Africa | World Challenge

Africa

A Revolution in Burundi Churches

Rachel Chimits
July 8, 2019

One bishop has helped bring a wave of change to his city with discussion about new ways to approach problems.

Bishop Emile helps to manage and disciple the leaders of 50 churches in and around the city of Ngozi in Burundi. He also personally leads a church of about 1,500 members.

When he first met with World Challenge workers, he was intrigued by the approach to God’s Word as a transformative force for people’s everyday choices and lives. He took careful note of the biblical concepts behind the lessons, then he decided to adopt this wholistic ministry for his church.

Soon after, he headed out to the pastors he ministered to and shared this vision of whole-life ministry. His passion was to see all the churches apply this mindset and empower their congregations to see God’s blessings. 

Training Pastors in Kenya

Rachel Chimits
July 3, 2019

Church leaders in sub-Saharan Africa are hungry to know more about God’s Word and how to help their communities.

The words “Bible school” may invoke images of college-like campuses, solemn meetings between scholars and chapel prayer times.

For some in the West, this may be the only way they’ve seen or heard of theological training be done, but for many church leaders in other parts of the world, the experience is quite different.

Like the Word itself, training for pastors can come with eternal truths in ways that respond to their unique needs.

The Gift of Bible School

Many of the men gathered are already acting pastors with church congregations that depend on them. Taking off their jackets, they greet others they recognize from nearby villages.

Arrested in the Church: Part 3

Rachel Chimits
June 28, 2019

At long last, one World Challenge partner finds freedom and inspiration to help others and build a new life.

Abdi’s case to become an UN-recognized asylee would take nearly three years, including two years of a Homeland Security screening process.

While describing the arduous process of refugee application, he explained, “It could have been anywhere between six and 10 years, if I hadn’t been in the safehouse or had the lawyer’s records of my investigation.”

Part of this wait was due to the accusations of terrorism leveled against him. Another part of because of his nationality, having come from the Islamic nation of Somalia.

Abdi checked daily, only to see “processing” still on his file case.

Arrested in the Church: Part 2

Rachel Chimits
June 27, 2019

Finally free from Kenyan jail, one World Challenge partner is still faced with overwhelming prejudice and the grindingly slow refugee process.

The police who had dragged Abdi out of church took him to his house first. More police and investigators arrived, and they combed his house while they held him at gunpoint.

Palpable disappointment grew as they failed to find a Quran or prayer rug or anything to link him to the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Later, Abdi would discover that this team was part of local retaliation for the recent Garissa University attack where 148 people were killed and 79 injured by the Somali offshoot of al-Qaeda.

“See? That’s my Bible,” Abdi said as they pulled it out. “I’m a Christian.”

Arrested in the Church: Part 1

Rachel Chimits
June 26, 2019

One Somali man had an incredible journey from being an agnostic refugee to being redeemed by Christ and becoming a World Challenge partner.

As the church service drew to a close, Abdi noticed several men closing in on him. They pushed through the normal Easter crowd until they were in ring around him, and one tried to grab his arm.

“What are you doing?” he asked, uneasy. “Who are you?”

“We need you to come outside with us.”

“Why don’t we go to the pastor’s office? We can talk there.” Abdi glanced around, trying to catch the eye of anyone who might help him. He didn’t know who these men were, but he didn’t want to be left alone with them.

“You need to come with us, otherwise you’re going to get into serious trouble,” One said, as he pushed Abdi toward the door.

An Endemic Spread of Ebola

Rachel Chimits
June 20, 2019

World Challenge partners in Sub-Saharan Africa are faced with another outbreak of one of the worst diseases in modern history.

This June, the first Ebola deaths occurred in Uganda.

The infections in Uganda confirmed that the deadly outbreak has spread for the first time beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Border towns in Kenya are on high alert, as health officials are forced to contemplate the possibility of Ebola passing over the Uganda border and spreading among Kenyans who have already been hit by one of the worst famines in years. 

Believers Banding Together

Rachel Chimits
June 18, 2019

As natural disaster hits Kenya, the local church is reaching out to bring a saving message and much-needed supplies to the hardest hit communities.

Famine has hit Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Kenya alone, about one million people are facing starvation. Cattle and other livestock are dropping out on the arid fields where drought and locusts have cleared away all but the thorniest plants. 

New Life in Uganda

Rachel Chimits
April 11, 2019

One village sent out someone to track down help for them, and today their lives are transformed.

In February, heat shimmers over the road. This is Uganda’s summer season, and temperatures soar to 95 degrees or higher at midday. This heralds the beginning of the Lira sub-region’s rainy season. 

Orumo’s residents are gathered under a mango tree as Steve Voyen, World Challenge’s director of Sub-Saharan development programs, and Dan, Uganda’s development director, pull up. 

An adult literacy lesson is taking place beneath the mango’s broad canopy that cuts the stifling heat. Students labor over a passage of scripture as Samuel, a local community trainer, teaches them to pronounce each word on the page. 

The Word in Your Language

Rachel Chimits
April 10, 2019

“I have also undertaken to translate the Bible into German. That was necessary for me; otherwise I might have died someday imagining that I was a learned man. Those who think themselves scholars should try to do this work.” —Martin Luther

From the time of Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Erasmus and Tyndale until now Bible translation has been one of the foremost evangelistic tools and revolutionized societies on multiple levels as it increases literacy and encourages personal investigation of God’s Word.

One of the great challenges of the 20th and 21st centuries has been expanding translation into the languages of more remote people groups, whole-heartedly believing that God speaks in every tongue.

Aftereffects of Cyclone Idai

Rachel Chimits
March 22, 2019

Thousands of people are still suffering from the flooding and destruction caused by one of this year’s worst tropical storms in Africa.

Tropical cyclone Idai has caused tremendous devastation and loss for the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

More than 200 people in Mozambique have been confirmed dead, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi told journalists on Tuesday.

While Idai is already being counted as one of the deadliest tropical cyclones to hit southern Africa, the potential damage and danger from floods following the cyclone’s torrential rains could make its impact even worse.