Reflections on a Mid Africa Conference...

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Thu, 22 Sep 2011 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Eight years ago, an old lady in my Church phoned me one day, and told me I had to apply for a team to go to Kenya. That’s the sort of person Isabel was…she had decided this was the thing for me, so…she told me to do it. I had already filled out an application form for another team – to Albany on the first Diocesan Youth Team. But, Isabel was pretty insistent and I respected her a lot…and I knew of her passion for the Church Mission Society, Ireland. So I thought, why not.

The team was fantastic. Brilliant… It happened in the Summer of 2003, and one of the first get-togethers the team had was the September straight after when we attended the CMSI Mid-Africa Partnership Conference in the Glenada Newcastle. And that was the start of perhaps my most interesting journey with CMSI.

You see, I’ve never been away again with CMSI – although I’m sure I will one day. But I have maintained a passion for the organisation, and the thing that incites that passion for me is the Mid-Africa Partnership Conference.

On the face of things it’s any other Church Conference. There’s an intriguing dynamic, as the residents tend to be the more senior supporters from the days of the Rwanda Mission and Mid Africa Ministry, while on Saturday there are day delegates, some from teams, some extra staff members and others who have spent time overseas or who have a heart for the work.

Every year, the conference surprises me.

This year, Archdeacon Seth from Burundi excited and inspired us about the work of the Church in that place; Bishop Ken Clarke challenged us through the life of Peter; we heard from Ken and Judith Finch as they prepare to return to Uganda and look to what is next in their ministry; an infectiously inspirational young woman called Hazel told us about five weeks she spent in Rwanda; we also heard from Mission Director Ronnie Briggs. And I came away challenged and excited – determined to continue to live up to the calling we have, under the grace of God.

…the thing that incites that passion for me is the Mid-Africa Partnership Conference

I’ve never been to Mid-Africa, but I feel like it’s part of my life because of this conference. How amazing that God does things with each of us, even when we aren’t expecting them.

_The CMS Ireland Mid Africa Conference takes place in early September each year. The dates for 2012 will be announced in our Summer 2012 edition of the inMission magazine._

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