- POST GO NORTH CONSULTATION (VISION 5015)
Since the Go-North Consultation last year November which culminated in the signing of the Go-North Covenant and the launch of the Go-North Global Fund, several processes have been engaged to ensure the project becomes successful. These include the Post-Go-North Consultation in Jos and the Nigeria Sahel Consultation at Gombe, all in the effort to sustain the momentum and ensure we keep track on the goal.
The Post Go-North Consultation held from Feb. 22-24 at the Nigeria Centre for Global Harvest, NEMA Headquarters, Jos. The focus was to advance the issues raised at the Special NIMEC that held last year with particular interest in engaging those who have made one commitment or the other during the Special edition of NIMEC. Part of the thrust was to de-list Nigeria from UUPG list and to explore practical strategies to respond to the huge needs beckoning in the Sahel and North of Africa. After some inspiring plenary sessions, led by Dr Chinedu Oranye, Past James Forlines and Rev Canon Timothy Olonade, the consultation devoted time to working out the details, first by identifying the Un-reached and Un-engaged Peoples in Nigeria as well as vetting the list. Afterwards, participants were encouraged to commit to de-listing Nigeria from the UUPG list by adopting the remaining 7 UUPGs on the list for engagement. To the Glory of God, the following commitments were made for the engagement of Nigeria’s identified UUPGs:
- Damlawa- ECWA
- Busa – ECWA
- Duwai – Baptist
- Geruma – COCIN
- Gudu – Go Int’l
- Laru – UMCA
- Chingarawa – Living Word of Truth
Participants were likewise encouraged to step up their efforts among the UPGs because engagement does not automatically translate to a people group being reached. Also, participants met in blocs for the engagement of the five countries of North Africa in view. Prayers were held and commitments for partnerships and collaboration were secured for the engagement of the region in view. Our National Chairman, Evang. Tokunbo Salami led participants to recommit to the Nigeria Go North Covenant while the ES encouraged participants to commit to the Go North Global Fund. 86 persons from about 20 denominations, ministries and missions agencies were represented at the Post Go-North Consultation.
However, as at November 2018, we can confirm that 5 out of the UUPGs have been engaged, these include: Geruma, Laru, Gudu, Bisa/Busa and Cahungwarya. The NEMA Research team actually discovered in the course of re-confirming that some of the groups had been engaged and “erroneously” captured as un-engaged; but the Laru stands out as a group that was officially engaged this year and there are a very few indigenous converts already to the glory of God. The remaining two are Duwai and Damlawa. The Duwai are a group that have been absorbed almost entirely by the Bade people as well as the Kanuri. Meanwhile, we are speaking with the Baptist who have offered to work among the people as well as the Anglican Diocese of Damaturu to step up their work among the remaining identified few and much more among the absorbing people groups.
The Research team of NEMA made extensive findings to ascertain the number of believers there are among most of the 71 UPGs based on the 5% Christian and 2% Evangelical scale that is being widely used across the Mission Family to determine the state of the gospel among a people group. Summarily, we have 1 UUPG (Lopawa) and 51 UPGs making a total of 52. That is a significant difference from 71 UPGs and 7UUPGs that we began the year with. Our research team are in touch with the International Missions Research Community and they are very impressed with our activities.
We are also tracking developments among the Kakanda, Kupa, Eggan, & Egbura Koto people in Kogi State. The Kakanda, Kupa and Eggan tribes are three needy tribes and are almost 100% Islamic. We are exploring a strategic response to this mission challenge in our priority focus for next year as will be later explained in the course of this report.
2. NIGERIA SAHEL CONSULTATION
In our commitment to respond to the challenge of Go North, we stepped up our mobilization for the engagement of the Sahel which is actually the belt that “stands between us and the north. Thus, NEMA organized a Sahel Consultation which held on the 30th-2nd May, 2018 in Gombe. The objectives of the meeting were to:
- Evaluate the progress of the Great Commission across the Sahel through the Nigerian Mission Force and ascertain the task remaining for the Church in the Sahel Region
- Ascertain who is doing what and where in the Sahel Region.
- Set Short and Long terms Great Commission goals as it relates to the four major domains of the Sahel Initiative Network.
- To foster areas of collaboration, synergy and partnerships in the fulfillment of the Great Commission goals among ourselves and with other local and international stakeholders in the Sahel region.
