AEA General Secretary’s New Year Message: An Opportunity to Invest into Eternity

Crossover and Passover are couplets and could well be synonyms but not quite. We have crossed over from one year to another; from 2018 to 2019. In our fallen world, each passing year is indeed a Passover. We heave a sigh of relief that the year has gone and thankful for surviving the harsh realities of the real world. A world that is bent to run at counter purpose to the plan and will of God. A world precariously predisposed to decimate. Truth be told, we look back on the spent year and see grace at work and for which we remain thankful. But also, we see the lost opportunities, things we could have done better and areas of our lives that could have brought more glory to God and see our need for repentance. The book of wisdom says ‘what is crooked cannot be made straight (Eccl 1:15). The past cannot be changed.

A potter does not dump and throw away the clay moulded into an imperfect artefact, rather the same clay is remoulded to cast a more perfect piece. God’s remodelling of an impact world is the reason for establishing his church, using the same rebellious humanity (atypical me) to redeem and restore his creation; starting with provision of animal skin rather than a fruitless self-effort to cover nakedness with leaves; through sacrifice of animals to the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son; the sure and only hope for perfection and reconnecting with God.

In this great reversal, our Lord Jesus who called into being every created being or thing, gives beauty and hope for even the very least and despised. The last, he said shall be the first, the least of us will be exalted and that one has to become like a child to inherit the kingdom of God. More spectacularly, he said you have to be born again, borne of the Spirit and water, to see God and inherit eternal life.

Little wonder then, that the least of the third world, Africa, has become the premier continent (last becoming first) of Christ followers and for which 2018 will be remembered. However, like the rest of the world, we have to cross over into the future which offers much promise as the debilitating challenges of our world pass over. Happy New Year. God’s kingdom come (the shalom of God), we pray.

The New Year provides us with another opportunity in leading in dealing the eternal and sure hope offered to our world. We have passed from the old and crossed over to the new; the Promised Land, nonetheless, occupied by the ‘Canaanites’.  The tension of our redemptive state now and the not yet, informs our faith journey to the new Garden and City, our eternal abiding place. In spite of all the challenges, we are confident, we are destined for glory that place where we will see God as he is. The Apostle Paul writes: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known” (1cor. 13:13).

A new year accords us the opportunity to invest into eternity. Here is wishing you a blessed and happy new year. This is also to thank you for your partnership and to encourage you for further collaboration in 2019. We renew our commitment to better serve his Church, especially in Africa.

Our New Year resolutions or ministry objectives for 2019 include:

  • Establishing a resource centre suitable for research, training and conferencing for the purpose of strengthening and maturing the Church.
  • AEA has been patiently and painfully going through the birth pangs of re-engineering and re-birthing an organisation that would be responsive to our 21st century world in a biblically sound and Christ-centred manner. This exercise will culminate in the production and launching of “Vision 2066”; dubbed the “Africa God Wants”—a strategic direction for the next fifty years of AEA’s existence, since its inception in 1966.
  • In 2019, AEA will also focus on attracting younger leaders to fill vacant establishments to lead the organisation into the future.
  • 2019 is General Assembly Year for both AEA and WEA. It is important that  AEA is able to mobilize its constituents for the global assembly. AEA also has a key responsibility for the planning and success of the global event.
  • Our core role continues to be representative voice, connecting, equipping for alliance leadership development and cutting edge governance, management and administration of the organisation for effectiveness; as we see people and communities and wider society transformed by the gospel.

Please partner with us and bring your unique endowment to serve the whole body of Christ in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ and for his glory. Also, that the world would believe that Christ is indeed the one that sent us. Church ministries are unlike other worldly organisations, where other organisations are viewed as competitors. In the Church, the different denominations on their own can never be compliant with the principles Christ established for his Church. We, as individuals, congregations, organisations and denominations are a part of the one body of Christ. Each takes responsibility for the well-being of the Whole Church. The Whole Church remains poorer if you hold back your unique equipping and endowment; you remain poorer, if you cannot connect to the other parts of the one body. Together we are stronger. Please let us know how we can partner. You can actively join us in prayer for the highlighted objectives for the year and also support us financially to enable us accomplish these objectives.

Once again, our best wishes for Spirit filled and Spirit empowered living in the year ahead.

Grace and Shalom of God

Rev. Dr Aiah Foday-Khabenje