Pastor Miki Hardy is the founder of CTMI (Church Team Ministries International). Together with his wife, Audrey, and several other pastors, CTMI brings together pastors and leaders who recognise the role of the apostolic ministry, as laid out in Ephesians 4. CTMI is based on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, and its mission is to spread this message of the cross to other church leaders, mainly in Africa. Miki agreed to answer questions from the editorial staff of Info Chrétienne where this interview was originally published in French. We are grateful to Miki for his openness and sincerity in sharing the difficulties he has encountered, and his desire to share the message of the cross to the whole world.

Can you tell us about when you first met Jesus?

I grew up in a very religious Catholic family. Forty years ago, I attended some ‘charismatic’ meetings that were organized at the Loreto Convent in my hometown. During these meetings my eyes were opened and I began to realise that many things that I had previously believed in were not found in Scripture. I was overjoyed to discover the Word of God, and in it I finally understood that I was a sinner, and that was why Jesus had come to die for me. I answered a call, repented, and was broken before the Lord, as I realized His love for me; thus, in 1977 I experienced the miracle of being born again.

What triggered and marked the beginning of your ministry?

Very soon after I met Jesus, the feeling that God was calling me to serve Him became clearer and stronger. In 1982, at the end of our Bible School year in Durban, South Africa, my wife Audrey and I received several prophecies from pastors who, despite not knowing us, confirmed the calling that I had felt for a long time. At that point, it became crystal clear that the Lord was calling us into full-time ministry, to serve Him back home in Mauritius.

It was not an easy choice to make because my parents had sacrificed so much to pay for my education – I was a civil engineer by profession – and I knew I would have a lot to answer for if I walked away from it to answer God’s call. But this call was stronger than anything else I had ever felt before; and, despite being settled in the church there, and having bought a house, it didn’t take long for us to pack everything and leave. Nonetheless, we would never have left of our own accord – we knew the Scriptures well enough to know that we needed to be sent. Our pastor, Fred Roberts, acknowledged the call on our lives and prayed to send us into God’s service. We returned to Mauritius with our two daughters who aged 7 and 3; and since that time, we have been serving the Lord here for 35 years. The Lord has also opened doors in several other parts of the world, particularly in Africa, where we work with thousands of pastors.

We all know that life is full of ups and downs. Would you mind sharing one of your trials with us, and how you overcame it by God’s grace?

In 1996, my wife and I were subject to vicious attacks by local media, who were very hostile towards our church. We were their main target. It was a very difficult, yet enriching experience for us. False accusations about our family and the church, etc. were splashed across every newspaper for weeks on end. We were under constant pressure, but the whole church supported us in prayer and fellowship. It was a great test of our faith at a time when the message of the cross was becoming ever more real in my life. We deliberately chose not to defend or justify ourselves, but instead to forgive our persecutors. This was no easy thing, but we understood that it was part of the cross we were called to carry, if we wanted to identify with the sufferings of Christ. Many people encouraged us to take legal action, but we knew it was something we needed to go through and that the Lord would honor our decision. We really experienced the grace of God and great victory. Although this was a painful trial, it was very beneficial because we came through it more mature and the church also became stronger as a result. As servants of God, it is important for us to go through trials and be tested in different ways, so that we impart the life of Christ to others. There are no shortcuts or a way around these trials, because they are what God uses to train His servants.

What project or achievement are you most proud of?

In 2001, I felt the need to share with other pastors the revelation I had received from the Lord concerning the message of the cross. With my wife and a few pastors from our partner churches, I founded CTMI (Church Team Ministries International). Since then, CTMI has worked with thousands of pastors in dozens of countries around the world, mostly in Africa. I must say that by the grace of God many of them have experienced a dramatic change in their own lives, homes and churches. It goes without saying that thousands of Christians have benefited.

What is the greatest lesson you have learnt through your ministry?

During all the years that I have served the Lord, I have learnt that things are not always easy. Christian life includes good times, but it also includes persecution, trials, sad and tough times that we can’t avoid. But in all these things there is a purpose; and, there is always great victory at the end. Paul clearly states “…all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God’s ways are not our ways!

And if you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

I don’t regret anything, because today I can look back at the trials I went through and recognize that they contributed to Christ being formed in me.

Who is the person / people who have played a major role in your ministry?

My wife Audrey, has always supported me through every tough situation I have faced; whether it was when I went through serious health problems or persecution; she has never hesitated to challenge me and never holds back in speaking to me about areas in my life where I need to change and grow.

Do you have people who are examples, or mentors, who push you to grow and improve?

I have closely followed the lives of brothers and sisters that I have worked with for many years, that bear witness to the power of the message of the cross that has changed them, and transformed their marriages and their ministries. Their lives today are both a challenge and a constant encouragement to me, because I know the road they have walked, and their consecration to, and their love for, the work of God.

Which Biblical character inspires you most and why?

At a time when I was desperately seeking direction from the Lord for my life and for the church, Paul’s epistles really helped and encouraged me. I learned a lot from this man of God, whose writings are ultimately the story of his life; what he went through, and how he identified with the sufferings of Christ. What also struck me was how passionately he defended the gospel and the message he had received from Jesus; and, how he always worked in a team. He is a model of how God’s calling and the outworking of a ministry have an impact on the lives of others. His life has been a tremendous source of encouragement and inspiration to me. In his epistles, we discover the model for building the Church, through the different ministries; the relationship between these ministries, and especially the revelation of the message of Jesus that these ministries carry, to be communicated to the Church.

What advice would you give to those who want to follow the same path as you?

There are far too many people today in ministry who, on the one hand are not truly called by the Lord and, on the other hand, have no idea of what ministry really represents. When the idea of serving God started to grow in my heart, I thought it meant to preach the gospel, prepare messages, know my Bible, pray and fast, etc. But what I didn’t know is that it would encompass my whole life – in other words, I would be called to lose my life! That is why, when someone tells me that they desire to “serve the Lord” in ministry, I always encourage them before venturing down that path, firstly to consider the cost, and to be sure that it really is Jesus who is calling them. Today we see too many people who go into the ministry independently, without being sent, and who award themselves all kinds of titles or positions. This is harmful to the Church and the Body of Christ because they exercise an authority in the Church that they have not received from God. It is an authority that comes from the flesh, and is detrimental to the believers who suffer under it. We cannot change what Jesus planned for His Church. It must be built according to His plan and His heart.

How do you see your ministry in the coming years? What projects are important to you?

I would like to see the message of the cross of Jesus spread throughout the world, and many Churches represent Jesus with honor. I pray that the Lord may unite servants of God and bring them to see the many things that have replaced the true gospel, which must find its proper place in the Church once again. In other words, that God’s order may be restored in His Church once again by the servants that He has called!

The news is often sad and disturbing: Christians are being persecuted, society is falling apart, there are natural disasters, and major ethical changes… What stand have you taken in the face of all these events? Are you too busy to get involved? Are you an attentive watchman? Or are you sounding the trumpet?

Of course, I am concerned about the fate of my brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. As an organization, we support ministries who work with persecuted Christians. I am not personally engaged in the other events mentioned, but I am aware of the time in which we live. I take every opportunity to warn Christians of the dangers of worldly influences, particularly as to how they affect the Church, and the increase of false doctrines. There should be more watchmen sounding the trumpet and warning Christians about abuse, deceit, and heresies within the Church itself. Fortunately for us, Jesus is on the throne! He is the One building His Church, and we have faith that He is doing it well, according to His plan, and in His time.