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“I can become an agent of change…”

Take a ride with Tito to hear why he does what he does.

"I love training men and women especially in the area of family life. I want to see them in their family life, growing in the word of God. I want to see leaders stand firm and preaching the word of God with passion.”


Tito is our South Sudan Country Director. Although he has spent most of his life surrounded by war, Tito maintains an incredible capacity to love others. Here he explains what compels him to do so. 

“We are truly the generation that can make history and it starts with us leading the way by not being selfish. The more you empower others and embrace team and mentoring – I guarantee, you will manifest more opportunity than you can handle.” Gerard Adams

Fifteen years after hearing this, Gerard Adams’ message still rings in my head. I know with the knowledge God has given me I can become an agent of change. I know church leaders can be the source of hope and peace for my country.

As a college student in Kenya, I would periodically go back to South Sudan. I saw church leaders waiting for relief, waiting for someone else to make a difference – this I strongly disagreed with. Our motivation is supposed to be the love of God, but people were waiting to be given rather than giving. That was the state of the church I wanted to see transformed.

This compels me to be part of changing the situation.

I realized that sharing Christ through your own life, way of living, what you do, your business – in relation to all the difficulties South Sudanese are going through at the camps and villages, you can still be able to give hope. If you do this with integrity, peace can be realized in our communities, churches, and the country at large.

It is all the product of love.

The money you give in love has an effect. That is what enabled us to train about 4,000 church leaders since 2004 from all over South Sudan and refugee camps in Uganda. I can now see the church becoming a different ministry that focuses on actively building the Kingdom of God in South Sudan.


Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give or volunteer? How have you been loved? Share your story with us on our Facebook page or hashtag #lovedpeoplelovepeople and we’ll send you an African Leadership magnet!

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July 2018 Prayer Calendar

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“Four things let us keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.” – E.M. Bounds

Sun 1- Praise God for the 15th wedding anniversay of Asrat & Edlam!  Asrat is our Country Director in Ethiopia.  He is a faithful servant-leader and his wife Edlam is a great support to him!

Mon 2- Praise God for our impact partner The Mocha Club and the artists who share our work in Africa with their audiences.  Please pray for God to increase our Mocha Club membership so that we can continue to support our partners throughout Africa. 

Tue 3- Pray for Mezack Nkundabantu, Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi. As the government continues to close churches that don’t meet strict codes, Mezack and his church are working diligently to try to finish their new building so they don’t have to stop meeting! Pray for favor with the government and resources and weather to push them along.

Wed 4- Pray for Sudan/South Sudan Country Director Tito and his family as they prepare to move into a new home. Pray God brings the perfect house and that it can settle this family into a season of planting roots which they haven't had as a family in the last 10 years. 

Thu 5- A drought in the Western Cape province of South Africa began in 2015 and is resulting in a severe water shortage in the region, most notably affecting the city of Cape Town. Please pray for sustained rains in this region! Pray also for the country as it remains in political turmoil and there are daily riots and protests. 

Fri 6- Pray for the staff and students at the New Dawn Educational Centre in the Huruma slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya.  Pray for the team as they plan the 2nd Annual Run for Hope scheduled for August 11. 

Sat 7- As we begin our 2019 strategic planning season, please pray that God will give our African country leadership, our Boards around the continent and our staff and Board here discernment and direction.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV

Sun 8- Pray for the local Board of Directors in Rwanda as they finalize their registration with the Rwandan government. Requirements for non profit organizations to register are more here than in other countries. Pray as this Board prepares their documents and showcases their vision that the government will be favorable. Pray also for Pastor Mezack as he works to find additional staff in Rwanda. He desperately needs help and is seeking God’s wisdom to find the right people. 

Mon 9- Pray for Allan Knowles, Country Director for South Africa, as he continues to disciple his students through our two-year theological education program. Pray for Allan as be ministers in an older church that asked for his assistance refocusing on evangelism and discipleship.

Tue 10- Pray for Jonathan Titus-Williams, Country Director in Sierra Leone, as he serves the teachers and students of our program there. Pray for him and his wife Marian as they prepare to visit their children who are students in the US. 

Wed 11- Pray for the Ellilta Women at Risk team as they are trying to pool funding to finish the roof on their Nazareth location before the rains come.

Thu 12- Pray for our Country Director in Uganda Geoffrey Ocan, as he continues to experience pain after breaking his leg.  Please pray for healing!  

Fri 13- Pray for the local Board of Directors in DRC.  This Board is working to register their organization nationally. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they work to finalize their governing policies and register with the national authorities. Pray for God’s mercies on their work.

Sat 14- Praise God for our Board of Directors who generously invest in this ministry with their time, talent and treasures! Please pray as they gather for their quarterly meeting today. 

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” Romans 15:30 NIV

Sun 15- Please pray favor for David, the new principal at New Dawn Educational Centre.  Pray he leads with Godly wisdom and discernment. 

Mon 16- Pray for Action Ministry and all the ways Peter Ochiel, along with his staff and volunteers, minister in their community. Pray for the funding of the new school building project. 

Tue 17- Pray for the team preparing to host another trauma-healing workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Please pray for God's hand to be in all the details!

Wed 18- Praise God for the Spread The Word program which raises support to equip leaders in Africa with local language Study Bibles. Please pray for those who are busy planning this year's fundraising events, the Bible Banquet on August 30 & the  6th Annual Golf Tournament on September 18. 

Thu 19- Pray for the students of our theological education program to be bold as they learn to share the Gospel!

