July 1, 2010

Win One, Each One; Each One, Tell the World

By Gilbert Wari, PresidentPresented Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The West-Central Africa Division (WAD), organized in 2003, comprises 22 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The division has grown in membership from 740,638 members in June 2005 to 850,219 as of December 31, 2009. The slogan “Win One, Each One; Each One, Tell the World” was adopted for the division’s evangelistic program this past quinquennium.

Change of Administration2010 1524 page24
Luka T. Daniel, former president of WAD, announced in August 2008 his decision to retire at the end of that year. Accordingly, the General Conference Executive Committee, in consultation with the Executive Committee of WAD, elected Gilbert Wari as division president on November 25, 2008. At that time Wari was WAD’s secretary. Onaolapo Ajibade was elected to fill Wari’s position of secretary, and Emmanuel Manu was elected treasurer. Thus, WAD started the year 2009 with a new administration.

A satellite evangelism event, with feature speaker Mark Finley and hosted by Babcock University, was held February 27–March 14, 2009. The satellite effort brought into this division of the church a total of 12,000 new souls.

In this same way the administration and the departmental directors were involved in evangelism throughout the six unions.

WAD Departmental Activities
Women’s Ministries—The WAD Women’s Ministries Congress was held August 2-9, 2009, at Babcock University in Nigeria with the theme “Touch a Heart, Tell the World.” More than 4,000 people from the six unions of WAD participated.

GC link divreportsStewardship—One of the great challenges facing WAD is the lack of financial self-sufficiency. It was against this background that the first-ever Stewardship Summit was organized in the division in collaboration with the Ghana Union Conference. This took place on the Valley View University campus in Techiman, April 9-13, 2009.

Chaplaincy—During the quinquennium a number of public universities gave pieces of land to the church on which to build worship centers. A magnificent church was dedicated at Burma Camp at the military headquarters in Ghana.

Communication—Media in the division has grown from one radio station in December 2005 to six FM radio stations. Three of them are broadcasting the good news of Jesus from our university campuses.

Publishing—About 1,000 literature evangelists attended the Literature Evangelist Convention held at Valley View University, Ghana, December 16-19, 2009. By September 2009 book sales totaled $1, 977,341.82, and 5,571 souls had been brought into the church.

Central African Union Mission—In 2006 the Central African Union Mission (CAUM) celebrated its eightieth anniversary and hosted the first Let’s Talk program held in Africa. Prior to that event, the union launched in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the first Advent-ist FM station of the division. CAUM also adopted the small group evangelism strategy combined with public campaigns. As a result, 32,047 people joined the church.

Eastern Nigeria Union Mission—Eastern Nigeria Union Mission witnessed tremendous growth in the past five years. The Ministerial and Leadership Council, followed by the Young Adventist Women’s Convention, led to a total of 37,853 baptisms.

Ghana Union Conference—This period saw a renewed relationship between the church and the government. For the past two years the church has been given special permission by the government to celebrate Annual National Thanksgiving Sabbath. To the glory of God, eight Adventists became parliamentarians, and two church elders occupy high political positions.

North-Western Nigeria Union Mission—Every March, the North-Western Nigeria Union Mission organizes an exchange-of-pulpit program. This program allows all pastors and administrators to be posted to churches outside their field but within the union to conduct an outreach for two weeks. This program has accounted for about 40 percent of the total number of baptisms in that union.

Sahel Union Mission—The 11 countries in Sahel Union Mission have a combined population of about 105 million, of which only 42,000 are Adventists. Most of the countries are in the 10/40 window. Islam and the African traditional religions are the main religions in the region. In spite of the great challenges, the union won nearly 1,000 souls this quinquennium.

West African Union Mission—A visiting evangelistic team from Oakwood University in the United States conducted a public evangelistic campaign in Monrovia, Liberia, in November 2008. Some 340 people were baptized.

Adventist University Cosendai—Adventist University Cosendai (AUC) in Cameroon, during 2005–2010, performed the groundbreaking ceremony at its permanent site. Currently it seats 600 people in the auditorium and has two 500-bed hostels. A cafeteria that will seat 400 is nearing completion.

WAD LEADERS: (From left) WAD secretary, Onaolapo Ajibade; president, Gilbert Wari; and treasurer, Emmanuel Manu

Currently AUC is one of the leading universities in Cameroon in the area of information technology and business administration.

Babcock University—More than 50 years ago in the heart of Africa, south of the Sahara, a new hope was born. Out of that birth rose a tower of optimism in the arid world of global despair. Indeed, out of that humble beginning in June 1959—with just seven students—sprang the most moving stories, outstanding testimonies, and touching moments. These capture a glimpse of what the Babcock vision is all about: building hopes, inspiring souls, and transforming lives. Today, it is the second-oldest Adventist university in Africa, the largest Adventist university on the African continent, and the third-largest Adventist university worldwide. In February 2009 renowned Adventist surgeon Benjamin Carson visited Babcock and consented to having the School of Medicine named after him.

Valley View University—Valley View University experienced tremendous blessings during the past quinquennium. Student enrollment grew from 1,092 to 3,298. In 2006 the university was granted a Presidential Charter, which was presented to the university by His Excellency Mr. John A. Kufuor, then president of the Republic of Ghana. One other major landmark in the university’s life was the boost it received in its ecological development initiatives. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research had earlier provided technical assistance for the development of the university’s ecological master plan.

More than 600 souls were won during the past two summer sessions. For the second time Valley View University students participated in the Zain Africa Challenge contest, held in Uganda by Zain Africa, a telephone company. The contest consisted of a national elimination series involving public and private universities in individual countries. Participants from the best four universities entered the continental series with all expenses paid by Zain Africa. Participating students and universities were given awards, based on performance at the continental series.

“Follow the Bible”
The multilingual Bible arrived in Abidjan, the seat of the West-Central Africa Division, on January 20, 2010. From there it went to every one of the six unions in the division. Leaders of other Christian denominations, Muslim leaders, and political leaders such as John Atta Mills, the president of the republic of Ghana, welcomed the Bible. Thousands of Bibles and Bible-reading schedules were distributed to the general populace. The event has aroused the interest of both Adventists and non-Adventists in the reading of the Bible.

Closing Remarks
By the grace of God, this is what we have been able to achieve in His name. The WAD quinquennial plan for 2010–2015 is as follows:

  • Double membership through small group plan throughout WAD
  • Be totally self-supported by December 31, 2014
  • Create four more unions (bringing the number to 10 unions in total)
  • Increase WAD institutions (two additional tertiary institutions, making five in all)

We are deep into our Father’s business! Pray for us so that we may glorify our Father’s name.