86 participants drawn from 36 denominations, ministries and agencies attended the consultation. Crucial issues as regards Missions efforts as well as strategy for engagements were deliberated at the consultation with seasoned Missions leaders taking the plenaries and focused-group discussions. Efforts are on-going to follow up on some of the issues thrown up at the consultation as well as identified short and long terms goals of the working groups. Our National Coordinator for Finance and Administration, Bro Adegbite Olanihun participated in a Sahel Working Committee Meeting in Ouagadougou recently and it provided useful exposures and contacts towards achieving our mission goals in the Sahel. The last two editions of our Nigeria Missions Prayer Alert focused mainly on the Sahel. NEMA wishes to see more Churches and Agencies engage the lost in the Sahel.
3. PERSPECTIVE COURSE
We continue to experience God’s amazing help in the running of the world acclaimed, life changing and paradigm shifting Global Missions course – The Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. We have successfully held 12 classes this year across five of our operating zones namely South-South, South-East, North-West, North-East and North-Central zones with about 700 participants and with amazing results. Each class is now been challenged to adopt a Missions Project upon the completion of the Course as part of efforts to engage them in a strategic input to God’s Mission. Our National Coordinator for Mobilization and Networking, Pastor Victor Idakwoji is providing commendable leadership to this Course.
Moreover, we hosted the Perspective Alumni Conference and City Coordinators Training as well as an Instructors Training Conference facilitated by the Director, Perspective Global Service Office, Bruce Koch and the Instructor Development Director, Perspective USA, Angela Zimmerman. We had profound experiences at the training that has gone a long way to strengthen our capacity in the running of the Perspective Course. We are in discussion with GEMA leaders towards strengthening the Ghana Program as well as launch same in Cameroon, March next year.
- UPDATES FROM THE ZONES
- The South South Zone held their Zonal Conference as a Zonal Go North Consultation with the theme: Conquering New Frontiers. It featured among others the Unfinished Task in the Sahel and North Africa as well as Harnessing the Potentials of Christian Professionals for the Harvest in the North. Bro Gabriel Barau was the lead Speaker. About 20 persons made commitments to mission among the over 130 participants and about N400,000 was pledged as support for North East Adoption program. Brethren from Benin and Port-Harcourt went home with the challenge to start Hausa Christian Radio program targeting the Hausa Fulani communities in their states. The erstwhile Volunteer Zonal Coordinator, Rev Andrew Onojeharon rounded off his service as Zonal Coordinator end of August so he could give more attention to his ministry. Two new Volunteer Staff have just been confirmed to be engaged for the work in the Zone, they are Past Timothy Edem of Great Faith Believers Assembly and Sister Christy Agiri from Bayelsa State. The Zone hosted several Perspective Courses and an Instructors Training.
- The South West Zone – The new Executive of South West Zone under the leadership of Evang Lekan Amusan, Pastor Bright Al Hassan and Evang Mrs Kikelomo Adekola along with their State EXCOs held three Quarterly Zonal Meetings and a Diaspora Missions Summit. Each of the Zonal Meeting had a special focus which included Mobilizing Resources for Missions (April), Unpardonable Negligence (July), and Church and Missions (October). Moreover, the Zone hosted an Orientation for its States and Zonal Leaders which was conducted by the NEMA Headquarters. That orientation is greatly helping the work in the South West considerably.
The Lagos state chapter of the zone played host to Clergy Dinner in August 2018; the ES graced the gathering as the resource person. In September, the zone held a Diaspora Missions Summit with participants drawn across the states of the zone. In the same vein, the zone organized Diaspora Missions Gathering in collaboration with CPFN/PFN in Iseyin, Oyo State. This held on the 16th-17th November, 2018 with about 500 participants in attendance.
- The South East Zone – The Zone had two General Meetings and a Zonal Orientation for its officials conducted by the Executive Secretary. The team of Bishop Joel Mokwe, Rev Dr David Umunne, Pastor Ben Enema and the Zonal Coordinator Bro Godgive Mbadiwe along with the State Reps were poised to change the face of NEMA in the Zone. However, the Zonal Conference had to be postponed to pave way for a better organized and more impact-ful Conference in May of next year. The Zonal Coordinator got married in the course of the year and is gradually settling down. The zone hosted a Perspective Course at Nsukka. The Zone in partnerships with Churches in the South East and South South hosted a World Mission Conference from Nov 12th -16th 2018 at Aba, under the platform of World Mission Board of Evangelical Fellowship of Nigeria which brought together over 500 church workers including General Overseers, Heads of Organisations including some Bishops.
