GMI Connection

Serving a Vibrant African Missions Movement GMI Connection - Issue 3 : Article 2

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nl3-2.jpgServing a Vibrant African Missions Movement

God is doing amazing things in Africa! The Church has grown tremendously there during the past 50 years. Today, there are more evangelicals in Africa than in any other continent. Several African countries, such as Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Nigeria have a higher percent evangelical population than the USA.

 

Likewise, the African missions movement is growing rapidly and maturing in important ways. For instance, Nigeria and Ghana send out thousands of missionaries, and each country has its own national missions association (Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association and Ghana Evangelical Missions Association).

 

The Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI) is likely the largest, most vibrant continental missions network in Africa. This network seeks to catalyze and mobilize the body of Christ in Africa for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. In particular, MANI focuses on inspiring Christian leaders with the vision of reaching the unreached and least evangelized within and beyond Africa.

 

GMI was invited to participate in the MANI 2011 Continental Consultation held in Abuja, Nigeria, September 4-10. Here, some 600 church and mission leaders from 60 countries gathered to learn from each other, celebrate what God has done, and address the challenges facing the church in Africa today.

 

The sense of "ownership" of missions to Africa and from Africa on the part of the participants was striking. Not only was it clear that African missions is their calling, but there was a clear sense that God has empowered them for the task. And, African leaders made it clear that they are taking primary responsibility for resourcing African missions, including providing the needed financial resources.

 

We were struck by the clarion call to "Go North"—to focus priority mission concern on reaching the peoples of North Africa. And, we came away from the Consultation with a renewed sense of the need for church, missions and leadership development resources in Francophone Africa.

 

It was gratifying to see GMI-produced maps and reports appearing in various plenary presentations, mission agency brochures, and ministry display booths around the assembly hall. Beyond the many GMI resources present, our team also helped create a DVD-ROM full of African missions information that was distributed free to all of the participants, and we helped create several large wall maps highlighting the status of African missions that were displayed throughout the consultation.

 

It was also humbling to be explicitly recognized (along with other ministries) during one of the evening plenary sessions with a Certificate of Appreciation "in recognition for your role in championing the cause of African National Initiatives."

 

GMI's highest priority is "empowering evangelical ministry leaders in arenas where mission research resources are relatively scarce and unaffordable, especially those leaders who are directly involved in the process of world evangelization."

 

So it was a distinct privilege for us to be at the MANI 2011 Consultation—witnessing all the proceedings, meeting such amazing leaders, serving them, and discovering how we can better serve the African Church with mission research and mapping resources. To God be the glory!

 

For more information about MANI and the 2011 Continental Consultation, go to the MANI website: http://www.maniafrica.com. As you visit this site and consider what God is doing in Africa today, remember to pray for this growing missions movement and support it as God leads.

 

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