By Anne Mie Skak Johanson, Chairman of Mission Africa
Translated by Patrick Nielsen
Mission means change…
Mission Africa needs to move, to be able to bring the good news of God’s kindness and salvation, in both word and deed. Or to put it another way: Mission Africa should be in mission.
We know that in a mission organisation like our own, the mission can require that we leave our homes and traditions, to find a faraway destination with a different culture. The mission is also about the motion that brings the light and gospel to the current living conditions, and constant change, that we encounter in life.
We have seen it happen in Sierra Leone, where the everyday missionary work in our partner church became a place of emergency and humanitarian aid, because of the Ebola virus. In addition, we’ve seen it happen in the Middle East, where the many refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq necessitated a new satellite based school program from SAT-7 for the refugee school children.
As a missionary organisation, we need to be ready for change. Including back in Denmark, Mission Africa’s group structure is good and is making a difference in a lot of fields. Elsewhere, we need to establish or support new networks to maintain and develop a dedicated foundation. Our volunteers might, for example, wish to be more involved with the missionary work through active projects, or by assisting with specific tasks in the Secretariat.
We must make room for, and be ready for change. We need to stay in motion.
… In God we trust
But one thing is set in stone.
We do not walk alone. The Lord of the mission is all around us. He’s the reason we walk, and he is the one who walks beside us. The confidence in God’s ways and God’s help is essential for us at Mission Africa.
Even physically are we not alone. Other mission organisations, churches, organisations and individuals walk with us. They are in this with us, and we can learn from them, cooperate with them and rejoice in their work.
It is set in stone, for us at Mission Africa, that our calling is to act in West Africa, in the Middle East, in the Christian-Muslim relations, and that we let awareness, friendship and inspiration between Denmark and our partners create faith and eagerness at home. It pains us how difficult the circumstances have been for pretty much all of our partners in these recent years. But we will stand as one, and continue to pray and act for better conditions and opportunities for them.
The fundamental condition of the mission is that we remain open to change, while still remaining adamant in our belief in God, and what he’s put in our hearts. The challenge is to maintain the willingness to seize the new while we stubbornly hold on to God’s faithfulness and our vocation.
Let us call upon God for help to keep the balance wherever we go.