This update is from Kalengule Kaoma, mission director for Central Africa.
The Zambia-based pastors’ wives hosted a Pastors’ Wives Retreat for the region that includes Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. For the first time, the women received a visitor from Nairobi, Kenya. Anne Kimani, wife of East Africa Area Pastor Kimani Ndungu, attended. With her counterparts, Anne shared insights on prayer and being a participant in the ministry of Christ.
While in Angola I conducted a two-day leadership seminar. The church has made a remarkable turn towards Christ-centeredness, growing in their understanding of the new covenant. With a lot of enthusiasm and positive outlook, we discussed the future of GCI in Angola. “We are just waiting for registration. When we are registered, we will go to many regions of Angola and share the gospel with other people,” assured Oliveira Kitambala, National Director for Angola. Fragoso Lunji and Andre Kaliale from Luanda Kilometro and Estalagon church areas respectively echoed positive sentiments. Fragoso emphasized: “We have many opportunities to share God’s word with other people. What we have in Grace Communion is too good to keep to ourselves.” In Luanda, two of Oliveira’s pastors invited me to speak in their well-attended congregations. Oliveira is networking with clergy in his community.
Pictured below are the leaders from Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe who met recently in Harare for their annual leadership conference. Gordon Green, Regional Pastor for Natal, South Africa attended as a resource person. Among other topics, Gordon encouraged leaders to Cultivate People Skills in Leadership.
Kimani Ndungu, Area Pastor for East Africa; Anthony Gachanja, National Director for Kenya; and I traveled to Kisii to meet pastor Javan and his team, who have expressed interest to be part of Grace Communion International. We are watching this developing story.
There is a surge of interest in GCI here, particularly from three groups of children age five to sixteen. Most live with grandparents who are not able to feed or clothe them well. These children carry sad memories of losing their parents to HIV/AIDs. Often I ask Jesus to show me what he is doing in the lives of these seemingly hopeless children. We are telling them that Jesus loves them. What a joy to see them smile!
Charles and Comfort Akuwoah, pastor of Kumasi congregation, hosted me in their home. In a Bible Study with 22 attendees, I pointed out that each of us matter to God. We are very close to his heart because God has included us in his circle of love.
Immigration officers at the border welcomed Pastor Alfred Ablordeppey and me. Seeing Pastor Daniel Yovo again brought joy to my heart. I recalled my few French words of salutations and greeted him. Over the weekend we attended leaders’ workshops and church services. We shared communion and tasty meals. God is building close-knit communities among us.
Before our Saturday morning leaders’ training session, we went to the river for a baptism ceremony. Herbert and Jane decided to go through baptism.
Besides leadership training, we spent time with the youth and general membership in Bible Studies. Eagerness shown by members to learn God’s word made me want to spend more time with God’s children in Benin.