This Is Africa
It’s an amazing time to be alive in Africa. Just around 10 years ago, many were still describing Africa as the hopeless continent. Despite being a place amazingly blessed with natural resources, Africa’s name was synonymous with war, disease, illiteracy, dictatorship, genocide, corruption, economic stagnation, slums, ignorance and backwardness. Africans were some of the most discriminated-against people in the world. And for many Africans, the African Dream was to immigrate to a Western country and to leave the mess and poverty behind.
Today, a lot of that has changed. Governments, companies and private investors from across the world are beating their way here because of the rich mineral resources, a large young labor force, the peace and stability many African countries are now experiencing, and the huge investment opportunities now available. It’s becoming apparent to all that Africa is the continent of the 21st century!
For our visitors, throughout the month of June, we’re going through a series called “HEROES WANTED: An Invitation To Change The World” In the book of Acts, we discovered a group of very ordinary people who had a defining encounter with the Holy Spirit – and as a result became superheroes who changed the world. The exciting thing is that God is still in the business of turning ordinary men and women into world-changing super-heroes. Today we want to pick up the story from where we left off.
Read Acts 8:1-8, and then 14-17
Up to this point, everything seemed to be going so well, but soon, and pardon my expression, all hell broke loose! We are told ‘a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem’. They were doing very well, they were the ‘cool’ church; real transformation was happening everyday and everybody knew about them! But in the process, they may have forgotten that God’s plan was for them to change their city, their region and ultimately the whole world. And so it seems because they wouldn’t go, God made them go by allowing persecution.
Note what happened as they scattered.
‘all except the apostles were scattered throughoutJudea and Samaria’
‘those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went’.
In Phase One of the church’s history, we mostly heard about what the apostles had done. But from this point on, there is a lot more emphasis on the regular members of the church spreading the gospel. A guy like Philip who until this point had only done background admin ministry – now he was in the forefront representing. Every single person engaged in their sphere of influence – students, housewives, artisans, business people, you name it – and wherever they landed, they shared with their peers what God had done for them.
Because of these regular believers, the same change that had happened in Jerusalem now began to happen in other cities in the region. And the job of the apostles became simply to come, see and bless what the church members were doing.
Our vision as Mavuno Church is to plant a culture-defining church in every capital city of Africa and in the gateway cities of the world by 2035. At the time, it felt impossible. But to my utter amazement today, we not only have a church in Kampala and Berlin in addition to 3 in Nairobi but we also have church planting teams in Lusaka, Daresalaam, Blantyre and Kigali! Today we talk to some international Mavunites who have experienced some of what God is doing through Mavuno their own countries to share that experience with us. Please put your hands together for Carol Maajabu (Tanzania) and Karl Kachale (Malawi)!
MW: Maajabu, you’re from TZ and played a huge role in leading your Life Group to go out to Dar and start Mizizi there. Karl you’re Malawian, and you were a major catalyst in putting together the team that launched Mizizi in Blantyre. What made you invest so much time and energy to bring Mavuno to your home cities?
CM: There are other one or two other churches trying to reach young people in Dar but what I love about Mavuno is our passion to reach not just Christians but people who wouldn’t ordinarily come to church. There are many people like that in Dar.
KK: I wanted my peers in Blantyre to experience what we take for granted here.
MW: Maajabu, you’re a regional brand representative and Karl, you’re an international banker. And yet you’re both using your professions as a platform to spread the gospel… what gives you the passion to do so?
CM: Mavuno is viral. You’re part of it and you want to spread it. At other churches I’ve been part of, it is a struggle to get people plugging in. But Mavuno is run by volunteers – people who feel they want to be a part of it. LGs doing stuff together really feels like we’re part of the church in the book of Acts..
KK: One thing I love about Mavuno is that you can be yourself and use your gifts for the kingdom. As a banker, I travel a lot to different cities and have access to a lot of information. I have come to see myself as an ambassador for Mavuno. It’s almost like I have two jobs! Wherever I go, I look for opportunities that can help get Mavuno started there. I realized that “What I do on a daily basis can be very goodfor the kingdom!”
MW: What would you tell fellow Mavunites about why we must engage with Africa?
CM: A lot of the yuppies in Africa are seeing what multinationals know – Africa is the place to invest and they’re spending lots of money toget in position themselves. And if they were to combine this with the message of purpose that we learn at Mavuno, it could transform Africa!!
KK: Don’t sit back and watch! God is calling us to be marketplace pastors… to use our professions, skills and opportunities to share the gospel. Start where you are. It’s time to reinvent our thinking of what pastors are.
‘Are you part of the change?’ Our mission is not an easy one; it is to take ordinary people with all their issues and turn them into fearless influencers of society who will change Africa in this generation
‘Are you part of the change?’ Let me be honest with you, none of the pastors at Mavuno has what it takes to change this Nairobi, let alone change Africa… It’s going to take every single Mavunite playing their role, stepping out of their comfort zone and asking God to open doors for them to impact Africa, beginning right where they are.
- That business you are running, because you are from Mavuno, it can’t just be a neighborhood shop; it must have a strategy for Africa! Right about now you should be praying aboutexpanding to Kampala because we already have a church there! Somebody needs to claimAfrica through your business!
- As a professional, you must ask ‘why has God allowed me to be in this particular job at this particular time? What does He want me to accomplish for Him here before He moves me? And if there is an opportunity to work in another country, apply for it! May the Lord use yourcompany to pay for the expansion of the gospel across Africa!
- As a Life-Group, you can’t just meet every week and pray for God to bless you! Why not adopt a country and pray regularly for that country? Why not trust God for an opportunity totravel there as a group on a mission trip over the next year! I challenge you to be the marketplace pastors that this continent needs.
Are you part of the change?’
Mavuno, rise up stand up! This is our moment, this is our time! You need to see yourself as a blessing to Africa! You are the hero that Africa needs! Don’t get comfortable, don’t ever settle for less! Don’t just watch as things happen, don’t wonder what in the world was going on! I’m inviting you to an amazing adventure to be part of the company of heroes that changed Africa in their generation. Each of us has a role to play.
Be part of the change!
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