to happen. And for us, it used to be mission trips or youth camps. People are baptized in a fire call to a greater cost.
Karl Hargestam (10:49):
But we knew that there’s no greater place to bring people into an other than to an A 29 experience, an apostolic experience. The most unreached places Jesus will show up. It doesn’t matter how pray through they are, how holy they are. If they just choose to say yes, Jesus will do this supernatural through people’s lives. So we train in six weeks. It’s a 12 week course, actually that’s tic where we prepare the students for an experience. We call that preparation, that it’s an immersion experience and that it’s a debriefing experience. What to process the experience, the immersion is to, we fly with helicopters. Sometimes we take the students into an honor tribe where they are coached to share the gospel in chronological storytelling, science and wonders will happen. There’s nothing, The number one issue, the number one question actually asked worldwide is, why am I here?
Karl Hargestam (11:39):
Whether to believers or not for Christians, the number one question is what’s God’s plan for my life? I believe there is nothing more important, especially in the west young people. They will, they feel, and they will say, most often, I’m a spectator in God’s kingdom. I see all these players down here, but I’m into bleachers and don’t know how I can participate. There’s nothing more powerful than when the Lord is using me, affirming of God’s call. So when the Lord’s doing great things in their lives, in those tribal settings, they come back and say, Wow, God maybe has a plan for my life. If we process that and we see Missionary challenge to pathway for God’s assignment,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:18):
And now you’re working with a brand new initiative called City Serve. And with City Serve, you are helping churches all over America to reach out to their communities. Talk to me about what City Serve is doing.
Karl Hargestam (12:32):
Yeah, so, you know, this has been an incredible journey. So this is kind of the third for me mission network because what we’re challenging the church is to for the anti harvest, which I believe Jesus is returning soon. And the anti harvest, the big challenge is the church that is not ready or we have become very production driven. I’m all for great church. We have church, we’re seeing better. But in big parts of the world, the church kind of resorted into just, just being good, having church, singing better, preaching better, and kind of not caring that much about what’s happening around in the neighborhood. And part of that is just caring about people and issues. So we’re talking about mobilizing the church to be the church, not just having church. That shift is about mission from the neighborhood to the nations.
Karl Hargestam (13:22):
And, and we’ve been able to tap into resources to help churches to use, reach out in their neighborhoods very tangibly. One of the big challenges when we see especially the American church across the world, is that you have an average church is say under 80 people, around 80 people, and most of the churches buy vocational pastors in neighborhoods. There’s nothing more underuse. There’s no network in America. And, and we have proven this to be true also in, in Ukraine for example, right now around the world, we’re launching Canada. We’re in several places, but the, the church of Jesus, there’s nothing, no network that know the neighborhood better than the church. But most of the time, by vocational pastors under resourced, they hardly have money to keep their light on, nonetheless, having an outreach budget. So we’ve been able to tap into incredible resources, helping the church to be the church, start just loving their neighbors and reclaiming the right to preach truth.
Karl Hargestam (14:18):
It is only the gospel of Jesus and that truth that say people set people free, lead them on a pathway to some restoration, redemption. But sometimes our society has, we become so isolated, our gospel, even though we preach really loud, people don’t care anymore because we lost that credibility. So city deserve, it’s about empowering the church. We’ve been growing incredibly fast tapping into, we have really the center of the vision of city service based on Isaiah 58 where it says, this is the true fast. This is what the Lord is asking of you. If you spend yourself on behalf of the broken of the poor, then your light will shine in darkness. Then you will be like a well watered garden, then you will be known as the rebuild of cities. What the Lord is saying, this is a qualifier for being blessable. If you do this things, I will bless what you do.
Karl Hargestam (15:06):
We’ve seen the window heaven open over us. So in five years, last year, we moved over $430 million through our, I mean, so we’ve been growing incredibly fast in five years, resourcing churches to be the church. It’s the incredible amount of people saved through the basic idea of just challenging god’s people to lean out into the broken and reclaim what it means to, to just care about your neighborhood. Because of that, the credibility to preach the gospel is just released in a powerful way. So I, seef 58 is centered around 10 initiatives, including unre people, which is, you know, my passion, but it’s everything that Jesus talked about, the prophets. And Jesus match 25, He talks about the poor, the widow of the orphan, you the presser. You know, when you do this, then you do it for me. So in the resources we’re asking the church to focus on those that we have two support pillars for that.