- The North West Zone – The zone facilitated a number of programs to step up the mission engagements of the church and missions agencies especially within her coverage. One of such is the Perspectives Training Program that held in May, 2018. 66 Key leaders went through the training. Also, the zone facilitated another Perspectives training in Zaria, which had 44 church and mission leaders in attendance. In her commitment to deploying professionals and market place gospel advocates to the field, the Chapel of Good News, Kaduna in collaboration with the association held a tent-making training which had in attendance over 700 participants. The church also played host to a strategic missions conference where the Executive Secretary of NEMA was the main speaker. A number of quality decisions were made towards completing the remaining task and these are being followed up. The zonal conference and meeting of the zone also held in March and October 2018.
- The North East Zone – The Zone held a Perspective Training Program in Jalingo, where 35 leaders were present. The ES and the Management staff in charge of the Zone had an official visit to the Zone and had fruitful interactions with some Agency leaders and as well visited some fields. The Zone in collaboration with Taraba Missions Forum organized the Taraba Missions Summit. The Leadership of the Zone is planning an outreach come December 2018.
- The North Central – North central zone rose to the challenge of equipping the church in her constituency with some strategic programs. The Niger State chapter of the zone organized the Perspectives Training which held from 24th-28th September, 2018. 36 church leaders went through this training. The chapter also organized a program for the youths tagged “YouthFest” which was geared towards mobilizing the youths for missions. After a long while, the Perspectives Training Program was held in Jos from the 24th-28th September, 2018 and had 35 participants in attendance. In the same vein, the CEFN church, Lokoja played host to a clergy dinner where the Executive Secretary of NEMA was the main speaker.
The zone visited Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Heipang and Bokkos, both in Plateau State. Those affected by the crisis and taking refuge at the camps were assisted with foodstuffs and toiletries. Also moved by the plights of the displaced persons especially the kids and widows, the zone mobilized member groups to go beyond the provisions of foodstuffs and toiletries. In response, one of the agencies in the zone picked three orphans for their “Home for the Vulnerable Kids”. The kids have since been enrolled in primary schools. Twenty widows were also ministered to spiritually and materially.
- GLOBAL GATHERING & CONFERENCES:
- WEST AFRICAN SENDERS GATHERING: As part of efforts to strengthen the Go-North Initiative from Sub-Saharan Africa, Serving in Missions – SIM, hosted a gathering of Leaders of Churches & Mission Agencies who are involved in sending Gospel workers from West Africa. The Gathering held from October 29th – November 2nd at Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire. The theme was Releasing the West African Workers into God’s Harvest. 41 Leaders across Churches, Agencies and Ministries from Nigeria participated. It highlighted issues of synergy and kingdom focused collaboration among the stakeholders and existing players in global mission in and from West Africa and proffered solutions to potential and current challenges between Churches and Agencies on one hand, between Agencies and Agencies as well as between the Global North and the Global South. The gathering concluded with a commitment by stakeholders present to strengthen on going efforts that will unleash the great missionary potentials of the Church in West Africa on the mission fields. We came up with a communiqué and the West African Office of SIM would be handling the follow up to the issues and commitments made.
- AFRICA 24:14 MOVEMENT/ETHNE GLOBAL GATHERING: 24:14 is a new global coalition of movements and movement practitioners agreeing to pray and work together to start kingdom movement engagements in every un-reached people and place by 2025. It is a Movement committed to the engagement of every remaining UPG (Matt. 24:14) and finishing the Great Commission so that there is no place left (Rom. 15:23) globally for the gospel to be proclaimed. NEMA is part of the African team which comprised of leaders with an African focus and with ability to bring the resources of their organization/network/movement to bear on this endeavour. Please check 24:14now.net,
The Global 24:14 Network are part of the organizers of the Ethne Global Summit which will be held December 3-7, 2018 in Malta. ETHNE is a global movement which seeks to energize the Church to focus on making disciples of the un-reached or least reached peoples of the World. This year’s gathering seeks to build on initiatives launched previously in Bali, Indonesia (2006), in Bogota, Columbia (2009), in Seoul, South Korea (2012) and in Hyderabad, India (2015). I have been invited to be part of a Panel looking at the task remaining in Africa and NEMA’s 5015/Go-North Project.
6. MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP TRAINING
To enhance the capacity of our Management Staff in the discharge of their duties and for our Association to increase in its value to its members, we hosted a Leadership and Management Training for our Management Team handled by Kate Register, a skilled Mission Leader and Consultant HR Manager in Leading Innovation and Change from the UK, with vast experience in all aspects of HR Management as well as delivering strategic plans, managing budgets, performance monitoring and working in multi-agency environment including leading inspections, risk management, involvement and engagement. Some of the topics covered included Biblical Planning & Leadership, Strategic Planning, Why do ministries Fail, Taking Risk for God, Leadership & Management, Planning for Sustainability, Managing Change and Trustees and Board Members. It was a value added training.
7. RESEARCH & STRATEGY
I am pleased to report to NEC/AGA that activities have begun anew in our Research and Strategy Department upon the approval of a new head for the department by NEC. An update of the UPG/UUPG list within Nigeria has also been worked on and enclosed in our pack, and sent to global research bodies of which the latter have found it very helpful. The department is working on a document to capture the current state of the remaining task and the cooperation of our mission leaders will be greatly appreciated. In line with this, missionary distribution forms have been sent to the various zones and hard copies have been made available for the GA, this is to help capture accurately the spread of the Nigeria Missions force. I enjoin our zonal chairs to help facilitate the process of obtaining this information.
- ZONAL EXCO ORIENTATION
To enhance effective operations at the Zonal level, we embarked on conducting orientation for the Zonal EXCOs. Meanwhile, the EXCOs of South West and South East Zones have had their Orientation covering topics like Understanding NEMA Vision Thrust and its Operations, Leading a Missions Network at the Zonal Level, Constitution, By Laws & Membership Manual, Roles & Functions of Zonal Officials as well as Financing Zonal and National Missions Activities. The experience gathered at the two zones reinforced the need for all Zonal EXCOs to undergo this Orientation. It’s a 1 day event from 9am till 5pm. Other zones are hereby informed to liaise with our National Coordinator for Finance & Administration to schedule a time for their Orientation preferably not beyond the first half of 2019.
- THE GUEST HOUSE PROJECT/ HQ RENOVATION
The guest house project is at the lintel level and we are trusting God for funds to build the lintel and roof. Meanwhile, we have made efforts to do some renovations like working on the cracked wall beside the toilet, removing and rebuilding the fence behind our building, blocking licking spots in the roof and paintings of some part of the headquarters building as you may notice. We appeal again to all Zonal Chairmen, especially from South West Zone, South East Zone and North Central Zone to kindly stand to be counted in this Guest House Project. I would like to commend the Leadership of the Chapel of Good News Kaduna and our North West Zonal Chairman for the recent support of N500,000:00 sent towards the Project. May your barns continually overflows. Churches, Chapels, Agencies and Ministries are hereby encouraged to strengthen their hands to this Project.
10. UPDATE ON NEMI
- Foundation Training for Cross-cultural ministry (FTCM): We currently have 15 Missionary candidates undergoing the FTCM in our Missionary Institute for the January 2018 admissions. The atmosphere at the institute is peaceful and the training program is well on course. Interviews and admission are on-going for the January 2019 training session.
- Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies – BAIS (TOT): There are four candidates enrolled for the Bachelor of Arts program and a contact is on at the moment. We are hopeful that enrollment for this program will increase as the program gains more credibility. While we keep affiliation with JETS in view, NEMI is also exploring affiliation with the “Vision International University USA” that has a Nigeria National office in Akure, Ondo State.
- Staff: While we continue to appreciate the gesture of EMS of ECWA Jos, Souls Harvesters Ministries, Warri and Global Glorious Missions Kaduna in seconding Staff to the Institute, I like to request more Agencies and denominations to emulate this gesture in meeting staffing needs at NEMI.
- Funding: The funding challenges are still very much with us and NEMI would need more considerations from NEMA member Agencies and Churches in its funding. The Students hostel and Staff Quarters are in dire need of renovation. NEMI urgently needs an additional students’ dormitory of about ten- fifteen rooms as additional accommodation for trainees.
