Spreading the Gospel in Wales

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Dai Hankey is one of my favorite people on the planet.

Rapper. Planter. Trainer. Dad. Emcee. Leader. Friend.

Dai and I met at a Precepts training in the U.K., in a room filled almost entirely with silver haired leaders in tweed jackets. We spied each other from across the room, and during the break made a beeline towards one another like two highlanders irresistibly drawn together, in an unspoken, “Hey, you don’t look like you fit in here either.”

We immediately hit it off, talking about ninjas, the gospel, and all things ’80s.

Dai had been a youth worker in the inner city in Cardiff, Wales, where I’d been a missionary for seven years. I’d heard rumors about a bus that used to go around the council estates and pick up kids for DJ Workshops. Dai wasn’t just an ordained minister who looked and sounded like something out of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, or Snatch. He was also an MC/DJ who could rock a house. I know because he once rocked a council estate where I planted a church.

In those days, there was no Acts29 or church planting movements in Wales in general. We both watched a church planter get off the ground in Cardiff, and the leader who planted it was reluctant, trying to hand it off to us both.

What we didn’t know at the time is that we’d become best mates, inextricably joined at the hip in all things church planting, calling each other on Monday mornings to swap war stories and compare scars. Dai had planted in the valley town marred by depression, and economic poverty, whereas I’d planted in Swansea, the second largest city in Wales.

I don’t know that either of us would have made it without those calls and our constant friendship, but one thing was certain. We knew we had something good. Something valuable in our band of brothers, and we wanted to spread it outward, into a network of brothers and sisters who would give everything, and stop at nothing to see the gospel infiltrate the far reaches of Wales, the U.K.’s most forgotten part.

To that end, we founded New Breed, which we led together, until I moved back to America, bringing it and the training we did to the U.S.A. Dai, meanwhile took over Acts29 Wales, but our friendship continued. To this day, I look to Dai for inspiration as I always have.

He never stops moving. If Dai does something, he goes all in. Whether parenting four, or writing children’s books, or a book about the offense of the gospel, rapping, or writing blogs. Dai has never slowed down.

Today, he leads a church in Cardiff, and a non-profit known as Manumit Coffee, that provides work for people rescued out of human trafficking. From humble beginnings, Dai worked with local authorities until it grew into a coffee roasting business that has received awards from the Queen herself!

Join me and Daniel Yang for an episode of Frontlines on Monday, October 5 at 11:00 a.m. PT/ 2:00 p.m. ET as we interview Dai and talk about Business as Mission.

We are better together!

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

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