I’ve just returned from Africa, and I’m eager to give you a snapshot of our ten-day outreach. We went to Rwanda in response to an invitation from thirty churches in the Rubavu district, in the far western region, centered in the town of Gisenyi next to Gomo, Congo. It was thrilling to partner with them in a multi-faceted evangelistic mission, taking the good news out to the people – through two citywide rallies, daily open-air street meetings in 13 different zones, various university talks, and a women’s conference.
At the three-day School of Evangelism during the same week, 224 church leaders and evangelists gathered for Bible teaching and training. The connection between the School in the morning and the open-air events in the afternoon and the evening showings of the Jesus Film provided practical application in evangelism.
The Rwandan outreach was a true partnership in every way. Our team represented the nations of Kenya, the South Pacific, England, Rwanda and the USA. A variety of ministries worked together, including Campus Crusade and SWIM, under the coordinating leadership of African Enterprise. I believe the deeper dimension of partnering together to serve the local church in the work of evangelism has a unique impact.
This invitation from Rwanda emerged from a renewed vision for public proclamation evangelism in response to the Congress in Cape Town. Building on the inspiration of Mission Africa, where we partnered international and African evangelists, leading up to the Congress, Rwanda is one of the first to participate in “Mission Africa: Stage II”. Nearly 50 countries representing 115 invitations have expressed a desire for some level of partnership in evangelism in their region. We hope to be able to help each one.
Following our time in Rwanda, I flew to Burundi to meet Emmanuel Ndikumana, the Lausanne International Deputy Director for Francophone Africa. We spent two days together discussing plans for mission outreach in French-speaking areas of Africa with the aim of involving French-speaking evangelists from different parts of the world.
In early September I will be traveling to the MANI Consultation (Movement for African National Initiatives) in Abuja, Nigeria. This will be a significant opportunity to connect with African leaders ministering throughout the continent, and to continue planning the way forward for Mission Africa: Stage II.
While in Rwanda it was a personal privilege to meet the Anglican Archbishop and the Anglican Bishop of Kivu Diocese. My family and I belong to an AMIA church (Anglican Mission in America) which was planted by the church leadership of Rwanda and remains today under their authority.
GoodWORD Partnership has been commissioned to take the lead in serving as a catalyst for evangelism in Africa – and wherever we can -- to help regions of the world fulfill God’s calling to communicate the gospel. We aim to serve in three areas:
As we launch this new initiative, our time in Rwanda was an enormous encouragement. We thank the Lord that some 78,000 people heard the gospel and more than 11,900 indicated that they wanted to know more about following the Lord Jesus. Please pray for these inquirers, and the huge task that remains in Rubavu as local believers help them become true disciples of Jesus and active members of His Church.
Blair T. Carlson serves as the Lausanne Senior Associate for Proclamation Evangelism and previously served as the Congress Director for Cape Town 2010. He is the founder and executive director of GoodWORD Partnership. Additional photos and reports are available at goodwordpartnership.org.