Amahoro Africa Gathering
Our annual gathering provides a place of mutual learning for African and non-African leaders involved in innovative ministries that build disciple-making communities with an emphasis on justice and mercy. Partnerships are created and ideas shared to edify both African and non-African participants through a conference, field trips and ongoing mission together.
Dates: May 27-31, 2013
Location: Kampala, Uganda
Conversation: Politics & the Kingdom of God
Previous Topics of Discussion
Christ, Creation and Community
As we work to transform our communities with the good news of Christ, we must see our work within the larger context of the cosmos. God has set each community within His creation and we are discovering that our well-being is interconnected with the health of our local ecosystems and the earth. As we follow Christ in the work of restoring all things, this includes both creation and communities.
The Transformation Gospel
Much of the history of Western missionary activity in Africa, although often well-intentioned, presented a truncated and paternalistic form of the gospel. Claude Nikondeha, founder of Amahoro Africa, has called this the ‘Evacuation Gospel’, which aimed at saving souls but did little to transform the reality of African Christians suffering extreme poverty and colonial oppression. And yet the gospel of Jesus Christ as the good news of the establishment of the Kingdom of God is so much more – it is in all spheres of life truly transformative.
Everything Must Change
In his recent book with the above title, Brian McLaren shows how the economic and political structures of the modern West have created a lethal suicide machine which destroys the very things vital for the survival of humanity and planet Earth. He argues that the real message of Jesus Christ encompasses an alternative reality and that His followers are called to make this Kingdom vision a reality.
Christianity and Democracy
The struggle for democratic freedom in Africa is far from over. Christians have played a prominent role in this struggle throughout Africa, as in most parts of the world, and yet many Christians are still ambivalent about the role they have to play in political and public life. Is there such a thing as a Christian approach to democracy and how does our faith impact on our calling to be salt and light in the public sphere?
African Christianity and Postcolonialism
Many Africans still suffer from an inferiority complex in relation to the developed world and the West in particular. This is as true in church and theology as it is in corporate and cultural spheres. How do we understand our history as African Christians and how has colonial oppression (and apartheid in South Africa) shaped and distorted our identities? More importantly, how can we reclaim an authentic space to contribute to the worldwide Church’s mission in our postcolonial context?
Truth and Social Reform
“The truth will set you free.” Almost every Christian has heard or spoken this biblical phrase, but exactly what does the truth of the Word of God free us from and for? The emerging view from the developing world is that the truth of the gospel is inextricably linked with social justice and that no individual can be free before God if she, or her fellow human beings, are ensnared in unjust systems.
Poverty and Inequality
No-one can live by bread alone, but no-one can live without it either! Or as Gandhi put it: you cannot feed someone’s soul if their stomach is empty. And yet poverty is so much more than insufficient nourishment. It affects the poor on all levels, including the spiritual – no more so than when it exists alongside affluence and excessive wealth. The gap between rich and poor in Africa is greater than it has ever been, as it is globally, and Christians cannot remain silent or apathetic.
The Church and Community Transformation
A recent World Values Survey in South Africa found that the church is the most trusted institution in society and the same is probably true for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. The church is therefore uniquely placed to drive community transformation at a local level. The question is how and with what resources? Local church leaders often feel helpless in the face of the needs of their communities, but with the right attitude, some organization and a little help from outside, miracles can truly be achieved!
The church, whatever its form, will always struggle to remain faithful to its calling unless it has leadership that is inspired, committed, visionary and ethical. Through his example Jesus showed us that leadership does not necessarily require large structures or status, but that it is in the relational quality of leadership – to serve, inspire and empower – that personal and social transformation takes place.
"The Lord's Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, 'This is the year the Lord has chosen.'"
- Luke 4:18-19
"The Amahoro Gathering was an awesome, grieving, happy, sad, moving and life changing experience. One can never be the same when Africa opens her heart and speaks. You want to listen. My time in Rwanda reflecting on reconciliation and healing challenged me in more way than one."
"The central motivation for my traveling to Rwanda has been to learn, through relationships and experiences, about Rwanda, and Africa in general. My embedded postmodern understanding has been deeply engaged and shaped by what I have experienced over here. There is a refrain that keeps going off in my head…almost like a mantra, "Africa can save the world.""
"In Rwanda we learnt many things: that forgiveness is a process, that truthful remembrance is redemptive and fruitful, that restorative justice is important, that trinity is our model of relationship (for community). Our stay in Rwanda was a time of joyful laughter and tearful agony. The evil done and forgiveness cherished make our story, the African story, a story of woe and hope."