In this dreadful context where so many Christians are being martyred or displaced by Boko Haram, Revd Reuben Ezemadu, Coordinator of the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI) recalls the stories of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and the apostle Paul, who started out as a persecutor of Christians.“God could have prevented Stephen from being killed, but He let him be killed so that the Gospel could go beyond Jerusalem… And then He let someone like Paul come on board, in order to do more things than Stephen could have done. We regard Paul as the first Boko Haram militant.
His message was: ‘You are following Christianity. Because of that, you will die’. That’s what Boko Haram are doing now. But God used Paul to take the Gospel to different places.” Revd Ezemadu adds that the nature of mission in Africa has changed, with Westerners no longer at the forefront. “The crisis has also sent us a clear message regarding the future of mission in Africa,” he says. “Even before this upsurge of violence, anybody who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit would have known that the era of Western mission, in the way it used to happen in Africa, had passed… “We are not saying that Western missionaries should not come to Africa. But the time has come for missionary agencies to re-think their paradigm of missions, and even their strategies, and work in partnership with locals. That’s why a platform like MANI, exists – in order to engage African churches in mission, and promote partnerships.”
“It’s only for us (Africans) to discover our part and play it. Because for years we were sitting down and the white people were playing it for us. “But now, many Africans are having breakthrough in leading international mission organisations (in the West). Some started as students, others footballers. But they are now planting churches and doing mission. That’s the
message that MANI carries. We are God’s people, and we have a part to play in extending God’s kingdom…”
Source: World Watch Monitor
Bible Study: Proverbs 24:3-5
SEPTEMBER Praise God that when darkness appears to be destructive, God’s light shines through.
PRAY that in Africa, as in Jerusalem after Stephen’s death, God will show His hand in mighty power to save.