20/20: Progress & Challenges in Africa

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While there are many reasons for the changes in Africa over the past 20 years, the release of Nelson Mandela and the spotlight he brought to Africa is a significant milestone. As the world mourned his loss in 2013, there is value in looking back over the past 20 years since his release from prison and the next 20 years and ask the question, "Given the amazing progress and significant changes, what is the role of the Church?" This Missiographic strives to provide some insight into this question.


What Africa Can Teach Us All

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Personal Reflection

Do you have 20/20 vision in your own life? Have you been able to understand what has happened in your past and the implications on your future clearly? It is a very hard thing to do. So as you look at this overview of the past 20 years in Africa and the challenges moving forward, what can you do about it? It can feel overwhelming. The exciting thing was that people like Nelson Mandela made huge contributions to the progress over the last 20 years and new individuals will get that same chance in the next 20 years. What would it look like if you were one of those people who responded to Galatians 6:9 and continued doing good in many arenas of African life despite the odds? Is God calling you to invest your life in representing Him in Africa?


Engaging the Church

Whether you are a church in Manchester, England or Nairobi, Kenya, how is your congregation responding to the challenges that Africa is facing today? Whether it is growing persecution or extreme corruption, it is hard to be a follower of Christ in those conditions. Are you as a church speaking into these issues? Are you praying for the believers who are facing these challenges and striving to communicate the Gospel? Are you investing church resources in supporting believers as they are on mission in these various areas of society? Consider how your missions' budget or local outreach resources can empower Christians to be the difference-makers in the next 20 years of Africa's development! 


Organizational Application

Has your organization had a role in the amazing progress Africa has made over the last 20 years? If so, celebrate that. If not, what has kept you from investing in Christ's Church in Africa? Consider the challenges still facing Africa today. What would God be asking your organization to do in response? Are your programs and ministries taking these challenges into account as you work on the ground in various countries? If you are a local African ministry, what can you do in your sphere of influence to address these significant challenges and bring visibility to the discussion? How might the growing number of believers in your country be a force for good and a carrier of the redemptive message of Christ? 


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