Africa Region participants reflect on General Assembly

Johannesburg, South Africa
Esperance Chirezi Chishibanji, Rosaline Asia Scholtz, Gift Mtukwe

The Church of the Nazarene's 29th General Assembly and Conventions brought together thousands of Nazarenes for worship, service, fellowship, training, and important decision-making. Three first-time participants from the Africa Region shared their impressions of the event. 

Esperance Chirezi Chishibanji (Democratic Republic of the Congo South Katanga District): 

Chishibani is the first woman from the DRC to attend the General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene. It was a great experience that will last forever in her memory.

It was a learning experience and also a way of seeing how we belong to the global, worldwide, wonderful church. Blessed be the name of the Lord our God to save us and use us in the Nazarene church. From the [Nazarene Missions International] convention to the General Assembly, everything was anew. The organization of the conference and the time focus orientation is an example to imitate in different meetings at the other levels of the church. This was also a time to meet beloved brothers and sisters around the world. To God be glory and honor for ever and evermore.

Rosaline Asia Scholtz (Republic of South Africa Western Cape District): 

It was my first time attending the General Assembly. From the time I was young, it was my father's dream to attend the General Assembly, but he passed away in 1977 and was never able to go. I had to honor his wish, so this year I was able to attend the General Assembly for the first time as a visitor.

I am in awe to know our church is so big. A highlight for me was seeing all of the different flags of the different countries all over the world where there is a Church of the Nazarene was awesome. Seeing our churches in different parts of the world brought tears to my eyes. And it was awesome to see another general superintendent elected from Africa.

I, too, share this same vision to win souls for Christ and to make Christlike disciples in the nations. My perceptions have changed, and I look forward to General Assembly 2021.

Gift Mtukwe (Kenya Central District):

I had the opportunity to attend the 29th General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene as a visitor. I saw for the first time what it means to truly be a global church. Many people from different world areas under one roof, worshipping together was extraordinary. In a way, it helps you see what worship will look like at the end of time as described in the book of Revelation when people from different languages will come and worship the king. As Nazarenes, we get a glimpse of this every four years.

I met many people with whom I had met in other contexts. For me, General Assembly was a big family reunion. It was impossible to get to meetings on time because on the way I met many people I knew and had to greet. The second day I became wiser and left the hotel room earlier in order to get to the meetings on time.

What was most surprising for me was how the resolutions were debated. The parliamentary procedures were followed fully. The delegates had to familiarize themselves with Robert's Rules of Order. I appreciate this because it brings order to the assembly. The chairs (our GS's) chaired with grace and a lot of humor, which made the assembly very interesting. I enjoyed the debates and the speeches for and against the resolutions. The [use of electronic devices] helped to ensure the validity of the election process.

My overall impression of the GA was that it was an interesting event. It is something which every Nazarene should attend when resources allow. I am sure they will not regret buying a ticket. The highlight for me was to witness the election of Dr. Filimao Chambo and Dr. Carla Sunberg as general superintendents. The unity of the church in selecting her leaders is extraordinary. Our leaders in this sense are truly global leaders. We in Africa will miss Dr. Chambo; at the same time, we are happy that he will serve the global church. 

--Church of the Nazarene Africa via Out of Africa