September 29, 2008

Awakening Africa: Guarding the Gospel

Awakening AfricaPerhaps you noticed that I didn’t post my regular weekly roundup on Friday. Why didn’t I? Because I was on my way to southern California for an important fundraising event—Awakening Africa: Guarding the Gospel. Now that I’m back home, I’m still marveling at God’s grace and blessings during this unforgettable night. Let me tell you more.

Nearly 150 of us gathered at the historic Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. After greeting many new friends, we sat down to a top-notch dinner. Of course, nothing is as good as my wife’s cooking (I’d get in trouble if I didn’t say so!), but I was impressed by the quality of the entire evening.

John Divito SharingSoloist Rob Nye set the mood with one of my favorite contemporary hymns, “In Christ Alone.” Then CFAR’s executive director, Paul Carden, answered three questions: Why CFAR? Why Africa? and Why Now? His sincere passion for our ministry’s vision was contagious.

Next we debuted a new film that vividly presents the vision for ACFAR. (You should be seeing it soon, so stay tuned!) I then shared my testimony of forsaking Mormonism and finding true freedom in Jesus Christ. I was also privileged to introduce Greg Koukl, founder and president of Stand to Reason, one of our key partner ministries in Africa.

Greg Koukl SpeakingGreg delivered a convicting message from 2 Timothy on “guarding the Gospel.” God has used Greg greatly in my own spiritual development, and I was reminded why: Greg effectively explains and applies God’s Word, giving Christians the tools they need to stand strong for truth in the marketplace of ideas.

After Greg we had a special treat: Hajni Pataki, a former Jehovah’s Witness pioneer from Hungary. Through the ministry of András Szalai, the director of CFAR Hungary, Hajni broke free from the lies of the Watchtower Society and has come to know true freedom and maturity in Christ. Hajni’s testimony was a powerful example of what we hope to see in the lives of cult members all across East Africa.

The evening’s program ended as Rob Nye brought a moving song on missions, “Our Heart.” I remained long afterwards to spend one-on-one time with our guests and supporters. What a privilege to meet so many believers who share our excitement for what God has in store for Uganda!

God used this weekend in California to rejuvenate me and renew my amazement at all He is preparing for ACFAR. I can hardly express my appreciation for all who invested so sacrificially to bring this evening about. May God be glorified as we pray and labor to raise up a generation of Africans who will defend His gospel and bring cultists to Christ!