Karl Hargestam (15:57):
One is the supply chain of goods and kind that over production from national retailers like Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and others are donating through supply chain of hubs, pods, points of distribution, which is churches to God’s people, which is heroes, loving their neighbor, sharing faith with somebody. That supply chain helps the church to lean into it. Then we have a grant center helping with resources around those initiatives. And it’s been powerful. But the whole idea is that the church joins with the idea of we’re gonna become missional again. What does it look like for us to reach from the neighborhood to the nations, even unreached people, refugees coming into our cities, across America. We’re, we’re having a hard time reaching another language or cultures downtown that has been there for a hundred years or 50 years or so, The new people coming into our cities we’re not even missional enough to reach over into those cultures in our churches many times. How do we reach a tribe somewhere around the world? So it’s about, it’s about the, it’s about a paradigm shift. How do I see the harvest in my city, from the neighborhood to the nations?
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:05):
I love how you bring together compassion and evangelism to help churches, to help neighborhoods and help the churches to, to reach out to people. But then maintaining that evangelistic focus in helping people to, to make sure that they know Jesus and are going to
Karl Hargestam (17:24):
Heaven. Well, I said, I mean, it’s, we are, what we say is the hero for us needs to be, of course, Jesus, but that local church, not about city serve. So, so what we empowered church to be the church you know, we’re not even about our, we’re not about compassion. We’re about compassion, evangelism or sharing compassion in Jesus’s name. You know, the process of reclaiming credibility to preach truth. It’s not that the truth has changed. The gospel of Jesus has not changed. It’s still the gospel of Jesus and the truth. When you as a church, we start losing credibility to preach truth, people don’t pay attention anymore. And we think that compassion is a gateway. No, it’s, it’s Romans to force that the kindness of Lord draws us the repentance. It’s like a superpower. No one can argue with kindness as the church is criticized, that we’re more known for what we’re against.
Karl Hargestam (18:13):
What we’re saying is we’re for a bunch of things, the church of Jesus is for restored marriages. <Laugh> delivered people, people set free from oppression, from addiction, from demonic possession. We’re for all kinds of good things, right? Why don’t we reclaim the message that we’re for people finding hope in Jesus destined, in Jesus, a purpose and a pathway that only the gospel of Jesus can bring. But we’re become so defined and for kind of what we’re against, instead of what we’re for, we’re for people, right? We’re for our neighbors, finding a better way. And it’s only Jesus they can give it. So this has been a way to ask churches to join that mission challenge. So we’re working very wide, it’s big tent. We’re helping churches across the country. In fact, we proved that this network, the church of Jesus is the most underused during farm and a family during the pandemic.
Karl Hargestam (19:04):
You know, this part of that is being white cities have grew so fast. We we were able to prove in fact, you know, many of you know that their pandemic, you know, country shuts down. Half of the American food goes to restaurants. So trucking industry, farming industry is all herding. The president then, at the time, President Trump, he decided a program called Farmer to Family rescuing the trucking industry, the farming industry. The issue was how did we deliver? Now when we suddenly overnight at 50 million Americans struggling with food, they might have a good job, furl, little without pay, have a car payment, a house payment, don’t look poor, but you don’t have money to buy food. So the farmer family was that idea, Take rescue this the industries and help help the people. They’re now at home because of the pandemic. And but how do we deliver it?
Karl Hargestam (19:51):
What we argue is there’s nothing like the local church knowing the neighborhoods the last mile. The church is the best last mile there is for any need anywhere, anytime. And we see this also in Ukraine right now. In fact, we feed in Ukraine over a hundred, 2000 meals, hot meals a day through churches, 1800 churches across Ukraine, seeing amazing number of people coming to faith, finding faith in Jesus. But during farmer to family, we delivered over 600 million pounds of food through churches in every parking lot across America and every city and county. Amazing amount of people served in Jesus name. People prayed with, in fact, s a they were saying in the beginning, you know, normally when we get this kind of a government relief, they’re like, you know, you can’t you gotta, you gotta, you gotta verify that these people need it. We said, Really? What does it mean? Doesn’t mean that we have to turn on the wind. We asked them to turn on the window and say how can we help you? Do you need, do you need <laugh>? Do you have a special need? Do you really need help? Yes. Can we pray for you? Yes. You mean because you’re faith with them? Yes. You know, so across America, we got to have conversations with people.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:04):
Yeah, I got to participate in some of the outreaches with Pastor Rod Baker, who is one of your yeah. Distribution points in Oklahoma. We went out with him and people would line up for two hours in order to get food. I mean, some of them had very nice cars and they had obviously been successful. They didn’t look like they would need food. But I think if someone is willing to wait two hours in line to get food, obviously they need it. And we, we prayed with people and God moved in such a, a powerful way. And so that was such a, a tremendous ministry.
