Unpacking news from
places I go in Africa
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Annual Training, Unpacked
My February visit to Togo for Annual Training focused on John Wesley’s Means of Grace; you could say, the avenues through which God pours his grace into our lives.  Over a good seven years we put a lot of attention and effort into a multiplication of churches in West Africa, with some positive results.  However, it became apparent that cultivating a thorough pastoral frame of mind takes more than handing a book to someone and saying, “read chapter 5.”  I readily confess our Annual Training is also not enough.  But at least we are delving into the vital need of further development of our ministerial brigade across the region.  We are aiming to turn our attention to how grace comes into our lives (Wesley had about sixteen essential ways), advocate for implementation of present-day versions of these strategies, and for grace to then be experienced through participation in the life of the local church.  Keep us in your prayers as we continue follow up.
How to Make a Field Visit, Unpacked
A second purpose of our gathering these same leaders is that most of them have a student at the Wesley Missionary Institute.  Those students will return home later this year and once the graduate is sent to a field assignment, the national leader/superintendent will need at some point to make a “field visit.”  While these leaders already have, let’s say 60% of the idea of what is needed for a field visit, we believe that if they send their missionary truly into a cross-cultural context, there are a good number things that we can help them be aware of in making such field visits.  So we talked that over for a couple days.  Remarkable to me, in follow up calls I have made to these leaders asking about the Annual Training (see above), several of them said the Field Visit training was the best part of the whole event!  Pray with us as students graduate and are returned to their home countries for deployment.  Pray the Lord will help us guide into actual and fruitful assignments.
Day-to-Day Work, Unpacked
Most of you know we are now based in the US, traveling to Africa for supervisory work.  The experience of the last couple years has lifted “Zoom” to a high level of use, along with “WhatsApp.”  These two similar technologies have opened the way for far more frequent communication with my African colleagues.  Just to share with you personally, writing an email comes more natural to me than making a direct call.  Nevertheless, I have seen that these direct calls have great value and so I have 16 leaders that I am in touch with over a two-month cycle.  Then another round gets scheduled.  I believe this is already playing a crucial role in the assisting of these pastoral leaders to follow through on the above-described training, and simply to be encouraged.  I would ask your continued prayers for me as I make this a standard part of ministry.
Free Methodist World Missions in Africa makes disciples by
mobilizing the global church and
empowering international
leaders to
establish transformational churches
Copyright © 2022 Free Methodist Church / FMWM, All rights reserved.

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