August 14, 2012

Global Notebook - Day 3

Blog Archives:

The sun rising over the Willow Park Conference Centre in the cold suburbs of Johannesburg, Congolese voices rising in early morning worship, delegates began another full program of sessions on the third day of the ACSI Africa Roundtable.  EduDeo Ministries Executive Director Hank de Jong joined African delegates for the historic proceedings, participating in and continuing to document the significant event.

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).

Australian delegate Dr. Ted Boyce, principal of the Dural, New South Wales, Australia-based Pacific Hills Christian School, led opening devotions, directing delegates to Exodus 17 and the theme ‘The LORD is My Banner’. The first of three devotional expositions, Dr. Boyce pointed the assembly to the theme ‘The Deity of Christ’.  The second and third devotional addresses will focus on the themes of ‘The Dignity of Humanity’ and ‘The Destiny of Christian Education’.  Dr. Boyce testified of his personal reliance in the sovereignty of God, citing the tragic death of his 21 year-old son Matthew, drawing comfort from the divine attributes and providence of God.

South African pastor Dr. John Schultz led the first keynote session of the day, directing delegates to Psalm 24 and the theme ‘Christian Stewardship’.  Dr. Schultz focused on the
government and economy of the Kingdom of God. The government of the kingdom is based on the Fatherhood of God while the economy of the kingdom is based on the generosity of God.  Dr. Schultz called delegates to adopt the Father’s heart and generosity in the stewardship of Africa’s abundant resources, reminding participants of how all creation belongs to God.

Following tea, round table participants heard school growth reports from the ACSI regions of Southern Africa and Central Africa.  A region marked by significant socio-economic disparity and growing inequality between rich and poor, Christian education is playing a growing role in community development and transformation in a number of Southern African countries.  Christian schools continue to rapidly grow in Central Africa.  Blessed with experienced administrators and respected by government officials, many Christian schools in Central Africa remain as a source of strength for other schools across Africa.

Following dinner, delegates gathered in regional groups to develop a strategy to strengthen and promote the growth of Christian education in Africa.  Delegates were challenged to develop a broad strategy for the continent by the end of the week.

Hank noted the importance of prayer and desire for Biblical discernment at the roundtable.

"There is a yearning to determine God’s will for this continent as it relates to Christian education," Hank noted.

"There are regular times of prayer where the delegates plead for discernment.  This is a critical time for Africa.  There are so many doors that are being opened, and yet, at the same time, opposing forces are rapidly developing educational strategies.  The need to develop a broad strategy for Christian education is urgent.  Please join us in prayer as the delegates strive to lead Africa’s Christian schools with unity and focus."

Dr. Daniel J. Egeler, Vice-President of International Ministries at ACSI, led the final session of the day, the sun dropping below the horizon in Johannesburg.  Directing delegates to Philippians 2:1-11, Dr. Egeler challenged the gathering of educational leaders, regardless of culture and context, to adopt a spirit of humility and love.

As the delegates continue to learn from each other, Hank noted the growing sense of kingdom community and the fellowship of saints:

"The most exciting and encouraging part of the day for me is to move from reading names on lanyards to becoming familiar with each delegate’s personal testimony and story of God’s grace. I think particularly of fellow delegate Hama Bala from Niger.  Converted from Islam to Christianity, the passionate educator is working in a nation that is 98% Muslim, seeking to lead young students to Christ."

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

Comments:

Henry Lunshof
Aug 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for the regular blogs, Hank

Leni
Aug 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

We are covering this conference in daily prayer.

Wilma Vahrmeyer
Aug 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Reading your blogs in awe of a God who continues to be on the move...thanks for your time, effort and willingness to be involved! Praying for strength and safety as you journey home, as well as a heart that is full of peace as you process all that you have experienced and heard.

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