By Mike and Heather Webb with Corey and Abby Stocksdale
Over sixty individuals from six different southern Africa countries gathered in Botswana the first week of August 2018. They traveled by bus and plane to meet together for the second Southern Africa Church of God Conference. This is a conference that was dreamed up, planned, and implemented by the national leaders in southern Africa.
The theme of the conference was “Rebuilding the Walls of Ministry,” taken from the second chapter of Nehemiah. Attendees were blessed to have two special speakers from the U.S.: Rev. Geremy Dixon, lead pastor of Center of Hope Church in Inglewood, California, and Dr. Leroy Quashie, professor of social work at Anderson University. They encouraged and challenged us in our pursuit of unity.
“As we came together, it was easy to see we did not gather simply to say we got together or to fulfill some kind of duty,” Corey Stocksdale, missionary to Botswana, explains. “We came together to praise God through dance and song; to grow together through conversation and revealing where we are in our journeys; and to strive together to expand God’s kingdom on this earth. Together we will show the world that Africa is a place where God reigns and a place where an example is being set for how we are to be as a unified people!”
Since Mike and Heather first invited African Church of God leaders to gather in February 2017 in Rwanda, they’ve seen significant momentum building, especially in southern Africa. These leaders are committed and intentional in their pursuit of international connectivity and unity. God is building bridges between national leaders. To God be the glory!
“I believe what we are seeing right now in the Church of God in southern Africa is a message to the world,” Corey explains. “Abby and I have long cited Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17 as a huge reason we felt called to missions. John 17:23 says, ‘…so that they may brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them…’ The ways in which our brothers and sisters are sacrificing in this part of the world, simply so they can meet together, praise God together, and learn together, are absolutely astounding. Some of the leaders rode public buses for days just to get here. I believe, as we here in southern Africa, along with the rest of Africa, continue to work to support and love each other over this vast continent, the world will take notice. It won’t be the people themselves the world will see in their observations, but it will be the One who sent us.”
Mike and Heather Webb serve as regional coordinators for Africa. Corey and Abby Stocksdale serve as missionaries to Botswana. Learn more about their ministries, including opportunities for support, at www.chogglobal.org. Article compiled from recent newsletter excerpts; to read missionary newsletters in their entirety, visit www.chog.org/global-personnel and click on a missionary picture.