It was our first time back to sub-Saharan Africa since we returned to the U.S. in 1992. It was a chance to renew old friendships. It was a chance to meet a new generation of leaders who have come after us. It was a chance to reconnect with the people and cultures of Africa. It was awesome.
In 1977, Kay and I were privileged to be a part of the first-ever continent-wide meeting in Swaziland. In 2007, Kay and I were privileged to be a part of the second continent-wide meeting in Kenya. What a fantastic blessing. What a privilege to observe first-hand the growth and development that has happened over these 30 years.
We were part of a team of 40 people helping serve the largest gathering of Africans ever assembled by Campus Crusade for Christ. In addition, we led a smaller team to help train 300 African campus staff in using our Mobile ConneXion toolkit.
Austin Okomohwo was just beginning as a staff member of Campus Crusade in Nigeria 16 years ago when we left Nigeria. He now gives leadership to the campus ministry strategy for the entire continent. At Pamoja, he was the overall Conference Director. 16 years ago, he asked me, “How long have you been on the staff?” When I told him 14 years (at that time in 1992), he said, “Wow. That’s a long time. What have you done for all those years?”
This time it was my turn. I asked Austin, “How long have you been on the staff?” When he answered 16 years, I asked him with a smile, “Wow. That’s a long time. What have you done for all those years?” Austin and I laugh at how both of our plans have been extended by God as he continues to call each of us into fulltime service. Both are captivated by the vision of everyone knowing someone who truly follows Jesus.
Pamoja Africa was dedicated to building a new generation of leaders equally captivated by God’s call to build a new Africa, an Africa that moves from desperately needy to fully participating in God’s plan to redeem the nations.
MOBILE CONNEXION TOOLKIT
“I’ve been looking for a good way to improve communication around our area. The Mobile ConneXion toolkit looks like just what we need.” Kennedy is the campus ministry coordinator for the 17 countries in French-speaking Africa.
Our team trained 300 staff and distributed 300 toolkits.
Our purpose at Pamoja was not to teach computer skills, but to enable staff to communicate effectively with each other. So many staff are isolated in their assignments and unable to benefit from sharing ideas, vision, and strategies. Our mobile connexion project addresses this need.
The toolkit is engineered to enhance communication across Africa. For those without computers who depend on internet cafés, the toolkit allows them to move from their homes to their offices to the internet café and work on their email, send and receive documents or presentations, keep their bookmarked locations, and connect to our Global ConneXion communities to share ideas with others.
But the part of our mobile office toolset that caused the eyes of the African staff to light up is the Skype software and small set of portable headphones. They are now able to talk with one another from computer to computer for no cost. They are so excited.
The overwhelming experience for us here, on the field, watching faces, hearing excited voices, tells me that our current tools are powerful, useful, and helpful. When we show the list of 300 communities that have already sprung up, African staff are excited that they can join other staff from around the world in communities of interest. Some women were signing up today for the ComputingWomen community for women wanting to learn basic computing. It is truly becoming a Global ConneXion for the staff here in Africa.
Our mobile office toolset and Global ConneXion communities are helping build a new generation of leaders for a new Africa. We are taking steps toward our vision of building local movements every so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.
Note: For more information on the Mobile Office Project, visit our website.