The CBM Africa Leadership Exchange
This past week, leaders from CBM and four of our African partner denominations gathered for the second Africa Leadership Exchange (ALE) focused on enhancing leadership and governance across our African partners.
The exchange of perspectives and ideas from Christian leaders serving in Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Canada has created a rich and dynamic community of learning and practice.
At each gathering, we are witnessing God's Spirit at work drawing together our group of twenty-one leaders, who represent five very different countries but are united in our common faith and commitment to serve God and others.
The Africa Leadership Exchange
Nyali, Kenya, April 2018
Each gathering has brought us to very different places where our partner churches are serving. The April 2018 ALE was held in the coastal community of Nyali not far from church planting ministries of the African Christian Church and Schools (ACC&S).
This part of Kenya has a long tradition of "exchange" as early exploration and trade in East Africa was focused on the deep harbour of Mombasa and the small coastal villages that would become entry points into the interior of Africa. It was here that the trade language of Kiswahali was born and shaped. Landmarks from that early history of trade remain in stone towns that mark the East African coast where Omani Arab traders, Portuguese explorers, Europeans, and the Chinese have come to meet and benefit from the resources of Africa.
Throughout the training, we enjoyed seeing the steady movement of ships passing the hotel on their way to Mombasa. From giant ocean-faring container ships to small hand built fishing dows, they were a constant reminder that here Africa was connecting with the world.
Camels still walk along the sandy shore in Nyali. Once caravans of these lanky beasts brought goods in and out of the horn of Africa, but today have been replaced by transfer trucks and trains. The strings of camels we saw are now mainly for tourists and visitors ready to brave the rocky ride.
Dr. Jonathan R. Wilson lecturing on Wisdom and Character
An exchange is about giving and receiving. Throughout the ALE, we have participated in rich times of teaching, discussion, and practice. Together we have been wrestling with the structures of leadership and governance within our organizations and addressing practical ways of improving their health and effectiveness.
We are so grateful for our team of facilitators that served during this round of the ALE including Jonathan Mills, Aaron Kenny, Jonathan Wilson, and Soohwan Park. Each day was a combination of presentations, sharing, and prayer.
Jonathan Mills facilitating governance training during ALE
Aaron with Rev. Dr. Samuel Ngayihembako, president and legal
representative of the Baptist Churches of Central Africa.
Along with organizing the logistics for ALE, Aaron has been teaching in the area of risk management. The complex challenges facing our church partners can at times feel overwhelming. It was such a gift to have this week to take time away to reflect together.
Rev. Julius Kimani, General Secretary of the
African Christian Church and Schools.
Jonathan with Berthe Uwizeramariya, the director of administration
of the Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches
Aaron with ACC&S moderator Rt. Rev. Jeremiah Ngumo
Sibomana, Beth, Samuel, and Andre at our closing banquet
Soohwan Park, who facilitated training on strengthening
stakeholder credibility and human resource management,
with women participants from ALE.
Please join us in praying for these leaders and their denominations. The Church in Africa faces many great challenges. We pray for leaders with humility and integrity to follow the guidance of God's Spirit to lead the Church to fulfill their mission to bring hope and healing in a broken world.
We pray for Jonathan Mills who is directing the ALE program. The next ALE gathering will be held in Rwanda this coming October.
Jeremiah and Berthe with Rev. Emmanuel Ndagijimana,
the newly elected leader of the AEBR