A Time for Re-Connection: The Langham Partnership Regional Council for Southern Africa

BY hgoody | 28 November 2007 |

LPRC_africaby Chris Wright, International Director, Langham Partnership International

The Langham Partnership Regional Council for Southern Africa met for the first time in September in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Representatives came from Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Among them were Langham scholars, including Fidelis Nkomazana and Lazarus Phiri. For them, it was a time of re-union, and re-connection with Langham after (for Fidelis) more than a decade of serving back in their home countries.

Fidelis Nkomazana completed his doctorate in Church History under Professor Andrew Walls in Edinburgh in 1993, and warmly remembers the fellowship and support he received from Charlotte Chapel. Since then he has been teaching in Botswana University, and is now Head of Department of Religious Studies. That, however, is only part of his many-sided ministry as a significant evangelical leader there. He is on the board of the Prison Fellowship, contributing to its ministry of rehabilitation and help for prisoners. He leads youth camps and speaks in schools with Scripture Union. He has written a whole series of textbooks for Religious Education and runs a programme of training for Sunday school teachers.

Fidelis is certainly a Langham Scholar making a difference! He found the Regional Council a great experience of fellowship with others in the region, and was appointed to its Executive Committee as Secretary and Co-ordinator for the regional Fellowship of Langham Scholars.

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Fidelis Nkomazana, Langham Scholar,
with Mark Hunt, Chair of the
Langham Partnership International Council.

LP Regional Council, Southern Africa.

Evangelical support. The Regional Council was an opportunity for Mark Hunt (LPI Chair), Gene Green (a member of the Scholar Committee of John Stott Ministries in the U.S.) and Chris Wright to visit the Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa (ESSA), with Bill Houston, former Vice-Principal. ESSA runs a post-graduate seminar for evangelical students studying at Masters and Doctorate level in the Theology Department of the nearby University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, in Pietermaritzburg. This group includes some Langham Scholars, and we are grateful for the fellowship and encouragement they receive from ESSA in this way. It was encouraging for Langham staff and board members to meet with Scholars during one of their seminars. Afterwards the group were very impressed with a visit to the ESSA library, which (partly with support from Langham Literature) is one of the best-equipped seminary libraries in Southern Africa.

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Meeting with the post-graduate seminar at ESSA.
Standing back row are: Chris Wright, Mark Hunt,
Gene Green and Bill Houston
Abiola, Langham Scholar from Nigeria
tudying in Pietermaritzburg,
with Gene Green (JSM Scholar Committee).