Fri 20Please pray for the staff at the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Congo as they love and care for the children. Pray for healing for Sister Alvera, director of the orphanage, as she is treated for cancer far from home in Italy. 

Sat 21- Pray for Tito, Country Director for Sudan & South Sudan, as he prepares to host a child trauma-healing workshop later this year. 

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV

Sun 22- Praise God with Mezack and Helene as they celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary! Pastor Mezack is our Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi. Helene is a faithful support to him and his ministry!

Mon 23- Pray for the men and women who are part of our two-year theological education program. Pray for endurance to finish well and for God to use them mightily in their communities. 

Tue 24- Pray for peace in South Sudan! Pray for classes which continue in areas of great instability inside South Sudan. Pray for our teachers and students as they gather to meet and learn the Word of God. 

Wed 25- Pray for the Women at Risk program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pray that the women who are part of this vital program will know the restoration that comes through a relationship with Jesus.  

Thu 26- Pray for Leonard Chipangano, Country Director in Malawi. Please pray for a vehicle for him as his was totaled in an accident last year.  Pray also for God's guidance in his search for a stable office location.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes establish the work of our hands.”  Psalm 90:17 NIV

Fri 27- Pray for Peter Ochiel and his wife Nancy as they make plans to travel to the US in August.  Pray for them and their children while they are apart for this extended time.  

Sat 28- Pray for the women and children who are taking part in the trauma-healing programs. Pray for those who have been through the program, that they would continue down the path of healing. 

Sun 29- Pray for Country Director Asrat as he balances a rapidly growing program in Ethiopia. Pray for his local board, that they would be the support he needs in this busy time. 

Mon 30- Pray for those who will take part in next week's Journey to Kenya as they go to visit and encourage Peter Ochiel at Action Ministries and Irene Tongoi at New Dawn Educational Centre. 

Tue 31- Pray for the alumni of our education programs (theological, community development, trauma-healing) to continue to be agents of change and transformation in their communities.

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Meet a Student

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Right now, Daniel* is in school in Ethiopia. Why? Because Abebe understood how loved he was and learned how to act on it through African Leadership.

Abebe teaches our community development course in northern Ethiopia. Here, he shares how this has impacted his community:

I trained 9 trainees in Gonder, in the northern part of the country. We studied and were impacted by the program to serve our community from the perspective of a Biblical worldview. The program helped us to refine our worldview. It gave us skills to gather data, make an analysis based on the data, and prepare a realistic strategic action plan in our ministry and life.

So we prepared a plan to address orphan children or children who do not have proper care from their family. Last year we supported two children: their school fees, uniforms, and school materials by raising funds from our small congregation. This year, based on our financial resources, we continue to support one child.

His name is Daniel. He is 14 years old. He was born from a blinded mother and father. They support themselves by selling lottery in the streets. Now he is a grade 7 student and is active in his school and in his social interactions. We have committed ourselves to helping him.

*Name changed to protect the identity of the child.

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Loved People Love People

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Loved people love people
A note from African Leadership President Emily Blackledge

I often get asked why I do this work, why Africa?

My answer is simple: loved people love people. And for me, that answer is not specific to Africa. Sure, I work at an NGO that focuses on Africa, but I have a lot of hours in my day that aren’t spent at work. I serve at my church, I care for a family, I volunteer in the inner city.

In each case, my “why” is always the same: I am loved, so I love.

Being loved is an asset. It’s a gift that I have been given. And I don’t believe we are given gifts for ourselves alone. I have been loved, and I have been loved well. So out of that love, I have much to give.

I see that modeled so well when I travel across Africa.

Places and people who do not know me, welcome me in, offer me food and drink, give from what they have. Why? Because it has been done for them. Somewhere along the way, someone loved them, offered them food and drink, welcomed them in.

It’s a mark of humanity that I want to champion in all parts of my life. I can only give from what I have – and love is my best asset. The love of Christ compels me.

Loved people love people.


Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give? How have you been loved? Share your story with us on our Facebook page: facebook.com/africanleadershipinc.

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War, poverty, and thriving.

War and poverty have written much of Congo’s story.

But there’s a church in the countryside taking back the narrative. Thanks to you and Pastor Jean, they are rewriting their story as that of a thriving community.

Your support of African Leadership allows local leaders to receive trauma-healing training.

Before his training, Pastor Jean explains, “I saw in the streets many kids. Children filled our church every morning. Some wept. They’d never smile and would get aggressive. Joy was missing and it was difficult for me to see. In my heart I tried to help them, bring joy to them with songs and dances, but it was not enough.”

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Because of you, Pastor Jean learned how to address child trauma.

“It was a blessing. It opened my mind and made me strong in this ministry, which is not only a pillar to my church but that will help many children in this place. We’ve become friends with these kids and have helped them commit their lives and pains to Jesus who can take care of us. Now I know the trauma these children live with and how to lead them. Now they can get healing in my church, in my family, and in our environment.”

In a place where thriving seems impossible, Pastor Jean is changing the storyline. His church has become an agent of change for traumatized children, a place where the next generation can heal and grow and thrive together.

Pastor Jean has been the difference to this community, and you have been the difference to Pastor Jean.

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June 2018 Prayer Calendar

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”  Romans 15:30 NIV

Fri 1- Pray for the alumni of our education programs (theological, community development, trauma-healing) to continue to be agents of change and transformation in their communities.

Sat 2- Pray for Our Country Director in Uganda Geoffrey Ocan, as he and his family mourn the loss of his sister.  Pray also for Geoffrey as he recovers from a broken leg and is experiencing a great deal of pain.  

