"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
1. Africa UBF Mission History
First, the hardships and spiritual fruits during the pioneering period (1989 – 1997).
UBF mission in Africa began when M. Jackie Yoon of Chongro UBF, Korea arrived in Nairobi, Kenya in 1989. She worked as an embassy worker during the day and in the evenings visited the University of Nairobi where she met Brother Juma and started one-to-one Bible study. The following year in June 1990, M. James Lee (Jae-il Lee) arrived in Malawi; in August, M. Andrew Kim arrived in Sudan; in September, M. Peter Park in Nigeria; and in November, M. James Lee (Jin-ho Lee) in Namibia. M. Samuel Yoo arrived in Uganda in June, 1992. They served the UBF pioneering ministry in Africa.
There are many difficulties in serving mission in Africa. God’s flock has a strong tendency to rely on missionaries for financial help. The missionaries served them in the midst of the difficulties of language barriers, self-support, thieves, robbers, and diseases. In the case of Sudan, M. Andrew served God’s mission in a dangerous place where Muslims and Christians are in constant civil war. Once while he was serving God’s flock when it was 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), he contracted malaria and was on the verge of death. In Nigeria, M. Rebecca Yoon suffered from tuberculosis two times due to malnutrition and overwork. In the midst of these situations, our missionaries served the Africa pioneering work with a martyrdom spirit.
In August 1992, the first missionaries’ and disciples’ conference took place in Nairobi, Kenya. From 10 countries, a total of 21 people attended. In January 1994, six missionaries from Sudan, Uganda, and South Africa went to Nairobi and had a conference with the title, “Know Jesus Christ.” In August 1994, the first Southern Africa conference was held in Pretoria, South Africa.
In 1995, God began a new work among several chapters in Africa. The work of raising leaders began powerfully. In August 1996, M. Samuel Lee came and had an Africa intercontinental conference with the title, “Shepherd Nation.” Including 91 Bible students, a total of 146 people attended. Through this conference, God raised many national disciples of Jesus such as Juma and Mamboreo from Kenya, Samuel and Abraham Omotunde from Nigeria, Julius and Paul Wakko from Uganda, and Victor from Namibia. They became responsible stewards of each chapter in Africa.
Second, the growth of Africa mission and house churches (1998 – 2002).
In August 1998, God established the first house church in Africa between Tinago and Charity of Zimbabwe. In August 2002, Abraham Omotunde, an ancestor of faith like Abraham in Nigeria, established a house church with Bunmi. In Oct, 2000 msn. Betty from Uganda and Abraham Victor established house church in Namibia. In November 2003, God established a house church between Oyer Moses and Mariana in Sudan. Currently, a total of 25 house churches have been established: 4 house churches in Kenya, 4 house churches in Sudan, 7 house churches in Nigeria, 4 house churches in Zimbabwe, 2 house churches in South Africa, and 7 house churches in Uganda. They became reliable co-workers of our missionaries.
Third, native leaders are succeeding the pioneering ministry (2003 - ).
In September 2003, the Africa continental conference was held in Nigeria. The theme was “The Hope of Africa.” The hope of Africa is not in the support of foreign nations. The hope of Africa is only in Jesus who solved human being’s sin and death problem through his death on the cross and resurrection after three days. At this conference, the main messages were served by Abraham Omoding of Uganda, Oyer Moses from Sudan, Dongmo Legrand from Cameroon, Mapesa Dorika from Kenya, Abraham Ohwooye from Nigeria, and Tinago Mirira from Zimbabwe. African native leaders who are growing as men of God through one-to-one Bible study are the hope of Africa.
In August 2007, an international conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 350 people attended this conference. It was a record. The theme of the conference was “The Hope of Africa,” same as the Nigeria conference four years earlier. During the conference, M. Barnabas Go Cho, who was pioneering a campus in Ghana, went to heaven. He had an incurable disease that’s found only in Africa. He was so sick that he was called by God to heaven while he was struggling to finish his mission report. As a result, his wife Chiaka finished his mission report instead and shared his mission report at the conference. She read his mission report, overcoming her sorrow and shock caused by his death. Because of this, the conference turned into a feast of victory, full of resurrection victory.
