Report of Bassam 2000

Dear AD2-Announce Reader:

Greetings from Africa, a continent on the move for God! Praises be to Him!

Please see the attached report from Wayne McGee on the recent Bassam 2000 Consultation attended by 350 key leaders from 30 nations, a joint effort of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), Interdev, AD2000 & Beyond Movement and World Vision International. I was there and what a privilege it was, in so many ways! Praise God!

Please pray for God's continued hand and provision on the church and leadership in that region. I would urge those so inclined to send words of encouragement and support to Wayne and the other ministries laboring there throughout that region. Against the backdrop of wars, AIDS, poverty, etc. - the church of Christ is on the move in Africa, a sense I pray you will see and agree as you review this report. May His name be praised!

That all may hear!
Luis Bush
International Director
AD2000 & Beyond Movement


FROM GRAND BASSAM, COTE D'IVOIRE, TO STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS & NATIONAL INITIATIVES TO REACH THE UNREACHED PEOPLES IN FRANCO-PHONE AFRICA

Report of Bassam 2000 - May 8-12, 2000

350 key church and mission leaders from across French speaking Africa came to Grand Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire for Bassam 2000, a follow-up consultation to Dakar '98 focusing on the remaining Unreached Peoples Groups of West and Central Africa. These leaders came from 30 different countries, both African and non-African. They represented a wide array of different cultures and languages, not to mention a variety of church and mission organizations, denominations, and agencies. The following main points represent a brief summary of what took place at what many participants referred to as the most strategic, inspirational and widely representative of any Franco-phone West and Central African consultation that they have ever attended.

There were many inspiring reports of what God is doing through partnership efforts as well as in a number of different National Initiatives across West and Central Africa. Challenging plenary sessions were greatly appreciated and included; The Challenge of the Remaining Task, The Role of the Indigenous African Church, Reconciliation, and National Missionary Training and Sending. Each afternoon the following working groups meet for two hours each day: Research, Social Action, Prayer, Radio, Women's Ministry, Translation and Literature, Mission to Muslims, and National Mission training and sending. A special time of focusing on specific strategic unreached people groups was held for each of the following groups: the Tamacheq, the Fulani, the Malinke related peoples, the Wolof, and the UPGs of the Lake Chad Basin.

The time of final reports from all these different tracks communicated the following sentiments and outcomes:

There was a commitment to continue to mobilize all resources in West and Central Africa (whether human, material, or organizational) towards the task of reaching the remaining unreached populations in this region through working together in closer cooperation and partnership efforts.

The desire to empower each member of the Body of Christ to fully enter into their role towards the accomplishment of this task was clearly communicated throughout the entire event, whether they be women, youth, church leaders, denominations, and mission agencies.

The need to further develop the ministry of reconciliation at all levels in the region was reaffirmed. This sentiment was reinforced through a tangible atmosphere of unity that issued into a number of commitments to the development of true partnership efforts wherever possible. The commitment to rise up and work together to evangelize and establish churches among the unreached peoples of Franco-phone Africa was regularly expressed.

The following decisions represent some of the more easy to measure outcomes of this consultation:

  1. The establishment of a pan-regional working group for social action with a facilitator appointed.
  2. The development of a sub-regional consultation focusing on the Unreached People Groups of the Lake Chad Basin. The steering committee for this consultation was appointed with two members each from the following countries - Chad, Niger, Cameroon, CAR, and Nigeria. The planning meetings for this consultation were set for October 4-7. The focus of this consultation will primarily be on the Zerma, Kanuri, Hausa, Fulani, Shuwa, and Chadic peoples.
  3. The commitment to hold a number of consultations at a national level was made. Dates for Togo are July 12 -14; and February for Benin were proposed. Other countries such as Liberia, Chad, Mali and Niger have indicated a desire to also hold national consultations soon.
  4. The decision to develop international networks among the developing national partnerships focused on the Malinke related people groups as well as for the Fulani was expressed. Key coordinators were appointed for each group.
  5. The desire to liberate the women of the region to enter fully into their ministry among the unreached peoples of the region was affirmed and demonstrated by the nomination of two women to the next organizing committee of the consultation.
  6. The creation of an association of Evangelical radio ministries in French speaking Africa was realized. A facilitator was appointed.
  7. A strong commitment was made to sharing information and ensuring better communication between the various literature ministries in the region as well as among ministries focused on training and sending national missionaries.
  8. The desire to intentionally start national partnerships efforts for the Fulani together with JCMWA was affirmed.
  9. Teams of researchers were developed in order to help continue to improve upon available information as to the status of mission efforts among the unreached peoples of the region.
  10. A commitment to a united effort of 40 days of prayer and fasting was made by the prayer working group. The dates were set for November 1 to December 10.
  11. A working group on Mission to Muslims was established with a facilitator and coordination committee appointed.
  12. In order permit these initiatives to grow and to further motivate us to work toward these conclusions, a commitment to meet in 18 months time for a follow-up regional consultation was made. This will allow the working groups to come together and evaluate their progress. Also, all those who might be interested in connecting with the existing and developing partnerships for the region would be able to meet the key leaders of the partnerships themselves. To facilitate this vision, an enlarged steering committee was appointed.

Through this on-going process it is our desire to see Bassam 2000's objectives carried forward into the third millennium for Franco-phone Africa and beyond!

Many valuable lessons were learned throughout the entire consultation. It was evident that a true spirit of cooperation was born from which much fruit has already given issue. The consultation ended on an appropriate note through the sharing of the Holy Communion together. This clearly demonstrated the spirit of the consultation as well as the ongoing commitment between the participants.

We praise God for all that he has done among us. To God be the glory.

Wayne McGee
BASSAM 2000 - West African Regional Consultation
Sponsored in co-operation with the Evangelism and Missions Commission
of AEA, World Vision, AD2000 & Beyond Movement and Interdev.

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