Report on the first "HUB" convention
held in Pretoria from 19 - 21st April 1998

The last four years has seen an enormous awakening among churches from different denominations in South Africa to the call of World Evangelization.

During 1994 - 1995 the number of missionaries that have been sent from South Africa doubled. During 1996 this figure doubled again according to the South African Christian handbook. The GCOWE `97 Conference has given incredible momentum to the missions awareness in South Africa. "It is as if something has broken loose that is consuming church leaders and members alike."

The sectors most affected by this mission awareness are local churches. Hundreds of local churches from different denominations are holding missions weekends and even whole mission weeks during which their members are challenged to get involved in praying for the harvest, going themselves, sending a willing member and giving in local church Faith Promise programs.

Training of new missionaries is also becoming a very important focus among some of these local churches. The most encouraging aspect of this missions movement is that local churches from different theological persuasions are building quality relationships with one another and are formulating strategic vision to reach the twelve world regions and the nineteen Southern African countries as set out in the Gateway Strategy of the World Mission Centre.

During 19 - 21st April the first annual "Hub Convention" was held. A "Hub" is a term used for a group of churches that are in partnership with a specific vision to reach out to a world region or Southern Africa country." The meeting that was hosted by the World Mission Centre saw almost 400 church leaders gather in order to learn from one another as to how they can form better partnerships with the view of being effective in reaching the lost.

The speakers at the occasion were:

Lawrence Khong from the Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore who spoke on the Cell Church as a viable method of planting churches among the unreached.

Phil Butler from Interdev that really helped the 22 existing "Hubs" to understand more fully how they can work together in meaningful partnerships.

Willie Crew from the World Mission Centre who gave direction to the meeting with regards to the formation of the "Hubs" and continued development of committed relationships and strategic vision.

Currently, there are twenty-two "Hubs" of local churches formed with a total of 386 churches in membership. These Hubs from South Africa are focus on the following areas.

World regions as defined in the Gateway Strategy.
CIS
Middle S. Asia
N. Africa / M. East
S. E. Asia
Central, W. Africa
S. America
Australia

Southern Africa countries.
Angola
Botswana
Burundi
Dem. Rep. Congo (Zaire)
Gabon
Indian Ocean Islands
Lesotho
Madagascar
Malawi
Mozambique
Namibia
Swaziland
Zambia
Zimbabwe

The goal is to see "Hubs" form around the following regions before the next Hub convention that will be held in South Africa from 20 to 22 April 1999.

World regions
N. America
Central America
Europe
Far East Asia

Southern African Countries
Peoples Rep. Congo
Kenya
Rwanda
Tanzania
Uganda

For more information please contact Willie or Owen at wmcentre@cis.co.za

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