Sun 3- Pray for Mezack Nkundabantu, Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi. As the government continues to close churches that don’t meet strict codes, Mezack and his church are working diligently to try to finish their new building so they don’t have to stop meeting! Pray for favor with the government and resources and weather to push them along.

 Mon 4- Pray for Country Director Asrat as he balances a rapidly growing program in Ethiopia. Pray for his local board, that they would be the support he needs in this busy time. 

Tue 5- Pray for Sudan/South Sudan Country Director Tito and his family as they prepare to move into a new home. Pray God brings the perfect house and that it can settle this family into a searson of planting roots which they haven't had as a family in the last 10 years. Pray for Tito who is having health concerns and for doctors as they look into what might be the cause. 

Wed 6- Pray for Sierra Leone Country Director Jonathan as he begins the process of building a local board of directors. Pray for TK, our board development specialist, who will assist him with the process of choosing potential board members, vetting them, and training them during an orientation this month. Pray for those who will make up the AL Sierra Leone board, that they would be committed, Godly leaders that help Jonathan grow his ministry and support him in his work.

Thu 7- A drought in the Western Cape province of South Africa began in 2015 and is resulting in a severe water shortage in the region, most notably affecting the city of Cape Town. Please pray for sustained rains in this region! Pray also for the country as it remains in political turmoil and there are daily riots and protests. 

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV

Fri 8- Pray for the local Board of Directors in Rwanda as they finalize their registration with the Rwandan government. Requirements for non profit organizations to register are more here than in other countries. Pray as this board prepares their documents and showcases their vision that the government will be favorable.

 Sat 9- Pray for Allan Knowles, Country Director for South Africa, as he continues to disciple his students through our two-year theological education program. Please be in prayer for Allan as he preaches tomorrow at a church that is in serious decline.  Pray for the Lord to intervene and breathe fresh devotion and encouragement into this church. 

Sun 10- Pray for the staff and students at the New Dawn Educational Centre in the Huruma slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya.  Pray for the team as they plan the 2nd Annual Run for Hope scheduled for August 11. 

 Mon 11- Pray for the trauma-healing training workshop taking place in Rwanda beginning today. Pray for all those involved. 

Tue 12 - Praise God for our Board of Directors who generously invest in this ministry with their time, talent and treasures!

Wed 13- Pray for the local Board of Directors in DRC.  This board is working to register their organization nationally. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they work to finalize their governing policies and register with the national authorities. Pray for God’s mercies on their work. 

“Whatever you do, work at with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

Thu 14- Praise God for our impact partner The Mocha Club and the artists who share our work in Africa with their audiences.  Please pray for God to increase our Mocha Club membership so that we can continue to support our partners throughout Africa. 

Fri 15- Pray for those who will take part in the upcoming Journey to Kenya.  Pray for God to lead others He would have join this group as they go to visit and encourage Peter Ochiel at Action Ministries and Irene Tongoi at New Dawn Educational Centre

Sat 16- Pray for Jonathan Titus-Williams, Country Director in Sierra Leone, as he serves the teachers and students of our program there. Pray for him and his wife Marian to receive their travel visas so they are able to come to the US to visit their children who are in school here.  

Sun 17- "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ..." (1 Peter 1:3 NIV)  Happy Father's Day! 

Mon 18- Praise God for the Spread The Word program which raises support to equip leaders in Africa with local language Study Bibles. Please pray for those who are busy planning this year's fundraising event, the 6th annual golf tournament on September 18. 

Tue 19- Pray for the students of our theological education program to be bold as they learn to share the Gospel!

Wed 20Please pray for the staff at the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Congo as they love and care for the children. Pray for healing for Sister Alvera, director of the orphanage, as she is treated for cancer far from home in Italy.  

“Remember your leaders who taught you the Word of God.  Think of all the good that has come from their lives and follow the example of their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 NLT

Thu 21- Pray for Action Ministries and all the ways Peter Ochiel, along with his staff and volunteers, minister in their community. Pray for the funding of he new school building project. 

Fri 22- Pray for Pastor Mezack as he works to find additional staff in Rwanda. He desperately needs help and is seeking God’s wisdom to find the right person. 

Sat 23- Pray for the men and women who are part of our two-year theological education program. Pray for endurance to finish well and for God to use them mightily in their communities. 

Sun 24- Pray for peace in South Sudan! Pray for classes which continue in areas of great instability inside South Sudan. Pray for our teachers and students as they gather to meet and learn the Word of God. 

Mon 25- Pray for the Women at Risk program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pray that the women who are part of this vital program will know the restoration that comes through a relationship with Jesus.  

Tue 26- Pray for Leonard Chipangano, Country Director in Malawi. Please pray for a vehicle for him as his was totaled in an accident last year.  Pray also for God's guidance in his search for a stable office location. 

Wed 27- Pray for Peter Ochiel and his wife Nancy as they make plans to travel to the US in August.  Pray for them and their children while they are apart for this extended time.  

Thu 28- Pray for the women and children who are taking part in the trauma-healing programs. Pray for those who have been through the program, that they would continue down the path of healing. 

Fri 29- Please pray favor for David, the new principal at New Dawn Educational Centre.  Pray he leads with Godly wisdom and discernment. 

Sat 30- Praise the Lord with us for everyone who invests in this ministry with prayer, finances and/or volunteering! 

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes establish the work of our hands.”  Psalm 90:17 NIV

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Letter from the President:

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I’ve been to Congo several times, yet it teaches me something new each time. This trip has been no different.

It’s hard to celebrate little victories when you are staring at the giant deficit in any place — Goma is no exception.

