West Africans overcome isolation
3 national churches draw closer to MWCBy Mennonite World Conference
ACCRA, Ghana — Anabaptists in West Africa are a scattered group who often feel isolated from Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in other parts of Africa and the world.
That reality has shown signs of shifting in the last few months through two events facilitated by Mennonite World Conference: a regional workshop to orient leaders to MWC’s Africa Caucus and a visit by an MWC Deacons Commission-sponsored delegation.
MWC representatives held a workshop Feb. 27-March 1 in Accra to strengthen connections among the Evangelical Mennonite Church of Burkina Faso, Mennonite Church of Nigeria and Ghana Mennonite Church, as well as between them and churches in other parts of the world.
The gathering was the second of four regional workshops in Africa this year designed to build a continental structure called the MWC Africa Caucus.
Composed of MWC member churches in Africa, the body’s mandate is to facilitate relationships among Anabaptist churches, further MWC’s purposes in Africa and bring African Anabaptist perspectives to the global communion. More than one-third of Anabaptists worldwide are in Africa.
Toss Mukwa, a consultant from Congo, facilitated the workshop sessions with support from Tim Lind, an MWC staff person.
Larry Miller, MWC general secretary, in his first-ever visit to West Africa, led the group in discussions on the history of MWC and its transformation over time, the MWC constitution, the roles of MWC General Council delegates, and mutual expectations between MWC and its member churches.
Suffering in Ivory Coast
Three established churches became acquainted with a newer member of the Anabaptist family in the region: the Eglise Protestante Anabaptiste de Côte d’Ivoire.
Its leader, Affouka Eba, spoke of the history of the church, its encounter with Anabaptism and its current suffering due to conflict in the country.
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