I am standing in an auditorium with over 2000 people, the man on stage shouts over the microphone “PAMOOOO-JA!” Everybody else replies “AFRICA!!” He does it again “PAMOOOJA!” and we reply “AFRICA!” He did again “PAMOJA!” and we replied even louder “AFRICA!” This tall man from Ghana (2.07metres in height), Austin Okomohwo serves as the team leader for CCC West Africa. About 8 years ago he had a vision to bring students together from all over Africa to train them and trust God to make a difference over Africa. This is the 3rd conference of its kind called Pamoja Africa and the theme for this year is Give me Africa. Over a period of a week, we heard from different speakers with the vision to Go North (reaching the Muslim-dominated areas of the Sahara belt with the Gospel) – Africans reaching Africa and the World.
Pravani and I had the privilege of training a class of 41 students in the basic evangelistic material of Campus Crusade for Christ and explaining why we should be a witness and make disciples. We did this over 5 lessons of an hour each. There were also elective seminars where student could choose what area they want to develop. Pravani presented a lesson on Sexuality – Staying pure in a Sexy Generation. I attended a session regard reaching Muslims, where the lecturer mentioned 5 misunderstandings Muslims have with Christianity. That was mind blowing.
Of course there were some challenges, Pravani and I had to sleep in separate hostels, we had to walk long distances in the sun to get to different venues, a packed schedule from 7:00am till 9:30pm or later, the humidity, and to brush my teeth with bottled water.
Pamoja is not about having a nice conference and going back home; it’s about changing lives and sending us out to make a difference. With us came 2 Capetonians – Nyameka Sonti involved with our Crossroads strategy, and Bianca Groats, a student from University of Western Cape. Together we represented South Africa at the parade of Nations. Running in and waving the South African flag and blowing the Vuvuzela, helped everyone know, South Africa is here. I can say that only on my wedding day did I have to smile this many for photos. Almost everyone wanted a picture with us.
What are we bringing back?
Except for the friendships and teaching, we are making plans to partner with our neighboring countries to do short-term outreaches, combined conferences, and a vision to Go North to reach the Muslim population with the Good News.
This was my first, out-of-South-Africa, African experience and I did it with my best friend, my wife Pravani. We are blessed to see how God is working and we are looking forward to share more experiences with you.
May our Heavenly Father bless your 2013,