A ground-breaking, Africa-based fund that aims to finance mission without relying on foreign funding was birthed by African Christian leaders at a historic 2-day roundtable discussion in Accra, Ghana on October 29 and 30.
The 15-member Missions Africa Trust Fund (MATF) team agreed on a roll-out strategy in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and possibly a fifth Africa country in 2015 and set a target to raise $200 000 in 2015. While in Accra they raised seed capital for the fund among themselves and through a business lunch organised by the Ghana branch of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI).
“This [the business lunch] helped to launch the MATF in the Ghana Christian business community. The MATF greatly appreciate this support and look forward to collaborate with the FGBMFI and other Christian networks in the future,” says the MATF in a press release.
The MATF is an initiative of the Lausanne Movement, inspired and independently governed by leaders from Africa, in partnership with the Global Generosity Network. Participants in the Ghana roundtable which coincided with the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Lausanne Movement in Accra on October 31, included church leaders, ministry leaders, Christian business leaders and international Christian network leaders under the chairmanship of Rev Gideon Para-Mallam, of Nigeria and Regional Secretary, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in English and Portuguese Speaking Africa – IFES-EPSA.
“Of great significance for me was that this meeting and ‘birthing-process’ took place in Ghana, the first African nation that broke out of the chains of colonialism. And hence it was humbling to see a group of leaders around the table in Ghana agreeing that it is now time for Africa to break out of the chains of worthlessness and poverty and arise to fulfil its destiny of being a continent of refuge and economic blessing to the world,” says Patrick Kuwana, founder of the South Africa-based Crossover Transformation group and Africa Co-ordinator for Unashamedly Ethical, who participated in the roundtable.
“The Global Chairman of the Lausanne Movement (Ram Gidoomal who interestingly was born in Kenya) joined us on the last day and commented that ‘this is an unprecedented development in the developing world, to see indigenous leaders committing to reverse the mind-set of entitlement to foreign based funding and drive the new agenda for indigenous funding’. I therefore truly believe that what took place in Ghana is a huge step to see Africa overcome the spirit of entitlement and dependency (all part of the stronghold of poverty) that has plagued this continent and stopped it from moving forward into its God given end time destiny,” he says.
In its brochure the MATF says the growing importance of Africa as a missionary sending continent was acknowledged when Africa had the privilege of hosting the 3rd Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town in October 2010. It says the Cape Town Commitment that came out of the 3rd Lausanne Congress will serve as the strategic framework for World Evangelisation for the next 10 years. However it notes that African Mission initiatives that respond to the Cape Town Commitment need financial support and hence the concept of the MATF was born in November 2011 to raise financial support for these initiatives from within Africa. The launch of the fund in Ghana follows three years of prayer and discussion.
Participants at the Ghana roundtable were challenged and inspired by the devotions and presentations of Rev Steve Asante (past president of the Ghana Baptist Convention), Rev Dr Duro Ayanrinola (General Secretary of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship), Dr Sas Conradie (South African-born, UK-based Chairman of the Global Mission Fund, Revd Para-Mallam and Patrick Kuwana (Unashamedly Ethical and Crossover Transformation). Their messages provided a framework for the participants to agree on a strategy to launch the fund, says the MATF in its press release. The agreed aims and objectives of the MATF are to mobilise and distribute financial resources in Africa for mission initiatives in and from Africa, to facilitate Kingdom-focused wealth creation in Africa, to envision and equip the African church in mission giving and to catalyse a sustainable mission giving culture in Africa.
A “pure storehouse’
Kuwana says that in his address at the roundtable he expressed his view that “one of the main reasons God has directed the birthing of MATF is because He wants to see the reestablishment of a true and pure storehouse on the African continent so that the Josephs on the African continent can bring their produce into that storehouse, which in turn will (spiritually and naturally) feed Africa and the world again”.
In his roundtable message he says: “The gospel of materialism has set up false ungodly storehouses (Malachi 3:5) which are draining the resources of Africa out of the Kingdom of God just like what corruption does in the business and government sectors. I believe that God is going to awaken the body of Christ to realise that they have ploughed resources into false storehouse structures and that they will soon divert their resources to the true biblical storehouses so that their giving can become acceptable again to the Lord (Malachi 3:4). Unfortunately a large portion of the church (the house of God) is not functioning as a storehouse anymore as evidenced by the statistics Sas shared with us. I believe God is crying out for the reestablishment of pure and holy storehouses. It is through these storehouses that the end time harvest of souls will be gathered. I believe God will use MATF as a model to demonstrate His model of a storehouse and that through this many other Godly storehouses will be established in Africa.
“I therefore believe that a critical principle that the MATF should seek to up hold is to ensure that it remains a pure and holy storehouse – meaning 100% of what is given into the storehouse is used for Kingdom purposes. I would therefore like to urge that consideration be given that additional costs like administration within MATF are funded separately outside what is brought into the storehouse. (I believe people will be more than happy to give into an administration account as we communicate this principle of separating the storehouse from the admin aspects of MATF).
“As African Josephs give their resources into pure storehouses we will see Malachi 3:10-12 being fulfilled on our beloved African continent. Let us pray for the reestablishment of true biblical storehouses on the Africa continent!!!!”
For any further information on MATF please contact Patrick Kuwana on firstname.lastname@example.org