By Canon Matiisetso Libetso, chairman Anglicans Ablaze organising committee
Anglicans from across Lesotho and from South Africa last month attended an Anglicans Ablaze Conference at the Anglican Cathedral of St Mary and St James in Maseru.
It was the second Anglicans Ablaze Conference hosted by the Anglican Diocese of Lesotho and the theme of the gathering from October 18 to 20 was “Living a Jesus-Shaped Life”.
Anglicans Ablaze is a revival conference aimed at equipping the church to achieve healthy growth and to make disciples of Christ who can engage effectively in the mission and evangelism of the church.
Keynote speakers at the two-day conference were Afrika Mhlophe, a Bible teacher and author from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Rev Mukululi Ncube, national director of the Eswatini Fellowship of Evangelicals (ESWAFES) from Mbabane, eSwatini and Rev Matsietso Duma, one of the pioneering women priests in the Anglican Diocese of Lesotho, who is based at St. Agnes Parish in Berea district in the north of the country.
Mhlophe touched on two key topics: “The challenges of being shaped like Jesus” and “The mission of a Jesus-Shaped Christian”. He spoke strongly about loosening ourselves from the chains of our culture and choosing Christianity over culture; and living and speaking the Word of God Daily in our lives.
He said: “We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and there is a call of God on our lives irrespective of our different cultures, gender or race. Your purpose is what you were born for, but your culture is what you were born into!”
Ncube gave a motivational talk on: “The need for revival” and “A Jesus-shaped life in my context”. He spoke about the urgent need for revival in our church because we have become a hidden church, a compromised church and a powerless church. He urged attended to go show themselves to the world and not waver.
He urged listeners to carry the cross daily and call others to a Jesus-Shaped Life. How? By lifestyle proclamation — letting them see the way we live and verbal proclamation — letting them hear the message about Jesus!
Duma urged the conference-goers to make the right choice — by choosing Jesus over the world. She spoke on “A Jesus-shaped disciple”.
“Choose the church over the mall,” she said. She asked: “How many of us can spend hours at the mall but cannot spend even an hour in church to praise God?” How many of us look forward to meeting friends at the mall but say they can’t go to church because it is boring?” How many of us can spend literally thousands of maloti (local currency) in the mall yet will grumble and complain if asked to make a pledge in church?” she asked.
The Conference had a strong impact on Lesotho Anglicans and the Anglicans Ablaze organising committee intends to “continue nurturing the seed that has already been planted so that the Word of God is planted forever in all of us.”
Comments from conference participants included:
“With me the experience was mind-blowing, all the singing and the movement of the Spirit was wow!”
“I learnt that our prayer book has always required us to repent and be born again, that I can use prayers to rebirth me daily.”
“It was so interesting to know that we can be born again within the Anglican Church.”
“It was so interesting to realise that I did receive Jesus and made a confession a long time ago that I am born- again in the Anglican Church.”
“The whole event felt like an awakening of the inner spirit and a drive to learn more.”
“Sunday was the best, the Holy Spirit was moving throughout the building.”