But there is an undeniable impact that you, as a supporter of African Leadership, have made here.

Staring at life day in and day out, it’s hard to see change. When you ask a Congolese what changed in the last year, they often say, “nothing.” But where there are hardly noticeable changes to those in Goma, I see real progress from the last time I was here.

One example may surprise you — the prevalence of empathy. In a place where all of life is hard, and everyone has a traumatic story, encountering empathy is rare. So this time — when I saw children sit and listen to their peers, when I saw them cheer for one another, when those who didn’t used to look me in the eye smiled at me and said “hello” — I saw tangible impact.

That’s because these children have been meeting in weekly Healing Hearts clubs.

These are groups led by students in our program that have gone through trauma-healing training. These groups bring together children who have experienced great trauma, creating a safe place for them to mourn, understand their pain, and begin healing from it, together.

Most of them live at an orphanage under the care of a widow whose family was shattered by war. Of nine children, only five are still alive. She spends her days with the youngest babies at the orphanage on her back while she plays with and loves on the others. Why? “I had to quit holding some of my babies because of the war so now I hold these ones.

Empathetic children become empathetic adults.

I’m confident that these children, growing up in Healing Hearts clubs, surrounded by those who show the love of Christ to them, will one day turn into people like this woman who care so well for others.

These children, who wouldn’t make eye contact with me three years ago, now share their pain and display empathy. They articulate the poverty of the world they live in, but also shout hope to one another.

They are building not just a whole heart, but a stable community.

As I watched children throw back their heads and laugh, in a field where days ago rebels clashed with the military and sent these kids running, I knew the Lord had revealed to me once again that Congo has much to teach us.

-Emily Blackledge

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How 30 Families are Changed Forever

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“I don’t have the time, the money, or the giftings to make a difference.”

You’ve likely caught yourself thinking or speaking a sentence like the one above. Peter Ochiel was once in your shoes. Now he runs a school, a church, and a clinic in one of the world’s last leper colonies.

How’d he do it?

He focused on the assets around him and took it one step at a time.

He embodies the asset-based development strategy African Leadership teaches.

Peter was working in a restaurant in Kenya when one day, he met a man on the streets begging for school fees for his children. When Peter asked to meet his children, the man took him to Tumbe Village, which literally means “a place for rejected people.” It’s a leper colony that’s home to about 30 families who have been rejected by society.

Peter felt compelled to act. So he started small. He began going to visit every Sunday to worship and pray with these families and renamed the village Blessed Camp.

People began to take notice of what he was doing and they joined him.

Peter’s heart for this village was contagious. The group started pulling together their assets and gifts to open a church in Blessed Camp, as well as a school for the children. Then they opened a medical clinic to help the lepers and, soon after, a feeding program. He built his ministry step by step, utilizing the assets and talents of people around him in Mombasa.

Today, Peter’s organization, Action Ministry, is an African Leadership partner. So his network of assets now includes you, and your assets now help him do his work.

Already, you’re providing hope for a new generation in Kenya.

It’s easy to think you’re helpless. But like Peter, you’re not. Start small, focus on what you have, and know that you’re already making a difference to people like Peter through your support of African Leadership.

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Meet a student - Daniel

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Hi, I am Pastor Gosten Daniel Banda of Thawale Baptist Church in Nkhotakota district in central Malawi.

I became a Christian in 1987 and started serving God in various capacities in my local church. While serving, God called me into pastoral ministry. But my challenge was that I had no training to enable me to know what to do as a pastor. I looked for the opportunity to enter a training program, and it took a long time before it availed itself to me.

By the grace of God, this opportunity came to me in 2013 when African Leadership opened its training center in a nearby community.

I joined the class immediately, and it was a very exciting experience. I graduated in 2015 — after spending two years of studying the Word of God in depth.

After my graduation, I was called to pastor a church in a rural area called Thawale. It was a small church with about 70 members. By the grace of God, this church has grown from 70 members to about 230 members. The church is growing both numerically and spiritually simply because God has really given me the grace to be able to effectively apply the knowledge gained in class at African Leadership.

We have introduced a number of ministries like youth ministry, women’s ministry, intercession, and home study groups where the Word of God is shared during the week. All these ministries have contributed to the growth of the church.

I would therefore like to thank God for sending African Leadership to my nearby community. The presence of African Leadership provided me with the training opportunity that was only a far-fetched dream before. I am so grateful to God for transforming my life through this opportunity. I am also grateful to African Leadership for being committed to provide us with this rare opportunity.

 

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Using Your Gifts to Make a Difference

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It’s easy to feel helpless when it comes to the bigger problems in the world. You may look around and see all that’s wrong, and want to help, but feel unsure of where or how to begin. You may even dream up a solution, and then your brain interrupts…but I don’t have x, y, or z, so I can’t. You may think you lack what you need to make a difference. That’s a normal thought.

But it’s not true. Through asset-based community development, you can make a difference right where you are.

What’s asset-based community development?

Asset-based community development is working with what you have, rather than being hindered by what you lack.

A community in Africa might lack clean water. The multitude of issues that arise from that one problem — water borne diseases, girls missing school to gather water, and more — make it overwhelming to address. Installing a clean water well is expensive and time consuming, creating an overwhelming hurdle for many African communities.

However, asset-based community development allows you to look at these problems in a new way.

In Africa, our students are taught to look for their assets first. They may find they have a community member trained in water engineering, or are able to connect with a local storeowner willing to donate a water tank. Sometimes they find that stones, sand, and construction tools are all readily available locally. There may even be a church congregation nearby who’s willing to volunteer their labor.

