August 31, 2009

Why I'm Excited about the Future of ACFAR...

Many leaders can’t tell the difference between true orthodox faith and cultism....
As a trained minister, and as a former victim of the above, I believe it’s my mandate to go out and teach the centrality and essentiality of Scripture—the Christ-centered Christian worldview and the integration of faith with the rest of life”
Rodgers Atwebembeire, new Ugandan Coordinator for ACFAR

Dear Friend,

John DivitoAfter the deadline of my family moving to East Africa by the end of May came and went, I wondered about the future of ACFAR. As it turns out, God was about to answer our prayers in a wonderful and unexpected way.

But before I explain, consider how much Christ has already blessed our ministry! Thanks to your support…
  • We’ve developed a strong network of strategic partnerships with ministries here and in Africa
  • We’ve taught in various venues—including over 200 pastors at last month’s conference in Kampala
  • We’ve conducted substantial research into a wide range of cults and false teachings in East Africa
  • We’ve built a blog and web site—both of which will serve as a growing and ongoing resource
  • We’ve begun distributing tracts, pamphlets, books, CDs, and DVDs to Christian workers and organizations across Uganda
  • We’ve laid the foundation for long-term outreach in the region, including training events for pastors and Christian workers
My most recent trip to Uganda confirmed the great strides we’ve made in advancing biblical discernment in Africa. Over the last few years, our Lord has allowed us to do far more than I imagined possible. So many wonderful things happened in Kampala last month that I can’t recount them all.

But one meeting in particular has enabled us to finalize our transition period and launch a revised strategy for equipping Christians across East Africa...

When we met with Pastor Gerald Sseruwagi of New City Church in Kampala, he strongly recommended Rodgers Atwebembeire, one of his personal disciples, as a candidate to coordinate ACFAR’s work in East Africa.

Rodgers AtwebembeireWho is Rodgers? A Ugandan minister who just graduated from Africa Bible University at the top of his class. He comes highly recommended by everyone with whom we’ve spoken, from his professors to his pastor. And he has a heart for apologetics, having already done live question-and-answer radio programs in English and other languages to help Ugandan believers, along with many other ministry opportunities.

With Rogers as ACFAR’s new coordinator, the future is bright. Our strategy for the next phase of ministry includes:
  • Literature—including all-new tracts in English and local languages, and a practical quarterly newsletter on discernment for evangelical pastors
  • Electronic resources—including the multilingual apologetics resource collection

  • Training
  • Conferences for pastors and university campus workers in 2010

  • Research
  • Monitoring cultic movements via group-specific research and mass media sources
  • In-depth interviews with denominational and parachurch leaders, as well as Christian educators, on how to address the challenge of the cults and false teaching
Therefore, I’m stepping down as ACFAR’s director, though I’ll continue in an advisory role as my time allows. Dr. Sam Waldron, one of the pastors of Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky and Academic Dean at Midwest Center for Theological Studies, has asked me to assist him in some of his ministry responsibilities. After much prayer, fasting, and counsel, Jennifer and I are preparing to move our family to Owensboro.

I’m grateful for all that God has done over the last several years. And while this may be a time of uncertainty for me, I continue to trust in the One in whom I live and serve. Now we have a local African willing to continue our vision. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the upcoming years through Rodgers’ faithful service to Christ.

ACFAR is moving forward—and it needs your support now more than ever! I ask you to continue praying for our ministry and for Rodgers. And I humbly request that you join Jennifer and me in supporting ACFAR in every way possible in the months and years ahead.

Because of His grace,

John Divito, Director
Africa Center for Apologetics Research (ACFAR)

P.S. Let us renew our commitment to helping our African brothers and sisters follow the instruction of the Apostle John: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”