Every year Africa loses 23,000 university graduates. This includes the very teachers, doctors, engineers and other qualified professionals that Africa most desperately needs. This does not include the many hundreds of thousands of others who left for training overseas and never returned.
Most of the pastors of rural areas where we work have no tertiary education at all. Numerous provincial hospitals are paralyzed for the lack of a single doctor. Not that the community has not produced doctors, but most of them have moved to the city, or emigrated overseas.
Sudanese Christians in America
During a recent ministry trip to the USA, I spoke to a Sudanese Christian Fellowship in Omaha, Nebraska. Many of this congregation had come from Sudan many years ago to study. There were numerous doctors, teachers, technicians and engineers amongst them. They informed me that there were over 30,000 Sudanese just in the city of Omaha. I presented an inspiring slide presentation on what God is doing in Sudan and challenged the Sudanese Christians to seriously consider returning home to help rebuild Sudan on Biblical principles. I reminded them why they had come to America and undertaken their studies in the first place and how much they were needed back in Sudan.
The Land of Cush
We discussed the prophesies in Isaiah 18 and Zephaniah 3. There was a vigorous discussion, many tears and numerous Sudanese men and women stood up to reinforce what I had said and to acknowledge that God had spoken to them concerning their responsibility to take their skills and training back to the land of their birth. There was a very strong sense of the Lord’s presence in this extraordinary meeting.
Potential Missionaries to Mobilise
There are literally hundreds of thousands, actually millions, of African Christians in Europe and America. Many of them left for leadership training, intending to return to their countries of origin. However, one of the ongoing problems is that most of those who leave rural areas for urban training Institutions, tend to stay in the urban areas and be lost to the rural communities who sent them for further training. Similarly, most of those who go to First World nations for further training tend not to return to their Third World countries of origin. In this way the Church is haemorrhaging in Africa. Some of our most promising leadership candidates are failing to return to their communities. The rapid urbanization and mass movement to First World countries is devastating to local congregations.
Strategic Resources to Fulfil the Great Commission in Africa
We believe that the time has come for churches throughout Europe and North America to mobilize these qualified Christians to go back as missionaries to their own countries. They already know the language(s) and culture, they have skills and training that are desperately needed back in their own country, and now with their new contacts, friends and congregations behind them in North America and Europe, they would be able to return with greater support, prayer backing and practical help. Such congregations with African Christians will be uniquely equipped to invest in the fulfilment of the Great Commission in Africa. The potential impact of mobilizing these African Christians as missionaries back to their own areas would be tremendous.
William Carey Bible Institute
On another level, our William Carey Bible Institute is attempting to provide Leadership Training programmes for ministry candidates within Africa. WCBI offers a thoroughly Reformed, Evangelistic, Biblical and practical distance learning programme, which provides pastors, teachers and evangelists with excellent textbooks, lecture manuals, lectures on audio CDs and a programme of requiring book reports, assignments and exams. Supplementing the Correspondence Programme are short-term Leadership Training programmes in remote rural areas and our Libraries for Pastors Programme.
We are providing data CD-ROMs with notes and PowerPoints, MP3s and textbooks for Discipleship, Biblical Worldview, Great Commission, Missions History, Church History, Reformation and Revival, Muslim Evangelism, Ministering to the Persecuted, God and Government, Christian Action, Biblical Law, Apologetics, Children’s Ministry, Conflict Resolution, Eschatology, Leadership and Evangelism courses of WCBI.
This week we begin our Biblical Worldview Summit (27 June – 4 July) in Cape Town. The theme is Reclaiming Africa for Christ. Delegates from as far afield as Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe have registered. Please pray for all the participants of this BWS and for the three-week Great Commission Course which continues after it.
“Declare His glory among the nations. His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. He is to be feared above all…” 1 Chronicles 16:24-25
Dr Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: (021) 689-4480
Fax: (021) 685-5884