Little by little, a practical and doable solution takes shape.

This is how we operate all our programs in Africa. When you partner with African Leadership, you help this important education and work happen. You may see poverty around the world and think, I don’t have the money or the time it takes to make a difference.

But what might be possible when you consider your assets?

Do you have a passion to help others and the determination to follow through? What specific gifts do you have that can be used to tackle poverty? Do you have friends who can combine their efforts with yours?

You are uniquely gifted to make a difference.

So, what would happen in your world if instead of getting stuck in …but I don’t have x, y, or z so I can’t, you reframed your thinking to …I have a, b, and c, so let’s get started?

Consider your assets. What specific gifts do you have that you can use to grow the Kingdom?

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May 2018 Prayer Calendar

 "I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me."  Romans 15:30

Tue 1- Please pray for African Leadership's president, Emily Blackledge, as she returns home from Africa today. Pray for her as she is reunited with her family and as she re-acclimates to the local time zone.

Wed 2- A drought in the Western Cape province of South Africa began in 2015 and is resulting in a severe water shortage in the region, most notably affecting the city of Cape Town. Please pray for sustained rains in this region! 

Thu 3- On this National Day of Prayer, please join us in praying for our nation and its leaders.  Ask God to grant them wisdom to act with integrity.

Fri 4- Pray for Country Director Asrat as he balances a rapidly growing program in Ethiopia. Pray for his local board, that they would be the support he needs in a busy time. 

Sat 5- Praise God for our Board of Directors who generously invest in this ministry with their time, talent and treasures!

Sun 6- Pray for Country Director Tito Oturo who is serving his communities in Sudan, South Sudan and in the refugee camps in Northern Uganda. Pray for peace in South Sudan!

Mon 7- Pray for Peter Ochiel as he serves the Lord in Mombasa, Kenya through Action Ministries. Please pray for God to provide the needed funds for the school building project.  

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

Tue 8- Pray for the Women at Risk program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pray that the women who are part of this vital program will know the restoration that comes through a relationship with Jesus.  

Wed 9- Pray for healing for Sister Alvera, director of the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Congo as she is treated for cancer far from home in Italy. 

Thu 10- Pray for the staff and students at the New Dawn Educational Centre in the Huruma slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya.  Pray for the team as they plan the 2nd Annual Run for Hope scheduled for August 11. 

Fri 11- Pray for Sierra Leone Country Director Jonathan as he begins the process of building a local board of directors. Pray for TK, our board development specialist, who will assist him with the process of choosing potential board members, vetting them, and training them during an orientation in June. Pray for those who will make up the AL Sierra Leone board, that they would be committed, Godly leaders that help Jonathan grow his ministry and support him in his work.

Sat 12- Pray for the men and women who are part of our two-year theological education program. Pray for endurance to finish well and for God to use them mightily in their communities. 

Sun 13- Pray for our Country Director in Congo, Denis Hangi, as he leads and serves the students in our theological education program and leads trauma-healing programs for kids and orphans. 

Mon 14- Praise God for our impact partner The Mocha Club, and the artists who share our work in Africa with their audiences.  Please pray for God to increase our Mocha Club membership so that we can continue to support our partners throughout Africa. 

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV

Tue 15- Pray for those who will take part in the upcoming journey to Kenya.  Pray for God to lead others He would have join this group as they go to visit and encourage Peter Ochiel at Action Ministries and Irene Tongoi at New Dawn Educational Centre. 

Wed 16- Pray for Jonathan Titus-Williams, Country Director in Sierra Leone, as he serves the teachers and students of our program there. Pray for him and his wife Marian to receive their travel visas so they are able to come to the US to visit their children who are in school here. 

Thu 17- Pray for Country Director Geoffrey Ocan as he serves the teachers and students of our program in Uganda. Praise God for the recent land purchase! Pray for the construction of his new office to go smoothly.

Fri 18- Pray for the local Boards of Directors in Africa. Please pray for wisdom and discernment as they serve alongside our Country Directors. 

Sat 19- Praise God for the many students who are graduating from African Leadership's theological education program! Please pray for them as they move forward in ministry with all they have learned. 

Sun 20- Please pray for the staff at the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Congo as they love and care for the children. 

Mon 21- Pray for Allan Knowles, Country Director for South Africa, as he continues to disciple his students through our two-year theological education program.

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands." Psalm 90:17

Tue 22- Pray for the trauma-healing workshop which will take place in June in Rwanda. Pray for those who are preparing now for that workshop.

Wed 23- Pray for the local leaders in Africa who are learning and working towards strengthening their communities spiritually, emotionally and physically. 

Thu 24- Praise God for the arrival of new curriculum for our program in Rwanda and Congo! The shipment of course manuals that accompanies our core two-year program just arrived in Kigali in April and will be distributed to new students this month.

Fri 25- Pray for Mezack Nkundabantu, Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi, as he serves the teachers and students enrolled in our theological program there. Pray for the funding for a new church building that will meet with local codes. 

Sat 26- Pray for Leonard Chipangano, Country Director in Malawi. Please pray for a vehicle for him as his was totaled in an accident last year.  Leonard asked that we also pray with him for the funds to purchase new graduation gowns for his students.

"Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith." Hebrews 13:7 NLT

Sun 27- Pray for African Leadership students in Rwanda as the government cracks down on churches and has started taking strong steps towards closing them should they not be 100% up to strict building codes. Pray against discouragement for those affected.  Pray for solutions so they can continue meeting and worshiping the Lord together.

