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Report: BWA Evangelism and MInistry in Africa

( [email protected] ) May 05, 2004 03:49 PM EDT

Evangelism in Africa has been steadily growing since a 16-member Baptist World Alliance international team held evangelism and leadership conferences in the continent, BWA reported on May 3.

According to the report, an African Baptist led the conferences and discussions throughout the trip. Often, the delegates engaged in passionate dialogues on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and heard testimonies from those Christians living with the virus.

One of the members who shared his testimony was Fletcher Kaiya, the General Secretary of the Baptist Convention of Malawi. Kaiya and his wife adopted 12 HIV/AIDS orphans as part of their family, even though they already have 2 children.

Similar reports were heard in the 5 individual countries visited by the delegates.

“This was a ministry of encouragement to the leaders,” said Tony Culpit, BWA Director of Evangelism and Education and Study and Research who led the delegation, while in Mozambique,” because they feel obvious despair at their inability to care for their ‘widows and orphans,' many of whom are a result of HIV/AIDS.”

According to the report, the delegation in Malawi did more than just share graceful testimonies: Three Baptist conventions in the state: Convention of Mozambique is a member body of the BWA. The Union of Baptists, the Renewal Baptist Convention and the Evangelical Baptist Convention all discussed joining the BWA as a result of the visit. With the possibility of these three new members, this would add about 50,000 baptized believers to the BWA.

In Malawi, three BWA members : the African Baptist Assembly, Malawi, Inc., the Baptsit Convention of Malawi and the Evangelical Baptist Church of Malawi came together because of the BWA visit. jointly, these ministries represent some 190,000 baptized believers. This is one of the key ministries of the BWA which brings Baptists together, who for the most part operate independently. Together they represent 190,000 baptized believers.

In Tanzania, a team of BWA members held the Leadership Conference with Bonnie and Floyd Parker, Teleios Ministries, South Carolina, and Jimmie Sandin, businesswoman, North Virginia. The Baptist Convention of Tanzania has 489,000 baptized believers.

“We gained so much from you and your team and the materials we received and what we discussed will be a good resource to our ministry and churches in our area,” wrote one of the attendees, Pastor Amwankande.

In Zambia, a group lead by Paul Msiza witnessed a moment of reconciliation between the Baptist Convention of Zambia, the Fellowship of Baptists and the Baptist Union of Zambia.

According to the reports, the greatest tension is felt between Fellowship of Baptists and the Baptist Convention. Often times, the relationship between Baptists and mission organizations is misunderstood, and leads to quarrels. The BWA will continue to work for unity in the region.

Finally, in Zimbabwe, Emmett Dunn, BWA director of Youth, lead a two-day conference in Harare, to discourse on theological and biblical understanding. The conference marked the first BWA event since a youth gathering in 1993.