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African leaders declare ‘we can’ at leaders conference

African leaders declare ‘we can’ at leaders conference

African leaders declare ‘we can’ at leaders conference

11 March 2019

Delegates at the recent Africa leaders conference praying for guidance and direction as they focus on building a strong future on the continent.

By Colonel Wayne Bungay

Salvation Army leaders from across Africa recently met in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss leading the work there into a healthy future – spiritually, financially and socially.

Thirty-four delegates representing the 26 African countries in which The Salvation Army is officially at work, attended the conference.

“The countries we represent are diverse,” said Commissioner Benjamin Mnyampi, International Secretary for Africa.

Delegates to the conference came from 26 different nations.

“God is at work here – hallelujah! There is much to celebrate, but also many different needs. Africa needs our Salvation Army. Africa needs Jesus.”

Across 14 sessions, delegates examined the dynamics of discipleship, mission, leadership, projects, finance and self-sustainability/income-generation initiatives.

Practical sessions on prudent project and financial management led delegates to consider how The Salvation Army in Africa can move towards becoming fiscally self-sufficient.

Much thought was also given to developing leadership skills for Salvation Army personnel across the continent, and identifying the leaders of tomorrow.

During the week of the conference (23 February–1 March) came the appointment announcement of two Africa-based child protection specialists. These positions will increase capacity and further support The Salvation Army across Africa in this critical ministry.

Delegates participate in interactive conference sessions.

Agreement existed among leaders that many of the discussion items were of relevance to all territories. While territorial, command or regional dynamics would prevail, commonalities around appropriate responses were evident.

One matter viewed as vital and deserving of immediate attention was leader development. This coincides with General Brian Peddle’s call to ensure that the development of leaders at all levels receives international focus and attention.

The matter of retaining and encouraging children and young people within The Salvation Army evoked urgency. The theological and doctrinal understanding of Salvationists met with similar concern, along with an expressed need to ensure that opportunities for nurturing healthy discipleship are within easy reach for all.

And while women’s ministries programs are strong across the continent, ministry to men and by men was discussed in depth, with agreement that they are vital to a healthy, growing Army.

Delegates from diverse cultures share common ground.

“A healthy future for The Salvation Army in Africa depends on what chance we give the Holy Spirit,” said Commissioner Grace Mnyampi, Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries.

“He is not a liability that needs limiting but the only one who can truly make an eternal impact … we should not limit the Holy Spirit.”

In addition to the formal conference activities, delegates participated in the welcome to nine cadets of the Messengers of Grace session, which took place at Batsinda Corps.

During their time in Rwanda, delegates and zonal staff also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where Commissioners Benjamin and Grace Mnyampi laid a wreath at the mass grave holding the remains of 250,000 victims and offered a prayer for families of those who died.

The event was broadcast on national television and included an interview with the international secretary.

 

Colonel Wayne Bungay is the Tanzania Territorial Commander

 

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