Mon 28- Pray for the women and children who are taking part in the trauma-healing programs. Pray for those who have been through the program, that they would continue down the path of healing. 

Tue 29- Praise the Lord with us for everyone who invests in this ministry with prayer, finances and/or volunteering! 

Wed 30- Praise God for the Spread The Word program which raises support to equip leaders in Africa with local language Study Bibles. 

Thu 31- Pray for our staff, that we will "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts; and not depend on our own understanding."  Pray we will "seek His will in all we do, so that He will show us which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

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Meet a student

Sakina Walikunza Lea, Democratic Republic of Congo

I was born in an unsaved family. With my husband, we received Jesus as our personal savior and were baptized. In prayer group in my church, I felt a call to be trained. I knew I could preach and visit with some of our fellow members.

Because of the African Leadership training, I realized there were a lot of mistakes in my early preaching. When in the class, I did repent because the training opened my mind to know Biblical truth. It was my opportunity to ask for explanation about the issues where I was making mistakes. 

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Now I do preach in women’s meetings and in my church and house. I am seeing some family receiving the Lord and getting saved. I am praising the Lord and thanking African Leadership for the ministry to learn the Bible. I’ve decided to work through my church as an evangelist in my country, especially in teaching to women’s conferences. 

Bless African Leadership and all supporters of this ministry.

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Letter from the President:

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Tito Iranga, our Country Director from South Sudan was just here with us. I always love when I get significant time with our African leaders. Every car ride, every meeting with friends, every staff interaction is a place for me to listen and learn. It’s these times when I become more and more aware of the ways God is at work around the continent of Africa. It’s a reminder of all the ways this network of leaders continually leverages their gifts and passions and resources to see their communities thrive. 

But that network doesn’t just exist in Africa. It exists here, too. As a matter of fact, you are a part of it. At African Leadership we are passionate about our use of pronouns. We believe that if my role, my gifts, my resources are more valuable or important than Tito’s, we don’t build anything sustainable. Instead, we are leveraging our collective resources each month so that a local leader in Africa gets the chance to leverage their gifts and passions. Your gift teaches a leader how to discover the resources around them and connect those resources to the things they are passionate about, bringing real and lasting change in their community and truly maximizing the generosity in our community. 

I’m thrilled by the number of men and women like Tito or Sakina we have in our network. Equally, I am thrilled by the number of men and women like you in our network. I am passionate about expanding that network and inviting others to belong to this group. Not just students and communities in Africa, but men and women here who are willing to leverage what they have and who they are to help communities thrive. 

Our goal this year is to invest in 5,500 men and women across the continent of Africa. If you are already a monthly contributor, thank you for the leveraging you do – your part in this story is just as integral as Tito’s or Sakina’s. If you are not, it takes $29 a month – less than a dollar a day – to invest in these leaders who are leveraging all they have and all they are to see their communities thrive. Will you consider leveraging your resources and joining us?

I am grateful for your participation, 

Emily Blackledge
President, African Leadership Inc.

P.S.: Just $29 a month educates a local leader in Africa. Will you help us reach our goal of 5,500 students this year?

JOIN US

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What can you do?

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While our South Sudanese Country Director was visiting, we asked him the best ways you can help him and leaders like him across Africa. Here’s what Tito said:

1. Pray! This is the most important. God moves mountains through prayers. Even if there is money, if prayer is not there, the work won’t have an impact. Prayer gives us wisdom on how to use the resources we have.”

Become a prayer partner! Join our prayer list here.

2. Provide educational resources. The needs of people are hard to tell until those people first learn to identify them. If we walk with others, together we can identify the needs. The tools needed for this are very important – training manuals, study Bibles, and more.”

It costs $348 per year to put a local church leader through our program. For $29/month, YOU can provide the educational resources necessary. That’s less than $1/day. Commit to a leader here.

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Welcome Our New Board Members

African Leadership kicked off 2018 by adding four new board members. Join us in welcoming them to the team! They are:

 

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Stephen Gause, music producer, engineer, mixer, artist and songwriter


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Tim Humerick, President of Humerick Environmental Construction, Inc.


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Cate Loes, Assistant Professor of Management at Belmont University


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Duane Murray, Area Chair for C12 Group

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April 2018 Prayer Calendar

Sun 1- Lord God, You loved this world so much, that you gave your one and only Son, that we might be called your children too. Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace of Easter Sunday, everyday. Let us have hearts of thankfulness for your sacrifice. Let us have eyes that look upon Your grace and rejoice in our salvation. Help us to walk in that mighty grace and tell your good news to the world. All for your glory do we pray, Lord, Amen.

Mon 2-  A drought in the Western Cape province of South Africa began in 2015 and is resulting in a severe water shortage in the region, most notably affecting the city of Cape Town. Please pray for sustained rains in this region! 

Tue 3- Praise God for the group of men who visited Pastor Mezack Nkundabantu and his network in Rwanda recently! This journey was a great encouragement to all involved!

Wed 4-  Pray for Asrat Gizaw, Country Directory in Ethiopia, as he serves the Academy teachers and students there. Please pray for his home church as they seek to pay off their land loan.
 

Thu 5- Pray for the leaders who are learning and working towards strengthening their communities spiritually, emotionally and physically. 

Fri 6-  Pray for Country Director Tito Oturo who is serving his communities in Sudan, South Sudan and in the refugee camps in Northern Uganda. Pray for peace in South Sudan!
 

Sat 7- Pray for Peter Ochiel as he serves the Lord in Mombasa, Kenya through Action Ministries. Please pray for God to provide the needed funds for the school building project. Please also pray that Peter will be able to bring his family when he visits the US this summer.  

