It was in January 2019, at the International Conference of The Wesleyan Church in Barbados that my heart was stirred toward unreached people groups of the earth (joshuaproject.net).
The Holy Spirit led us to meet with other leaders to dream about how we could be more intentionally involved in fulfilling the Great Commission as the Lord Jesus commanded, especially focusing on unreached people groups (UPGs). We then developed a strategic working document which has become a blueprint for organizing and facilitating the Everywhere to Everywhere Missions Conference.
The South-East Africa Region had this historic gathering, the Everywhere to Everywhere Missions Conference, in April 2023, in Brakpan, South Africa.
This conference was historical for many reasons.
It was the first time for the South-East Africa Region to meet for the purpose of strategizing in reaching the UPGs of the earth. It was organized, facilitated, financed and attended by national superintendents, district superintendents, key leaders and pastors from five national/regional conferences within the South-East Africa Region (Southern Africa, Eswatini, Mozambique, Zambia and Kenya). They also brought key leaders from four different conferences who covered their own travel, accommodations and meal expenses.
It was a time set apart to seek God’s guidance in being active participants in the remaining task of the Great Commission.
We are grateful for the missionaries who came to Africa in the early 1900s. They planted the seed, nurtured it and brought the church to maturity, empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
These 135 leaders gathered to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives in obedience to Jesus Christ’s command of the Great Commission. We are grateful for the missionaries who came to Africa in the early 1900s. They planted the seed, nurtured it and brought the church to maturity, empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
It’s been more than 100 years since the first missionaries came to proclaim Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection in Africa. Unfortunately, the African church became settled in the comfort of their local communities. We remained in our Jerusalem; some in their Judea. We haven’t gone to Samaria and the ends of the earth.
During our conference, we acknowledged the challenges that have kept the church in Africa from spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth and resolved to address them.
- In the past, we thought of mission work as the responsibility of the West who came to Africa to make Christ known. Now, we have shifted and embraced a mindset of obedience to Jesus Christ’s Great Commission and commitment to be a missionary force to reach UPGs.
- Our churches are failing to meet financial obligations; like supporting pastors, districts and national superintendents. We now take a step of faith, believing God will provide the necessary resources.
- We were preoccupied by establishing our fields of ministry with the help of Global Partners. Now, we are mobilizing local churches to pray for the call of missionaries and enable the South-East Africa Region to be a sending church.
- We focused ministry in our Jerusalem and at times moved to Judea. Now, we’re embracing the global mission of making disciples of all ethnic groups who haven’t heard the gospel.
- We lacked awareness of those who have not yet heard the gospel. We are committed in mobilizing local churches to engage in initiatives of reaching the UPGs of the earth. Becoming involved in the unfinished task.
We are determined to take the necessary next steps of obedience for the Great Commission. We are committed that South-East Africa will rise to become a mission force; a movement with a focus toward UPGs.
My personal highlight of the Everywhere to Everywhere Missions Conference was the commitment demonstrated by participants standing up in response to the call to reach UPGs. It was a wonderful response of obedience and willingness to be used by God.
Reverend Thabsile Thwala, national superintendent of the Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Eswatini, writes,
Continue to marvel how God used the early missionaries to bring forth the gospel to the dark continent of Africa despite all odds … we are a result of their sacrifices … if a man or a woman left the comfort of his/her home and came to Africa to reach out to me, we are also not exempted from doing the same. It is our time to do the same.
The task is unfinished. I challenge local churches everywhere to pray for UPGs, for God to call missionaries and to mobilize those who are sent as missionaries to the unreached. Every local church is accountable for the global mission God has assigned to us. It’s time to arise and invest resources into what matters most in God’s kingdom.