An African Return
It’s always good to reconnect with the familiar, especially in the middle of a transition. We have been working toward getting ourselves settled in Indonesia for the past three months, but I knew there would be a time when I would have the opportunity to return to South Africa. Earlier this year, I was invited to speak at two workshops as part of the Africa by Radio (now known as AbR Media) Continental Convention that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. So even though we were still waiting to fully settle in Jakarta, at the beginning of September, I departed for that visit, leaving Barb to manage the office and home.
Prior to the convention, I was able to spend a few days visiting offices where Barb and I had worked while living there. During those seven years, we worked with FEBA Radio South Africa and TWR-Africa. Both organizations have experienced changes in the last year. It was encouraging to visit each office and see how God has been at work in their respective ministries.
I managed to re-connect with several colleagues and friends over my time there. Some had been former colleagues at ether FEBA or TWR. I caught up with friends from each of the three churches we attended while living in the country. I met with some musician friends, exchanging stories and perspectives about our shared passion. I was blessed to spend an evening with our most recent home cell group, where we explored together God’s strength and stability. Even though it was a full schedule, I treasured each and every moment to extend the relationships we shared.
The convention provided me the opportunity to reunite with several ministry partners through the AbR network. I was encouraged to meet the project coordinator from Radio Wimbi in Mozambique. This project has been on the air now for two years. The station has received several reports of listeners who, previously uninterested in following Jesus, started visiting some churches in the city. Even though I am no longer actively involved in these media projects, God continues to lead each one to greater effectiveness and fruit in ministry.
I presented two workshops during the convention program. One workshop focused on digital radio across Africa. Regulatory bodies in several countries are now making plans to convert radio broadcasts to digital platforms. I led an interactive discussion about how radio stations should participate in the process and prepare for what will eventually come. The second workshop explored mentoring among media ministries in Africa. Over the years, western mentors have sought to encourage local African media professionals for greater influence in ministry. Our session examined the challenges and opportunities Africans face to actively mentor others in their local contexts. This strategy may be key to greatly expanding the impact of media across this vast continent.
I returned just in time for the arrival of our personal effects that shipped from South Africa at the end of August. Our agent in Indonesia cleared the shipment through customs such that we were able to take delivery at our home at the end of this last week. All has arrived in good shape. We are now in the process of arranging our home with the familiar sights, sounds and smells of Asia and Africa. This is the final step to establishing our home, so we can now focus fully on the ministry God has for us here.
Thank you for praying with us in this transition. We are encouraged to see what God is going to do next!