Karl Hargestam (21:38):
It proved, it proved that the church is underused in our country and it’s proven the same in Ukraine. There’s no network like Jesus paper. Yeah, knowing their neighborhoods. Let,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:49):
Let’s talk about the last mile because like for the post office, they ship packages from one side of the country to the other side of the country, but it’s that last mile from the post office to going and putting the mail in the mailbox. That is actually the most expensive part of the process. And what you’re saying is that the local church is the most effective at bringing help to the people that need it the most in neighborhoods because they can do the last mile very inexpensively compared to anybody else that you could find a
Karl Hargestam (22:22):
Hundred percent first into donations in goods and kind. There’s no network like it. But also, think about it, when we think about brokenness in some of the most broken neighborhoods across America, you have a local church. The way that we done church for a long time is we sending buses, bring the kids into some great big church somewhere. And that small church that’s struggling is keeping the light on is almost like raising the wide flag, surrendering that neighborhood to the devil. I mean, as an enemy, that’s terrible. How do we resource that church that knows the kids to live on that street, know the issues with the houses down that street to be lighthouse for Jesus again, it is nothing better than empowering that church. In fact, if you’re gonna win in America, we need every church to share Jesus in any way, being resourced, loving their neighbors, and sharing the faith bold in Jesus name.
Karl Hargestam (23:11):
So that’s what we say when we talk about empowering the last mile, not just one church or one group or one network. The church of Jesus just gotta kind of rise to the moment. That’s how we’re gonna reclaim our country. Again, sharing the faith boldly. And that last mile delivery obviously is kind of what we’re able to be affected with when it comes to the goods and kind donations for sure. But there’s also other needs. You know, we will talk about that also in even grants. And I know people are afraid of money that is on the table, but grants are used by somebody and most of the time by things and values we don’t agree with. So it’s gonna go somewhere and it’s our money. We paid the taxes for. So our argument is why don’t god’s people to do last mile there?
Karl Hargestam (23:50):
You talk about prison and reentry. You know, our attrition for people coming outta prison, state of California is 67% returns back to prison. Why is that happening? I mean, we can say our country’s broken, our issues system is bad. Sure, all of that’s true. But the honest answer is they go back to their old community because our society is not able to provide a new community. What’s the community that would change that? The church of Jesus, it’s a community, can change their pathway, their projectory, because the gospel of Jesus changes from within. And that community can wrap around and be that new pathway. Restoration. This is true from homeless reentry, press and reentry, diction, reentry back into society. We need a life disciple people more than just giving a handout on a parking lot. If the church reclaims that place that we’re for people, we have the answer.
Karl Hargestam (24:43):
There’s even funding for it. We will do better job than any institution in our country because we care about it anyhow. We wanna see prisoners restored, redeemed on a pathway back to healthy life. We wanna see the addicted set free and the pathway back to healthy life. So we have really both the conviction we want to do it for us, and especially for me, because my call is about really primarily unre people. If I can’t get people to even see the harvest in their neighborhood, I have a real hard time for them to see the harvest in some unreached tribe somewhere in Africa where I need a helicopter to get to. So this has been a pathway to kind of say from Jerusalem, udia to Samaria and anso the earth. We we’re taking churches again, I think on a journey back to mission, that was the call in the church, preach the gospel to every person, one chance for every person, right? That gotta begin in our neighborhood somehow.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:37):
So just to review, what are the three s? Mobilization,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:40):
Mobilization, evangelism, massive evangelism. Mission network. In mission network. And you have worked in all three about seven to 10 years in each one. And I’ve been inspired just seeing your strategic thinking innovation, Joshua campaign, doing mass evangelism and Ethiopia, the helicopter going to unreached tribal groups where you can’t get there by road. And now city serve, helping to serve all the churches across America and, and really helping people in both America and Ukraine and other parts of the world. So thank you so much for your, your passion for Jesus and your innovation, your your strategic thinking. It really inspires me. And thank you for being on the Evangelism podcast. Yeah,
Karl Hargestam (26:28):
Man, Thank you. Thank you Daniel. Good to be here.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:30):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus, and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from Hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the Evangelism podcast on Apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review. You will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with King Ministries. Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much, and God bless you.
Evangelism Podcast Host (27:49):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches, visit king ministries.com. Again, that’s king ministries.com.