Like many evangelicals, Texas Baptists are increasingly interested in the plight of Africa. In partnership with African believers, Texas Baptist churches are taking on the issues of poverty, AIDS, war, parentless children and oppression. They are plugging away at the problems, living out the calling that God has placed on each of them.
But when groups take on large, complicated issues, it’s easy to lose sight of the progress that is being made. Individual and regional transfromation is taking place across Africa. An article in this month’s Christianity Today notes changes are taking place in Africa.
Christianity is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world. One hundred years ago, there were 4 times as many African Muslims as there were Christians. Now Christians make up 46 percent of the continents population and outnumber Africa’s Muslim population. More than 18,000 African missionaries are serving around the globe.
The article’s author, Jonathan Bonk, is led to the conclusion that Africa is will lead the Church into the future:
Africans, on the other hand, with all of their daunting challenges — perhaps in some ways because of them — will continue to give central place to God. Where else can they turn? Like Simon Peter, their instinctively rhetorical question is “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the world of eternal life.”
Our fate as Western Christians is tied to the church in Africa because there is really no such thing as an independent church. Our Scriptures speak only of our utter dependence upon God and of our mutual interdependence upon each other. Independence, it should be remembered, is the great and original expression of pride. Perhaps the church in Africa will be a reminder to us all. It is a reminder that — harking back to the deepest sureties — in God’s moral universe the kindgom belongs to the poor, the humble will be exalted, rulers will be brought down from their thrones, the proud will be scattered and the rich will be sent away empty.”
Here’s a video I found on the web site of University Baptist Church in Waco. It’s a preview for the trip they took in May and provides a nice use of music and imagery.
If you’d like to serve in Africa — or anywhere else around the globe — check out beonmission.org. There’s a plethora of opportunities there. Which one is God calling you to?