Mission Africa has now progressed to the next level of implementation. Ten of us met in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, at the African Enterprise headquarters from 17-19 November 2011. The meeting was chaired by Michael Cassidy, Founder of African Enterprise and Mission Africa I. It was set up by Blair Carlson, Lausanne Senior Associate for Proclamation Evangelism. Also in attendance were Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Scott Lenning, Carol Guenter, Steve Lungu, Songe Chibambo, Miles Giljam and David Rees. Regretfully Emmanuel Ndikumana, the Lausanne International Deputy Director for Francophone Africa, was unable to attend due to visa problems, but connected by phone to bring his greetings and affirmation..
Much focus was given to:
- How Mission Africa would reflect Lausanne’s perspective and definition of evangelism;
- How it relates to The Cape Town Commitment;
- How it would be an instrument of God for authentic partnerships;
- How it would engage young people in Africa for missions;
- How the Church in Africa would be empowered to fulfill it’s God-given Mandate in the 21st Century;
- How African resources could be mobilized for African and global missions.
Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, the Lausanne International Deputy Director for English/Portuguese/Spanish-speaking Africa, has kindly summarized our discussions as follows:
Mission Africa II: Giving “Evangelistic Legs” to The Cape Town Commitment in Africa!
In the foreword to The Cape Town Commitment [CTC], Doug Birdsall and Lindsay Brown comment, “The goal of the Third Lausanne Congress on Evangelization was to bring a fresh challenge to the global church to bear witness to Jesus Christ and all his teaching – in every nation, in every sphere of society, and in the realm of ideas. The Cape Town Commitment is the fruit of this endeavor.”
Clearly the CTC is to be an essential, living, working document to shape the missions agenda and strategy for the task of world evangelization in the 21st Century. It is never intended to be an idle constitution. Mission Africa II is prayerfully being envisioned and positioned through a vibrant network of strategic partnerships between the church and mission agencies in Africa and beyond to “give strong implementation legs” to the CTC in Africa. Mission Africa II, in a much broader sense, will develop a strong sense of ownership in the development of a corporate African Regional Strategy of rolling out and implementing the Mission Mandate outlined in The Cape Town Commitment on the Continent of Africa. The Mission Africa II strategy, beginning with a focus on Francophone and Portuguese-speaking Africa, will be Africa’s credible response to the call to a fresh witness to the Lord Jesus from the Cape Town 2010 Congress and will roll out beyond Africa as Mission World. We pray God will use Mission Africa as a gift of God from Africa to the rest of the world in this century.
Emmanuel Ndikumana is making plans to meet with French-speaking evangelists from around the world in January 2012. From this gathering, some will be invited along with Francophone Africa leaders met through 2011, to a consultation and mission in Rwanda in August 2012.
A Mission Africa II Strategic Partnership Consultation will be held in 2012 to ensure effective ownership by the “Whole Church” and for the development of a corporate strategy to take “Whole Gospel” to the “Whole Africa Region and Beyond” in response to The Cape Town Commitment.
Each mission outreach will include a three-to-five-day school of evangelism, whereby church members are trained in sharing their faith and helping to disciple new believers in Christ. The missions themselves will look different in various contexts, but each will have the sole objective of sharing the Gospel and love of the Lord Jesus Christ with those who have never before responded.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” Romans 10:14-15
We fervently pray that the partnering of international evangelists and national evangelists, and the further equipping of the local church in discipleship will be instruments of the Lord to bring transformation in the lives of men, women and children on the continent. It is our desire to see this part of what God will use to reach the unreached and unengaged peoples of Africa; and for Africa, in turn, to be used of the Lord to bring this transformational message to other parts of the globe.
Mission Africa in fact encompasses many aspects outlined in The Cape Town Commitment and we are thrilled that it will form the African Regional Strategy of rolling out and implementing the mission mandate contained therein. We would be grateful for your prayers as we move towards this action step and as the Kingdom of God continues to advance on that great continent.
From Mission Africa to Mission World: plans are firmly underway for similar ventures in the Caribbean and Russia. Mission Caribbean has recently submitted their vision; Mission Russia is honing theirs and will write on that separately. Each mission will be tailored to the context in which it will be held, but each will have the primary objectives of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, working with and training the local church in evangelism, and developing lasting ministry partnerships. As regional and local coordinators are appointed and trained, please pray that Mission World will bring honor to the Lord alone.
Front: Stephen Lungu, Michael Cassidy
Back: Songe Chibambo, Carol Guenter, Nana Yaw, Scott Lenning, Dave Rees, Miles Giljam, Blair Carlson