Africa is a continent in conflict. Animism, Communism and Islam are in conflict with Christianity. The battle is for the soul of the continent.
Africa for Christ
Many would be surprised, in the light of all the negative and violent reports, to hear that Africa is being saved. In 1900 there were 8 million Christians (10% of the entire population of Africa). By the year 2000 there were over 350 million (48% of the population of Africa). The growth of evangelicals has been even more spectacular. In 1900 evangelicals were 1,6 million (1.5% ). However, by 2000 there were 116 million (14.8%). The rapid church growth has been particularly impressive in Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Ethiopia and Nigeria.
Islam is the greatest challenge and threat for Christianity in Africa today. There are an estimated 320 million Muslims in Africa (41% of the total population). There are approximately 160 million Muslims north of the Sahara in the seven North African, Arabic speaking countries. However, there are also another 157 million in sub-Saharan – or black – Africa.
The Muslim – Christian faultline, stretching from Senegal across the Sahara and Sahel through Nigeria, Chad and Sudan to Ethiopia, are areas of confrontation and increasingly aggressive Islamic activities. African Christian evangelism is confronting violent Islamic Jihad across the whole of North Africa.
Pioneer Missionary Hudson Taylor declared: “God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.”
Hudson Taylor not only pioneered the first Inter-denominational Mission Society, but the first Faith Mission. Convinced that “God’s servant is God’s responsibility” and that “The will of God will never lead you where the Grace of God cannot keep you”, Hudson Taylor determined not to engage in fundraising, but to concentrate on the Mission God had entrusted him with.
Volume 4 1994
“Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35
Africa presents the greatest challenges and opportunities for missionary service in the world today. The most intensive human suffering, the largest number of wars, the worst famines, the most severe persecutions, the sharpest confrontations between Christianity and Islam, communism and witchcraft, the greatest openness and hunger for the Gospel and the most promising potential for Biblical Reformation and revival - all of these aspects are concentrated in this vast and fascinating continent.
Some years ago we witnessed an extraordinary campaign of hate and slander launched by disgruntled ex-members against an outstanding mission in South Africa. Salvos of letters, articles, e-mails and phone calls were launched. Websites dedicated to slandering this mission were set up. All manner of vindictive abuse was unleashed against this fine Christian community. I was astounded at the persistence, obsession and unconstructive maliciousness of the antagonists.
Yakubu dresses in traditional Muslim Hausa robes and hat, but, he is a dedicated Christian. Yakubu was converted to Christ in Jos in 1980. Since 1991, he has been a full-time Evangelist dedicated to winning Muslims to Christ. His ministry, Bazata, means “Unexpected.” He explains that their strategy of using drama, films and Gospel music in the traditional Hausa style, is unexpected, but the primary inspiration for their ministry name is that Jesus will come at a time that no one expects.
The Faiz–E–Abrar Islamic Trust School in Lusaka, Zambia, was raided by the Zambian Police. They found the 280 children – all males aged between four and 10 years old – locked up in a warren of cells.
Since the Reformation Society was launched last year, the www.ReformationSA.org website has been developed into a resource which has attracted attention and positive response worldwide. The regular Reformation Society meetings every Thursday night in Cape Town, since January this year, have been a tremendous blessing, involved many enthusiastic discussions and led to a great many initiatives and projects. The powerpoints, audio CD’s and lecture notes for these various Reformation presentations have provided a resource to equip others to establish Reformation Societies and principles in their own homes, schools, churches or work places.
“And He went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the Kingdom of God… and many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled 50,000 pieces of silver. So the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.” Acts 19:8,18-20
In Word and Deed
The most powerful witness is the life of integrity of a Christian friend, family member or neighbour. Actions always speak much louder than words. There is no more effective sermon illustration than a life of Christian integrity. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Be a person of your word.
Dr. James Kennedy continues to be a tremendous example and inspiration to us in Africa. He was one of our best, most faithful and dependable friends. It constantly amazed us to see how such a busy and productive leader as Dr. Kennedy could still find time to be so thoughtful and helpful to small ministries and missions in Africa.
I first learnt about the ministry of Dr. James Kennedy as a brand new Christian. Having been brought up amidst the war in Rhodesia, I was converted to Christ in Cape Town, South Africa, Easter 1977. Almost immediately I was introduced to the ministry of Evangelism Explosion as Baptist evangelist Rev. Roger Voke took those of us who had volunteered to be counsellors for an upcoming evangelistic crusade through the EE programme. I was inspired by the 16mm film shown to us: Like a Mighty Army. We learned the diagnostic questions which I have used countless hundreds of times throughout my ministry since.