Sunday, August 20, 2017

Theological Education in Africa, Tanzania

The Theological Education in Africa (TEA) conference, hosted in Tanzania by Resonate Global Missions (formerly Christian Reformed World and Home Missions) concluded last Friday.  Five hundred people from about fifteen countries in East and Southern Africa, worshipping together and networking.  It was exciting, invigorating, and productive, with many good speakers from many parts of the world.  Dr. Mwaya Kitavi and his team did an amazing job of coordinating and facilitating this conference.

We had the opportunity to present the Discipling Marketplace Leaders ministry on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to pastors and church leaders.  As usual, our message is received with great enthusiasm.  We continue to be thrilled at the excitement and engagement of our participants.  Several came up to me during the course of the week and told me how our workshop has completely turned their thinking about the church, and that they can't stop thinking about what we presented.  But we know that no matter how excited someone is when they hear the message, the real challenge is when they go back to their normal environment and resume their regular duties.  The brain tends to compartmentalize and we don't easily transfer new information and knowledge into application.  Therein lies our challenge.  How do we help pastors and church leaders implement a ministry of discipling the marketplace members in their church?
We were blessed to have our Kenya team travel to Tanzania, despite the worrisome aftermath of the Kenyan election.  The pastor who seems to have done the best job of full integration of the DML ministry in his church, Pastor Moffat Weru, was with the team and gave a great testimony at our workshop, describing how this ministry has changed and grown his church.

Today I fly from Tanzania to Ethiopia where we will have a few days of meetings with the up and coming DML team in Addis Ababa.  We continue to covet your prayers for this ministry!

DML Kenya Team (L to R):  Rev. Kisala, me, Caroline Sudi, Betty Ndagwa, Pastor Moffat Weru, Dr. Walker

We worshipped at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Arusha, a very formal, High-Church.  After the service they auctioned off the non-cash tithe gifts.

Rev. Dr. Michelle Lloyd-Paige, a former colleague of Bob at Calvin College, led us in worship each day of the conference through her beautiful dance.