By Alice Horne - AGWM Communications on December 5, 2018
“You can talk about the successes, and that will encourage your faith,” says Greg Beggs, AGWM Africa regional director. “But think for a moment of more than 700 unreached people groups still in place across sub-Saharan Africa. We are profoundly grateful for the successes God has given our missions outreaches. We are grateful for African AG fellowships that are strong and growing. Some of them are now 100 years old. But we must keep our focus on the remaining need.”
Out of Africa’s estimated 1.2 billion people, Joshua Project reports more than 300 million are without access to the gospel. Many countries across Northern Africa are resistant to gospel witness. In Sub-Saharan Africa, even after a remarkable revival during the Assemblies of God’s Decade of Harvest in the 1990s, about 867 people groups remain virtually untouched with the gospel. There is still much to do to reach those nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pat Hurst, AGWM area director for Central Africa, was asked to lead a BaseCamp initiative after the idea was proposed at a regional missionary consultation in South Africa almost four years ago. BaseCamp is a community where participants Discover Africa, Discern their call, and Develop their capacity to serve as missionaries. BaseCamp’s goal is to make a difference in Africa by providing opportunities for individuals to engage in missions, grow in leadership, and work together with a team on a long-term basis.
Brent Teague, veteran missionary to West Africa, reports AGWM is setting up BaseCamps in each area of Africa in order to recruit more missionaries and to keep more missionaries in ministry. The need for personnel on the continent has become critical. BaseCamps will help new missionaries adjust to life and ministry in Africa before they arrive in their country of service.
BaseCampers will benefit from the experience of seasoned missionaries and be made aware of AGWM’s continental vision and country plans so each participant can explore how his or her ministry gifts and interests can best be utilized locally.
Mentors expose participants to indigenous ministry principles and partnerships via reading, discussions, podcasts and door-to-door evangelism. At each step, BaseCampers will be taught how to apply sound missiological practices.
Currently, five BaseCamps operate in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Togo, Cameroon, Tanzania and Kenya. Leadership is eager to place several BaseCamps in each of the Africa areas.
Teague represents the Ivory Coast BaseCamp, where they are in the process of developing a campus with multiple buildings to accommodate the teaching environment and housing for the participants.
Ivory Coast currently has two interns. Two families are scheduled to arrive in spring 2019. Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), Waxahachie, Texas, is sending out a SAGU Missions TEN (To Every Nation) Team in the summer, as well as six interns. Teague reports there are several candidates in the pipeline for next fall.
Through BaseCamp involvement, people who feel a call to Africa will gain practical experience alongside veteran missionaries and serving a healthy national church in order to discover whether or not they are called to long-term or a lifetime service. Participants who do not feel a career call after completing a 10-month or summer term will be encouraged to serve as ambassadors and advocates for Africa missions once returning to the U.S.
Africa leadership asks for your prayers. This is a new program, and they want the Holy Spirit to be front and center in all decisions for the ultimate salvation of millions of Africans who need Jesus.