Movement for Africa National Initiative Southern and Portuguese Speaking Africa Consultation –Johannesburg 2008
“Africa your time has come” was a passionate statement that encompassed the climate as over 350 leaders gathered together at Goodnews Convention Centre in Johannesburg for the Southern Africa Regional Consultation of the Movement for Africa National Initiatives (MANI). The main purpose of the consultation was tagged” Working Together to Finish the Task,” with the goal to strengthen national initiatives and to allow Regional Networks to emerge through the different working groups.
“God is speaking to many people, but when we come together, we are able to discern together, coordinate and conclusively agree on what God is saying to us” says Dr, U. Obed of African Initiative on Transformational Discipleship.
He also added that the Church in Africa must be sensitized to do Missions. “If the Church is going to have sustainable Missions and church-planting, we need to disciple Africa. A Church without discipleship is a failed Church” said Obed.
High-level leaders representing various denominations and organizations from 13 African nations were recommended and appointed by their very own nations to attend this momentous meeting. The original plan was to have at least 25% women delegates and 25% youth of the 300 delegates.
Commenting on that, Dean Carlson, the Southern Africa Coordinator for MANI Southern Africa said “even though we did not reach our target, it is something we are hoping to progressively work at in the future.” He further noted that this gathering was the first Anglophone regional MANI event since the continental Consultation in Nairobi, Kenya in 2006.
Carlson highlighted the fact that the consultation was attended on three levels – regional delegates, who came together to inspire and challenge one another towards greater partnership to finish the task in Southern Africa, Continental delegates, who attended to share about what God is doing beyond the southern Africa region, and the Global delegates, who are encouraging Africa’s interface with the world, to bring about a sharing and exchange of giftedness with the world.
The participants displayed the true spirit of Africa as they gravitated towards celebration expressed through singing, dancing, prayer and connection. The challenge of assessing and focusing on the unfinished task were other key components of the meeting. Presentations regarding the state of the gospel were made from Southern African countries, Portuguese speaking Africa, East Africa, Anglophone West Africa, Francophone West Africa, Francophone Central Africa and the Islands.
Several rigorous discussions took place in various working groups during the consultation as delegates broke away into different affinity groups. Feedback of each discussion was brought back to the larger group. Some of the working groups include: National Mobilization and Research, Mobilization, Training and Sending of African Missionaries, Mobilization/Empowerment of Women in Ministry, HIV/AIDS, Church Planting movements, Leadership Development and Mentoring, Prayer Mobilization for Transformation and Missions, Oral Communication of the Gospel, Islam, Migrant peoples and others.
As the event concluded, Rev. Reuben Ezemadu, the Continental Coordinator for MANI shared uplifting stories and cases studies on how Africa is impacting the World. “MANI is envisioning and focusing the Church in Africa on her role in global missions and the potential that God has given Africa to be a blessing to the world.”
He also added that the awareness of Africa’s responsibility in Global missions is increasing. “The Global Church should be open and willing to enter into sincere partnership with Africa” said Ezemadu.
Other highlights mentioned by Continental and Global delegates include:
- Prayers offered corporately for Kenya and Zimbabwe.
- The devotions led by Dr. U. Obed on “Being Authentic in personal life and ministry and as Africans.
- The challenge of a discipled Nation
- Celebration during worship and prayer times
- The Connectedness and partnerships being formed
- A vision to reach and transform every community in Africa for Christ.
- The successful hosting of Lausanne/MANI Younger Leaders event a day before the start of MANI Consultation