The Amahoro Africa conference starts tonight at the YFC campsite, CYARA in the Magaliesberg. Looking at the schedule it seems that the two dominant themes for this annual gathering of leaders from Africa and beyond will be the Postcolonial Church and the African Reformation.
I will be attending and am planning to blog and tweet more about it in the coming week(s). (Follow me on Twitter here). Roger Saner has started blogging about Amahoro a few days ago. He posted a very useful introduction to Amahoro here and published some interesting thoughts that already elicited a fair amount of discussion here and here. Steve Hayes posted much of his contribution to Roger’s posts here and here. Nic Paton posted on Amahoro here. Graeme Codrington had posted a few podcasts and summaries of addresses from the Amahoro 1 conference in Uganda, 2007 here.
I would be interested to know if anybody else has also posted on Amahoro or is planning to do so in the coming week or weeks. Most of the mentioned discussions have centered around the concepts of postcolonialism, apartheid, racism and the African/Western conversation.
I am very much looking forward to attending Amahoro, not so much because of the keynote speakers (although I have reason to believe that their inputs will be very good), but especially because of what I expect will happen between the participants and because of the networking opportunities. I hope that we will somehow be changed in God’s presence and be moulded together in our journey of discovering our true identity as the church in South Africa and Africa. I hope to discover more of my own African identity even though I am a white Afrikaner. I hope that I will be able to listen well and seek to understand before seeking to be understood.
I also hope that we will be able to re-discover what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ and what it means to be the church, irrespective of our backgrounds. It is our shared identity of being in Christ (died and raised with him) that should move us to confront the injustices of colonialism, apartheid, racism, sexism, exploitation of the poor etc. And it is our shared identity of being in Christ that should move us to create new communities of hope, life and reformation. As leaders we should deal with these issues in our own lives, repent and forgive on behalf of others who might be unwilling to do so and create examples of the African Reformation in action.
According to the Amahoro website, this is what Amahoro is about:
Amahoro Africa is working to see the Gospel of Jesus bringing transformation to communities across Africa. We facilitate holistic transformation by encouraging, resourcing and connecting emerging African leaders who are committed to the tangible manifestation of justice, mercy and goodness in their local context.
In his letter to attendees, Claude Nikondeha, director of Amahoro Africa writes:
Those who will be assembled for The Gathering are on a trajectory of transformation in their communities and countries. They are working for something more than the salvation of the soul, but investing in the restoration of all things. They are working for change on the ground, be it in Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa or the Dominican Republic. They understand that the work they do is their response to the Gospel imperative, to bring good news to the poor and broken of the earth. But our good works and good efforts need roots and nourishment to sustain us in our Gospel-inspired work. To do the work of transformation without the accompanying spirituality is to run on empty.
Read his full letter here.
Please pray for this conference and for everybody attending.