MAKING VITAL LOCAL CHURCHES IN AFRICA

Thursday, October 18, 2018
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HARARE, Zimbabwe—The first ever Emmaus Ministries Leadership Development Event for the African continent was held from September 20 to 23, 2018. The event, which was hosted by the Zimbabwe Emmaus Ministries National Board, took place on the grounds of the Cranborne UMC in Harare where the Rev. Allan Gurupira, Administrative Assistant to Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa, welcomed the group of 60 participants from the Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
 
Nigel and Wendy Warr, and Mazvita Machinga members of the Africa leadership team, Ellen Dry of the Emmaus Ministries in South Africa, and Stephane Brooks representing Upper Room shared on various aspects of the ministries, provided numerous opportunities for Q&A, and met with several delegations.
 
“As the work continues to spread on the African continent, our main objective was to work with leaders at making the link between our offerings - Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, Journey to the Table, Face to Face, and the more recent Discovery Weekend – and the local churches’ plans for the making and empowering of disciples of Jesus-Christ”said Rev. Stephane Brooks, the International Spiritual Director of the Emmaus Ministries. He added that the conversation also provided opportunity to highlight the centrality of the laity-clergy partnership, as well as the one between the local church and the local Emmaus Ministries community. “It is important that they see themselves as partners in the making of vital churches that are inviting persons to know Christ, to grow in Christ, to serve in Christ, and to share Christ.”
 
The Leadership Development Event came at a time when efforts are being made to decentralize the work and start new communities in Nigeria and Ghana, as well as on the eve of opening events in Nairobi, Kenya.
 
For the Most Rev. Dr Adegbemi Adewale, Archbishop of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, the Harare experience was transformative, equipping and empowering. As a recent “graduate” of the Walk to Emmaus, he believes that the event brought the clarity that enables him to now see the offerings not only as tools for individual transformation, but also as resources for church development.


 

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