- Graduation: The Graduation Ceremony of four sets since 2016 September till January 2018 held on Friday the 23rd of November, 2018 at NEMI Campus,
- FUTURE PROGRAMS
- NEMA Month of Missions 2019: In line with the practice over the years and as a commemoration of NEMA’s anniversaries, the NEMA Month of Missions would be February 2019. While the Church’s response to the urgency of Missions is not restricted or limited to a particular month, we wish to encourage a deliberate concerted effort by the Church to OUTREACH & PRAYERS in the month of February 2019. Coincidentally, it is also a defining moment for Nigeria’s democratic governance. A brochure has been prepared to aid our Mobilization and would be available for distribution at the AGA. I wish to appeal strongly to our Zonal Chairmen at this meeting to meet with their EXCOS and Leaders across their zone to come up with a blue print on how the Month of missions would be marked in their zones. As agreed at the 53rd session of NEC, this month shall also be used to mobilize funds for NEMA and NEMI Projects. I suggest that something between 5% – 10% be given to the zones to cover for logistics in the course of the month.
- Field Missionary Conference: The Field Missionary Conference is the gathering of Nigerian Missionaries across Agencies and Denomination for renewal, refreshment, re-equipping, re-envisioning and recommissioning. Plans are on for the hosting of a Field Missionary Conference come July 9th – 13th Minimum registration per delegate has been scaled down from N5,000 to N2,000 to allow wider participation of missionaries while we all join hands to raise the subsidy budget of about N15million to host the Conference. Theme is STRENGTHENED: Getting Renewed for Kingdom Advance Is 40:17-31. Each Agency/Church Leader should kindly avoid any clash in Program with the date and should begin to prepare their missionaries against it. Bulk pre-registration for missionaries are strongly encouraged and should commence in earnest. The Field Missionary Committee may want to speak further to this to give update on Venue and other issues. Registration can be done online.
- People Group Consultation: Kakanda, Kupa, Eggan & Egbura Koto
The Kakanda, Kupa and Eggan tribes are 3 needy tribes found mainly in Kogi but also in Niger State as well with several things in common. The 3 tribes are derivatives of the Nupe ethnic group and language and as such, share cultural similarities. Surveys conducted by various mission agencies over the years reveal that these 3 tribes are almost 100% Islamic. There are over 49 Kupa villages and there is no known indigenous church in any of these villages. To date there are probably less than five known Kupa believers. The Kakandas are found in both Kogi and Niger States. The Kakandas in Kogi State alone number over 20,000. Today, we know of probably less than ten Kakanda believers. The Eggan are the closest to the Nupe in language of the three. Eggan is a single community which is for the most part an Island during the rainy season. Though attempts have been made to preach the gospel there since the 1870’s including efforts of Ajayi Crowther himself and till recent there was a resident missionary; however, there is still no indigenous church of the Eggans. The Egbura-Koto are a distinct people group though related to the Ebira (Okene). In Kogi State, they number not less than 50,000 in number. The Egburas are mainly found in Kogi State where their main town is Koton Karfi and in Nasarawa State where their main towns are Toto and Umaisha. Although there are a number of churches in the town, there is no community of Egbura believers in Koton Karfi. The few who have professed faith in Christ have been harassed and hounded all over the place.
The case of the Kakanda, the Kupa, the Eggan and the Egbura tribes has become matters of great concern to the leadership of NEMA, hence a consultation of Mission stakeholders is been called for May 21st -24th, 2019 at Lokoja. Please mark the date and stand to be counted.
12. NIMEC/HANDING OVER/COMMISSIONING OF A NEW ES:
Our biennial Leadership Development and Capacity building Conference for Mission Executives, Denominational heads & Directors of Missions as well as Stakeholders in the Global Missions Mandate in and from Nigeria would be coming up next year Nov 17th – 23rd 2019. It will also feature handing over of the out-going ES and the Commissioning of an in-coming ES. We are considering the Theme of “Repositioning the Church for the Final Harvest”. We are convinced that it would take a re-positioned Church to fulfill our Lord’s Final Command of Discipleship of the Nations. All Leaders are strongly advised to mark the dates and to begin to help with mobilization of key Mission Stakeholders around your Network. We have written to Bro Gbile Akanni and Rev Yemi Ayodele as lead facilitators to prayerfully consider being with us at that event.
Finally, we remind us of the commitments made during last year’s Go North Consultation as summarized in the Go-North Covenant. That commitment offers us a unique opportunity to keep Mission Needs and Opportunities in the NORTH in clear focus as we make annual plans at personal, agency and church levels. We request that we go through the Covenant again and re-affirm our commitment to it. Be ye steadfast therefore and let not your hands be weak for your work shall be rewarded (2Chro 15:7)