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:20-21 NLT

Sun 8- Pray for the Women at Risk program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pray that the women who are part of this vital program will know the restoration that comes through a relationship with Jesus. Pray for the women who are graduating from the program and those who are about to begin. 

Mon 9- Pray for healing for Sister Alvera, director of the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Congo as she is treated for cancer. 

Tue 10-  Pray for the staff and students at the New Dawn Educational Centre in the Huruma slum outside of Nairobi, Kenya.  Pray as they plan the 2nd Annual Run for Hope scheduled for August 11. 

Wed 11- Leonard Chipangano, Malawi Country Director, shared this praise:. "My first born daughter, Alinafe, has been selected to pursue her Degree Program at University of Malawi. I am a very happy dad because there is always limited space for 1st year students.  The competition is always very stiff for one to secure a place in these universities." We praise God with Leonard and his family!

Thu 12- Pray for the men and women who are part of our two-year theological training program. Pray for endurance to finish well and for God to use them mightily in their communities. 

Fri 13- Pray for our Country Director in Congo, Denis Hangi, as he leads and serves the students in our theological program there. Please pray for financial support for the men who are now working as volunteers in his office. 

Sat 14- Please pray for our Board of Directors and the meeting taking place today. Pray for God's leading in all we do! 

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:15-17 NIV

Sun 15- Praise God for our impact partner The Mocha Club, and the artists who share our work in Africa with their audiences.  Please pray for God to increase our Mocha Club membership so that we can continue to support our partners throughout Africa. 

Mon 16- Please pray for the group traveling to Africa today as they prepare to spend the next few weeks in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. 

Tue 17- Pray for Jonathan Titus-Williams, Country Director in Sierra Leone, as he serves the teachers and students of our program there. Also, please pray for his children as they are in school in the US.

Wed 18- Please pray for the US group who will travel into the Congo today to visit with Pastor Denis Hangi and his network there. 

Thu 19- Praise God for the many students who are graduating from African Leadership's theological education program! Please pray for them as they move forward in ministry with all they have learned.

Fri 20- Pray for Country Director Geoffrey Ocan as he serves the teachers and students of our program in Uganda. Please pray for his specific financial needs. 

Sat 21- Pray for the local Boards of Directors in Africa. Please pray for wisdom and discernment as they serve alongside our Country Directors. 

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17 NIV

Sun 22- Pray for Allan Knowles, Country Director for South Africa, as he continues to disciple his students through the program. 

Mon 23- Pray for the US group traveling into Uganda today. Please pray for energy and perseverance as they continue their journey. 

Tue 24- Pray for Leonard Chipangano, Country Director in Malawi. Please pray for a vehicle for him as his was totaled in an accident last year.  Leonard asked that we also pray with him for the funds to purchase new graduation gowns for his students.

Wed 25- Pray for Mezack Nkundabantu, Country Director for Rwanda and Burundi, as he serves the teachers and students enrolled in our theological program there. 

Thu 26- Praise God for the Spread The Word program which raises support to equip leaders with local language Study Bibles. 

“Now may the God of peace – who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood – may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.  May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ every good thing that is pleasing to him.  All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”  Hebrews 13:19-21 NLT

Fri 27- Please pray for the staff at the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Congo as they love and care for the children. 

Sat 28- Pray for the women and children who are taking part in the trauma-healing programs. Pray for those who have been through the program, that they would continue down the path of healing. 

Sun 29 -  Praise the Lord with us for everyone who supports this ministry through prayer, finances and/or volunteering! 

Mon 30 - Pray for our staff, that we will seek first God's kingdom and His righteousness, and trust that all the rest will be given to us as well. Matthew 6:33

 

 

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Building Community One Caring Act At A Time

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A team from Thompson Station Church in Thompson’s Station, TN is on the ground in Rwanda visiting our Country Director, Mezack Nkundabantu, and seeing our work across the country. Duane Murray, Executive & Missions Pastor at Thompson Station Church and an African Leadership Board Member, is leading the team and shares some thoughts below.

We are seeing the evidence of an ongoing investment into leaders that multiplies ministry throughout this country, into neighboring countries, and across oceans.  

Today, we visited a church in the village of Karambe. Started by African Leadership’s Rwanda Country Director, Mezack, and a graduate of African Leadership’s program, Pastor Lameck, this church is having a ripple effect around the world.

In 1998, Mezack was helping an 11-year-old boy get reunited with his parents in the village of Karambe after the Genocide.  When they arrived, many people in the community shared with him the need for a church.  Pastor Lameck then joined Mezack in starting a church together, which became the one we visited.  

20 years later and this church is still thriving and has started two other churches in the area. Each church has an Associate Pastor or someone studying in African Leadership’s seminary-like program preparing to lead the congregation.  Over 200 people are growing together and ministering to their communities through these three bodies of believers.

We had the privilege to distribute Bibles to the church in Karambe. We watched as one of the leaders-in-training became overwhelmed with tears of joy seeing the people she is leading receive Bibles.  It was easy to see the enthusiasm this group of believers have for worshiping the one true God.

Next, we stopped in Matunguru, one of the churches started by the original Karambe church.  Ninety people meet here to worship weekly in a building they purchased last year.  

Guess who bought the building? 

The small congregation contributed two-thirds of the money. The remaining one-third was sent to the church by Pastor Lameck from Antioch, TN.  What? Yes! Since starting the church in Karambe, Pastor Lameck is now helping launch a Kinyarwanda-speaking church in middle Tennessee, but he took precious resources and sent them back to Rwanda to continue the work he began many years ago.

