Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blogging Africa - Uganda and Rwanda

In 9 days time I will be on my way to Africa, first for a week in Uganda at the Amahoro Africa (emerging/missional) gathering and then another 2 weeks leading a team from Australia in Rwanda.

While away, and particularly during the week of Amahoro, I will regularly update Moved Mountains. I am also hoping to interview some of the key players at the gathering, inluding Claude Nikhondeha, Brian McLaren and other indigenous (African) leaders.

I think Amahoro is going to be incredibly important in building missional networks in Central Africa and establishing missional (as opposed to colonial) partnerships between western and African followers of Jesus.

I am really excited about being able to go to this conference and to learn more - and better - ways of interacting with our African brothers and sisters - but also, hopefully, about interacting with the church and broader community here at home as well.

I'll leave you with an interesting quote from a paper by South African theologian H.J. Hendriks from Stellenbosch University (the paper is entitled Evangelism in Africa and is Amahoro pre-reading). The paper looks at the way colonialism, mission and evangelism have taken place in Africa over the past several hundred years and makes an astounding conclusion - since the end of colonialism, the downscaling of western (as opposed to local/native) evangelistic efforts, the spread and effect of the Gospel has actually increased well beyond the borders of the colonial period.

Here's the quote - the illustration given may be around 100 years old, but the effect still speaks for itself!

Bediako (1995:91f) compared the work of an Anglican missionary with that of an African, the legendary William Wade Harris (1865-1929) of Liberia. He calls Harris the first independent African Christian prophet. This Anglican missionary worked for nine years and led 12 people to Christ. Harris preached the gospel for two years and 120,000 adult West Africans believed and were baptised into Christianity.
Hopefully we can all begin to think differently about how we approach evangelism - locally and abroad, particularly as it pertains to the role of the "native evangelist" in winning his own culture for Christ.

Africa - Bring it on!

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