Preparing to Go to Africa

January is the month that we start to prepare for the next mission trip.  How do we prepare?

We prepare first in prayer.
We prepare second in exercise.
We prepare third in study.
Lastly, we share the vision so others may be a part of this glorious work.

Our first prayer was in thanksgiving for the graces of the last trip to

Class in Dodoma

Class in Dodoma

Tanzania in Aug-Sept of 2008.  God blessed that trip with success both in Mwanza and in Dodoma, in Tanzania.   We all are grateful to God.

Our second prayer is for the guidance, direction and plan of the Father for what comes next.  So far, OFM has two invitations.  We think a third invitation is coming.  Please see the other articles for further details on these invitations.

The need is so great that we hope to send two priests to Africa this year.

There are many factors affecting the Anglican Church in Africa.  The poverty and need for education are apparent.  But of growing importance is faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures, and how that is lived out in worship, belief and practice.

This is a worldwide struggle between those who would set aside Gospel values and those who would seek to maintain Scriptural values for living.   To navigate the morass of who believes what, who teaches what, and who has been influenced by money from revisionist churches in the west, requires prayer and discernment.  Much prayer is needed.

Another factor is the switch from colonial practices to a postcolonial relationship.  Colonial practices included western funding of African needs, sometimes with strings attached.  Post-colonial ministry is partnering with African leaders and churches to further Gospel work on that continent, without lessening the contribution of African church leaders who hold ultimate responsibility and decision making authority.  Here again, much prayer is needed.

The second part of preparation is exercise – physical.  Where OFM works in Africa requires a hardy and healthy body.  The temperatures are exceedingly hot in many places.  Distances are great.  Conditions are primitive.  How does a missioner get ready physically?

This missioner walks.

The goal is to walk two miles, five times a week, at a brisk pace.  On a treadmill, that works out to 35 minutes for two miles, carefully observing one’s heart rate.  In an enclosed mall in the winter, that means three laps around the upper level, walking into every side alcove, all at a brisk pace.

As a diabetic, that means doing all possible to lower sugar counts to acceptable levels.  It also means getting a physical exam, getting a dental check-up, and assuring that eyeglass prescription is current and that there is a second set of glasses for the trip.

Shots for Africa Travel

Shots for Africa Travel

And did I mention updating necessary inoculations?  Shots include yellow fever, typhus, typhoid, tetanus, meningitis, hepatitis A & B, polio, and the ever-present malaria protection.  Ouch, yes.  But I take all shots required and recommended.

The third part of preparation is in study.

Who are the people we will serve?  What is their history – both secular and church history?  What are their needs that we can help with? What are their strengths and weaknesses?  Such work is done through research and through communication.

Then lesson plans need to be written or old plans revised.  We do not teach scripture to those who are knowledgeable about Scripture.  We do teach Ethos of Ordained Ministry to those whose perception of ordained ministry is different than the rest of the historical Christian church.

Lastly, we invite you to be a part of this valuable mission work.  Make it yours.

This ministry has been successful for going on nine years.  There is a blessed legacy of its work found in many places in Kenya and in Tanzania.  That legacy grows with every mission-teaching trip.

We invite you to be a part of this work in prayer.  We invite you to add this work to your daily prayer list.  We invite churches to pray on Sunday for God’s direction, God’s empowerment, and God’s blessing on this work.

We invite you to be a part of this work through financial support.  The financial support of this work has historically been through small donations, some on a monthly basis, from individuals, from clergy, from parishes, and from dioceses.

Most of the clergy members of MSJ support this work with a little each month.  Most of the parishes of MSJ support this ministry with a little bit every month.  MSJ sets the example.  It is not one man’s work.  It is all our work.

This work has also been so blessed by financial support from people of other faith expressions, Roman Catholic, Anglican Province of America, Reformed Episcopal Church, Charismatic Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, etc.  The work while basically Christian, crosses denominational lines – it is truly both Anglican and trans-denominational.

Not all are called to leave home and travel to foreign lands for Gospel work.  Yet the Great Commission is an invitation for all to be a part of the mission work of the Gospel.  The Great Commission is an invitation to you.

Please pray first.  Then help financially.  Join with the men of a homeless shelter in Oscoda, Michigan, who send their support.  Join with a young girl preparing to become a missionary herself, who has supported this ministry on a monthly basis.  Join with ten widows on limited income who each send in $10 a month.  Join with parishes that send in $25 and $50 a month to be a part of this work.

Please send financial support, checks made out to OFM.  Send to OFM, St John the Apostle Church, 18401 Canal Rd, Clinton Township MI 48038.  Each donation will be individually acknowledged.

Asante sana – Swahili for thanks so much.

Mungu akubariki – God bless you.

Fr francis Wardega
Canon Missioner for Africa


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