"Doing the work of Christ our Lord through Humanity"
"Fulfilling God's promise for abundant life"
Humanity on the continent of Africa, especially in the Sub-Saharan region, is facing great peril due to HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Not only are these diseases the leading causes of death, but their adverse socio-economic impact is immense.
Despite the enormous efforts for prevention, control and mitigation of impact, several factors such as inadequate knowledge; lack of strategic planning; insufficient financial commitment and poor infrastructure, continue to greatly hamper the effectiveness of interventions.
In response to this devastating situation, The Church is increasingly challenged to re-examine herself in her mission "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ" . To evaluate herself in terms of a Mission of 'wholeness' of humanity, a mission which among other things, seeks to socialize people in right knowledge – (a) Mission of Education, (b) Mission of Effective Christian Formation and Intervention and (c) Mission of Building Community of Communities.
In light of this challenge to the Church, in February 2007, The Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) revised its 5-years Strategic Plan (2007-2011) for a more holistic HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria intervention across the continent.
The Provincial Health Coordinators' meeting, held from June 9th to 13th 2008, aimed at reviewing the 5-years Strategic Plan. We looked at what has been achieved so far; the challenges faced in implementing the plan; ways to increase efforts in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and the way forward for effective implementation of the plan. Along with the review, we focussed on building the capacity of the various Provincial Health Ministries across the continent. The main capacity building topics were:
Along with the programmatic work, fellowship as a way of pursuing the Church's Mission was an integral part of the programme. This fellowship of Health Coordinators provides us with an opportunity to share best practices for the advancement and growth of all the churches across the continent in their ministries of securing wholeness of people.
Indeed our fellowship, our worship of God and our theological reflections have drawn us together in a common bond of God's love. As a result we see ourselves as being called by God to service in His Mission. We represent the 'Image of God' ; we are His extended hands doing His work of building bridges which 'restore people to unity with Him and each other in Christ'.
As one body in Christ, we commit ourselves to working as 'a community of God's love and compassion' towards "Fulfilling God's Promise for Abundant Life" to a broken and wounded humanity.
We find our inspiration in the Holy Scripture as written in Romans 8:35, 38 and 39 (KJV):
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? ...for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come...or any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
We know that neither the current pandemic (HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria); the challenges of this Millennium; creeds; or cultures will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ and from one another.
With gratitude, we continue to acknowledge the commitments of our Primates, Bishops, Clergy, laity and peoples of this continent, in their sustained and united efforts in working towards the wholeness of humanity.
We pray that all our leaders, as true shepherds of God, will continue to lead the flock with integrity, being mindful of the fact that we have been called 'to serve and not to be served' as written in Matthew 20:28 (NIV).
"Even as the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many".
Therefore, we look forward to a deeper commitment in our response to the challenges of our time.
In conclusion let us all continue to join hands in building a generation where all God's people experience the 'Abundant Life Christ' has offered to all. Let us, with united efforts, continue in the mission of the Church to "restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ".
As a people of prayer, we join the late Archbishop Trevor Huddleston in the following prayer:
"God Bless Africa
Guard Her People
Guide Her Leaders
And give her Peace
For Jesus Christ Sake.
From: Provincial Health Coordinators of the Anglican Provinces of Africa, Council of the Anglican Church of Africa (CAPA):
(Burundi, Central Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe); Congo; Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius); Kenya; Nigeria; Rwanda; Southern Africa (Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and the Island of St. Helena); Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda; West Africa (Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia); and Diocese of Egypt.)
Burundi - Mathias Nkurunziza
Central Africa – Canon Dr. P.S. Pelham Hazeley, Matilda Chiutula (Malawi),
Congo – Baliesima K. Albert
Indian Ocean - Martin Roger Rakotozafy
Kenya – Rev. Rhoda Luvuno Dzombo, Joyce M. Kenga (ACK Pwani CCS)
Nigeria – Ven. Noel Peter Bewarang, Rev. Samuel Sokoyebom Akale
Rwanda - Rev. Francis Karemera
South Africa – Canon Desmonds Lambrechts, Nandi Tshaka (Diocese of Christ the King), Maria Makgamathe (Ujamaa centre Ukzn), Bongi Zengele (Ujamaa centre Ukzn)
Sudan – Rev. John Malesh
Tanzania – Not present with apology
Uganda – Martha Nambuyaga
West Africa – Dr. Jenny L. Coley, Karimu Allieu (Diocese of Bo, Sierra Leone)
Diocese of Egypt - Dr. Evans Erua Gama
CAPA Staff – Emmanuel Olatunji and Elizabeth Gichovi