Friday, May 5, 2017

Africa Leadership Exchange, Crater Lake

The Africa Leadership Exchange, May 2017.

This past week, we have had the great privilege of hosting the launch of a new CBM initiative with four of our African partner organizations. The Africa Leadership Exchange is bringing together executive leadership from denominations that are undergoing significant leadership change and reforms. Together we are fostering a community of shared learning, reflection, and support. 

We are very thankful for our colleague Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mills, who is spearheading the series of learning retreats focused on strengthening governance and leadership among our partners. Jonathan has recently completed his doctoral work in the area of church governance in Africa from Acadia Divinity College. We believe that this is a crucial time for many of our partners that are undergoing leadership change and significant reforms.

Crater Lake Camp, Naivasha

Through the help of CBM, we were able to hold the retreat in a secluded camp on Crater Lake in Naivasha, Kenya. The local Masai herds people have long believed in the healing power of the Lake's alkaline waters. For generations, they have brought their ailing and sick cattle to the crater. It is a very special and sacred space.

For our group, Crater Lake has been a time of healing and refreshment as we have come together to build friendship and mutual understanding of the challenges being faced in the Church of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Sudan.

The TWO Jonathans
Dr. Jonathan S. Mills and Dr. Jonathan R. Wilson

Along with the governance training and workshops being led by Jonathan Mills, we are blessed to have Rev. Dr. Jonathan Wilson as a guest speaker and devotional leader. Jonathan and his wife Soohwan Park are visiting Kenya for meetings with A Rocha Kenya. In Canada, A Rocha is an important partner of CBM in the area of care of creation and environmental stewardship.

During the retreat, Wilson has been sharing Ancient Wisdom on spiritual practices for life's journey arising from the Old Testament narrative. It has been a rich experience for all of us to receive his teaching and direction.

Jonathan Mills teaching on governance

One of the goals for this week was the building of a common language and foundational understanding of good governance. The retreat has helped us establish a framework to understand and examine the current governance and administrative structures in each of our organizations.

If the idea of spending your days talking and thinking about organizational structure and decision making seems like a pretty dry topic to you, this group might change your mind.

It was fascinating to learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current structures and internal workings of each partner organization (including CBM). 

Ultimately, our hope is that this training and knowing community will spark deep change and renewed health within the Church.

Jeremiah, Gato, and Luka

Worshipping together 
with Polisi Kivava leading us in a  Congolese Hymn

Times of fellowship and sharing

Playing Koobs -- A little fun by the lake!

Women leaders from each of the four partners with Soohwan

Please join us in praying for our partner churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Sudan. We especially pray for wisdom and discernment for these leaders as they work together within their current structures seeking the health and wellbeing of their churches.

We pray for Jonathan Mills as he processes the content of this week, continues to develop the training materials, and mobilizes trainers for the next retreat.

We especially remember our sisters and brothers returning to areas of insecurity and conflict in Eastern DRC and South Sudan.

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