I’m grateful to have been able to experience this ministry and impact firsthand. African Leadership’s work is clearly making a difference and by investing in leaders, the ripple effect continues.

As our day concluded, Pastor Mezack was moved to tears that we were with him in Karambe…and so were we.

Pastor Duane

Interested in experiencing community up close or taking a team from your church? Contact Tammy at tmurphy@africanleadershipinc.org for more information.

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Why trauma?

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You’ll notice that a few of the things on our list for 2018 involve trauma-healing. And it may give you pause. Isn’t that what professional counselors are for? Why would our Country Directors want their students to learn about trauma? If our goal is to strengthen communities, isn't teaching orphan care, education, healthcare, or a tangible intervention more vital?

All good and valid questions. But here’s why our local leaders choose this as a means of equipping their students to strengthen communities: Trauma-healing is healthcare. It is orphan care. It is education. It is tangible development. 

How is it all those things? Take our Congolese Country Director. In 2017, Denis taught a group of church leaders how to identify and address trauma in children. Then those leaders went back to their communities and implemented what they learned — one is a director at a primary school who began “healing clubs” for the kids in his school, one lives near an IDP camp and created a support group for traumatized children in the camp, one gathered a group of police and soldiers and taught them how to better identify and respond to the children they encounter in their jobs.

The children at that primary school now have access to mental and emotional healthcare that will be vital to their ability to develop and continue their education in a school environment. The children in that IDP camp may be orphans who have witnessed unimaginable violence and now have a “family” to support them. The children who come into contact with these members of the police force will benefit from someone in a position of authority who understands them and can see past their actions. 

All of these are necessary to strengthen a community — to grow a generation of children capable of flourishing despite their trauma and becoming compassionate adults actively rebuilding their communities, economically, spiritually, and emotionally. These church leaders, through their trauma-healing education, are growing a generation of disciples that will speak the Truth of their healing into the very fabric of their communities.

As a part of African Leadership, you are a force behind this process. When you support an African Leadership student, you reach far more than just that student — you reach children, entire communities, all the people that student comes into contact with. You yourself are growing disciples across the world through this process. And for only $29 a month, you can support another student through their training this year. Will you resolve to make that commitment in 2018?

(And don’t worry — part of training these local leaders is helping them recognize the limits of their abilities as lay leaders and know when to turn it over to professionals to avoid doing any harm.)

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What do African Leadership students and graduates do?

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In 2017, African Leadership had over 5,500 active students across the continent, including 1,420 graduates of our core two-year theological education program. Nearly 200 local leaders took our community development course, and nearly 300 leaders were trained in trauma-healing.

But what does that actually look like in the field?

It looks like Bahizi in Congo who used his education to start outreaches for traumatized children in his church and community.

It looks like Henry in South Africa who now goes into the townships to work with and mentor alcoholics.

It looks like Budete in Rwanda who coordinates cooperatives with women living with HIV/AIDS, helping them grow their financial security and independence.

It looks like Mtendere in Malawi who has since trained and mentored over 15 more pastors, taught courses in church planting, and mobilized youth leaders in local churches.

It looks like Hana in Ethiopia who became the women’s ministry coordinator in her local church and is opening an African Leadership center to train 15 more potential local leaders.

It looks like 224 kids in Congo that were able to spend time reconciling the trauma they’ve experienced with a God who cares for them more than they can understand.

It looks like new local boards of directors in Rwanda and Congo that will steer direction and ownership from the U.S. to Africa and grow local support.

In 2018, our goal is to add 2,700 new students to our core program, train 610 more local leaders in trauma-healing, and add 190 more leaders to our community development program. That’s 3,500 more potential Bahizis, Henrys, Budetes, and Mtenderes out making disciples and restoring their communities spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Now’s the time to get involved – your gift before the end of 2017 will be matched, up to $100,000!

 

 

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The Oliji Refugee Settlement changed James’ life.

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The Oliji Refugee Settlement changed James’ life. But probably not how you imagine.

James fled South Sudan in 2015. He fled violence, a job as a banker, and a life he calls “bad and of no help to others.” Arriving to a refugee camp in Uganda made things worse. “I became frustrated and hopeless. Things were hard for me since I was without Christ.”

But James was slowly noticing a change – “something began to shape me, a new hope and destiny.” Shortly after James received Christ, he heard of African Leadership through a local pastor. Pastor Taban, one of our teachers, asked James if he’d like to learn more about God. James said yes.

In September 2016, Pastor Taban started an African Leadership class of 16 people in the camp. James was one of them. As he was taught and discipled by Pastor Taban, James felt his life change even more. “I got transformed spiritually. It has renewed my mind, organized my words, improved my behavior and response to anybody.”

James won’t officially graduate until June 2018. But that hasn’t stopped him from making statements of hope in a place he once considered hopeless. “I realized that only a changed life can change more lives. I developed a sense of humanity and began to help others who are hopeless. My neighbors have wounds created by war in their hearts so I began counseling and teaching the people. I created a Bible study at my home where my neighbors got saved and now follow us to church.”

Now serving as a secretary in his local church, James sees the bigger picture. “God opened for me an opportunity to be with every kind of people, to give them the Word of God. I have helped many in my camp to come to Christ and develop strength and hope, even when they lost dear ones in South Sudan. I thank African Leadership for helping me become instrumental in the community.”

James is just one of many disciples making statements of hope across the continent through African Leadership. Stay tuned for more stories...

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