In fact, Africa pioneering work has been supported with a lot of prayer from all our co-workers worldwide, especially from America and Korea. Daniel Rhee of Namsan UBF, Korea has especially sacrificially supported them by sending missionaries and material support from the beginning of African pioneering history. Moreover, he practically visited African local chapters even ten times and helped all the missionaries and native leaders. And finally, he himself volunteered to go as a missionary to South Africa in 2012. Nowdasy many silver missionaries dedicate their lives to Africa mission after their commitment for world mission. Msn. Dr. Joseph and Esther Chung came to Uganda in 2009 as silver missionaries after more than 30 years missionary life in America. Former Korean UBF general director also came to Zimbabwe as a silver missionary in 2011.
II. 2012 African Regional Bible Conferences
At the end of 2011, the Africa directors gathered in South Africa and determined the theme of the three regional conferences. In this meeting, the directors chose Acts 1:8 as the key verse for these three 2012 international African conferences. The reasons why they chose this key verse are because 1) many African house churches have been established since 1998 and 2) native directors and missionaries have been raised since 2003. Currently, many disciples of Jesus and house churches have been established in each African chapter. However, among the African leaders who have been blessed both spiritually and materially by believing in Jesus, an easy-going mentality has been growing, which is resulting in living a complacent satisfactory life and a stereotypical life of faith. So the directors found spiritual direction in Acts 1:8 to help African native leaders to learn the practical meaning of living as witnesses of Jesus and to participate in pioneering 55 African countries from their hearts, not by theory, but through practical sacrifices and obedience. This time the conference will be held in three different regions and each conference will be particularly for the leaders who have been faithfully attending the Sunday worship service. Uganda UBF hosted Northern Eastern Regional conference and is preparing to host this conference. So far 180 people made their registration. As a hosting country I pray that we may express our virtue of hospitality during this conference so that people may see God of Uganda and Pearl of Africa with their eyes. I pray that each of us may participate in preparation work with his or her given role and duty and earnest prayer.
We pray that the words of God may work mightily in many native leaders to make a decision to live as self-supporting missionaries. More than 50 coworkers from USA, Korea, Germany will attend Northern Eastern Africa Regional Africa Bible conference. We pray that all attendees may become friends with all African leaders and be good mission co-workers or friends of prayer for them in Jesus. It is my prayer that spiritual revival may occur in each mission field. I also pray that African missionaries and native leaders may newly be clothed with this vision and passion for God’s mission.
1. May God help us to learn the practical meaning of living as witnesses of Jesus and to participate in pioneering 55 African countries from our hearts, not by theory, but through practical sacrifices and obedience.
2. May God bless messengers with powerful living messages : Msn. Dr. Joseph Chung, Shep. Deng, Shep, Steven, Shep. Kevin, Shep, Julius
3. Pray for three mission reports sharers : msn. Oyor Moses (Egypt, South Sudan Malakal) msn. Agaba Moses (Rwanda), msn. Padiet Deng (South Sudan Juba)
4. Pray for life testimony sharers : Lilian Ogwang from Uganda, Peter Angelo (Sudan), George Wekesa (Kenya)
5. Pray for group Bible study leaders : 6 from Uganda, 5 from Kenya, 3 from Sudan, 1 from USA fro JBF
6. Pray for all the preparations as hosting country : transport, accommodation, meals, spiritual environments
7. Pray for safe journeys of all attendee : Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, USA, Korea, Germany, especially Sudan coworkers to get passport and Uganda visa
8. Pray for servants who serve this conference general coordinator Luke Lim, Pauline Ahn, messenger checker Mark Yoon, mission report by Andrew Kim, life testimony by Samuel Yoo
By Dr. Luke Lim