August 12, 2012

Global Notebook - Day 1

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Representing EduDeo Ministries on the ground at the ACSI Africa Roundtable, EduDeo Executive Director Hank de Jong joined over 150 key Christian educators and educational leaders from across Africa and around the globe today for the first day of the historic gathering at the Willow Park Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.  

The largest gathering of Christian educators in Africa, the roundtable is drawing delegates from across the continent, including representatives from ACSI’s five member regions (West Africa Francophone, West Africa Anglophone, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa).

"This historic event is truly a gathering of people from every tribe and language and
people and nation
," Hank remarked Sunday as he and fellow registrants arrived at the conference centre.

Delegates assembled at the conference centre donning toques and winter coats, undaunted by unusually frigid temperatures, warmed by the Gospel hope of personal and cultural transformation through the proclamation of Christ in the classroom.

"I am inspired by the strong connection between worship and missions as we gather together," Hank noted, citing John Piper’s bestselling text on missions, Let the Nations be Glad – the Supremacy of God in Missions’.

"I’ve learned from reading John Piper’s exposition on missions that the ultimate task of the church is worship," Hank remarked.

"John Piper argues missions exists because worship doesn’t.  Missions remain a temporary necessity, but worship will endure forever.  Worship, then, is the motive and final goal of missions.  John Piper points out how believers strive to bring all nations into the full enjoyment of God’s glory through missions.  As Psalm 67:3-4 proclaims, ‘Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.’"

"This spirit of worship is present in Johannesburg as the roundtable begins," Hank stressed.   

"You can sense a passion for Christ and a deep desire for His divine reign across the entire globe from the African delegates.  We are increasingly hearing and reading about the growing Christian church in Africa. People here are rejoicing in the LORD and are anxious to see ‘the nations be glad’."

Hank provided a dispatch of the opening session of the roundtable, Sunday, August 12.

"The evening session began with worship and devotions led by Dr. Derrick Mashau, Professor of Missiology at North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus).  Dr. Mashau directed delegates to Isaiah 43:18-19 and the LORD’s declaration of hope in the wilderness.

In the context of Africa’s spiritual and physical challenges, the LORD proclaims a Gospel of liberty and reconciliation.

Opening devotions were followed by a ‘Roll Call of Nations’. Delegates were seated by nation and flag and were asked to stand when their country was announced.

Thirty-three African countries were represented at the roundtable, including delegates from ACSI’s five member regions (West Africa Francophone, West Africa Anglophone, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa). International delegates included representatives from Canada, the United States, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland and France.

The evening concluded with a powerful address from Dr. Samson Makhado, Director of ACSI Africa.  Dr. Makhado called the delegates to rise to the challenge of Christian education in Africa, issuing a compelling plea for a Biblically-integrated approach to the classroom:

'Together we can bring back dignity, justice and forgiveness to Africa through the means of Christian education. The time for change is now.  The stage is yours Africa!'

Delegates were issued Bibles as a reminder that enduring Gospel transformation was inevitably rooted in the authority of Scripture.

Dr. Makhado concluded his address by stressing the importance of unity:

'Only in Christ does completion and fullness come.  We must humbly seek unity in Him.'

The unity of the Gospel was evident as delegates closed the evening hand in hand with a bilingual prayer in English and French.

Please pray for the ongoing Spirit’s leading as the round table continues Monday, August 13. Our prayer at EduDeo Ministries is that our organization will be granted divine wisdom and guidance as are given an opportunity to serve thousands of fledgling Christian Schools across Africa."

You can receive ongoing liveblogging updates from the roundtable by following EduDeo Ministries on Twitter at @edu_deo.

Comments:

Alice
Aug 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

So exciting! Praying that God will bless this conference and that his Spirit will continue to move there and as people go back to their separate missions - to allow worship to continue and grow all over Africa! Enjoy being there and part of it!

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