Safari Mission, a faith based mission organization in Tulsa, traces its roots back to the Pentecostal heritage and the Rhema family. The founders of Safari Mission, Vidar Ligard and Cathrine Ligard, both grew up Pentecostal. Vidar and Cathrine are third generation Pentecostal believers, and had that foundation as a part of their heritage. Later on, they attended Rhema Bible Training College in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With a strong foundation of the Word of Faith, The Ligards started Safari Mission as a faith based mission organization in Tulsa to train leaders in East Africa.
Rhema is a small part of the Pentecostal family and the Pentecostal family is a small part of the Evangelical family. There are four things that categorize an Evangelical and their faith, and whether you are Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal or some other Evangelical, these will be a part of your faith. The number one belief is that a person must be born again. As a faith based mission organization, Safari Mission also believes that the most important part of a person’s faith is that they are born again. The second belief is that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is the only sacrifice that can purchase our redemption. Safari Mission also believes that this is an important element of a person’s faith. As a faith based mission organization, Safari Mission teaches that it is only Jesus’ sacrifice that can purchase our redemption. In other words, there is no salvation apart from Jesus. So number one, we have to be born again. Secondly, Jesus, his sacrifice is the only sacrifice which gives somebody access to heaven. Thirdly, the Bible is the final authority. There is no pope or bishop above the Bible. A faith based mission organization like Safari Mission that has its root in the evangelical and Pentecostal background also believes this to be true. Lastly, number four, is the belief that we must tell others about our faith. That is where we get the word Evangelical from—we must evangelize! That is all that Safari Mission is about as a faith based mission organization in Tulsa. We believe that it is our mission to tell people in East Africa the good news of the gospel. The gospel has the power to change a person’s life and that is why Safari Mission trains leaders in East Africa. So these four elements is what unites all Evangelical: a person must be born again, there is only redemption through Jesus Christ, the Bible is the final authority, and we must tell others about our faith (evangelize).
What sets Pentecostals apart are the following three things: one must speak in tongues, one must expect the miraculous consistently, and one must live right. Then we have the Rhema heritage and who we are as a Rhema family. Our Rhema Bible Schools exist as an extension of the mandate from God and Kenneth Hagen’s life to go teach my people faith and to take the gospel to every corner of the earth. Our Rhema Bible schools exist to train men and women to go into the world with the integrity of the word and the move of the Holy Spirit. All the Rhema Schools, as a family, are to be known for honoring the word. We are to be known for loving like Christ. We are to be known for living by faith. We are to be known for healing the sick. We are to be known for exercising the believer’s authority. We are to be known for being led by the spirit and we are to being known for having the move of the spirit in our midst. We are also feeding it to be known for doing everything with excellence and integrity. That is our Rhema heritage. We have a very strong heritage, but a heritage only comes from stability. If you’re wandering all over the place, you can’t really say you have much of a heritage. Being consistent and persistent are necessary ingredients in any kind of a heritage.
So our Rhema heritage is one that is worth protecting and it is our job and responsibility to continue this heritage that we have. Balance in all that we do is necessary to build a serious reputation. You have to be balanced. Safari Mission is a part of this Rhema heritage and strives to be a balances faith based mission organization that teaches people the balanced gospel. You can’t be extreme in one area and build a serious reputation. So we have this heritage and the question becomes how do we preserve, maintain, and continued the heritage that we have. I’m very thankful for that heritage.
The winds of doctrine, they come throughout church history. We find that people have erred and some are only focusing on grace and redemption. We are saved by grace. We are saved by faith. These are the benefits that we have because of redemption. Then we have some people on the other side and they have only focused on man’s response. In other words, what is man’s responsibility? How are we supposed to act? How are we supposed to live? But he’d find that if somebody focuses on only this side, they’re going to be imbalanced and you will leave the inheritance, which I would not want any of us to leave. And it’s the same way. If we go over on this side, we focus only on grace. We focus only on righteousness. We focus only on redemption. The only thing we are concerned with is what Christ has done for us. And we only celebrate what he has done for us. We will be left in the other ditch aside from the heritage that we already have. That is why Safari Mission is so focused on teaching people in East Africa the balanced gospel of faith—the gospel that teaches both the redemption and man’s response. As a faith based mission organization that teaches a balanced gospel, Safari Mission seeks to preserve the evangelical, Pentecostal, and Rhema heritage.