May 18, 2011

14 CN: Unity Is Key, Wilson Says, in Kenya Visit

Unity Is Key, Wilson Says,
in Kenya Visit

GC president meets head of state, sees progress at Adventist University of Africa

BY DELILA SIOCHA, East-Central Africa Division

Drawing inspiration from a song by Nairobi Station Pathfinders, Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, continued to spread the message of revival and reformation in his keynote sermon delivered on Sabbath, April 23, 2011, to a 3,000-member congregation at the Nairobi Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, in the Kenyan capital. In his message Wilson called for leaders to exercise unity and humility as they carried out their work for God’s glory.

“Be an encouragement to the people. Bring hope and reconciliation in these times of difficulties and always proclaim God’s truth,” he urged.

PRESIDENTIAL MEETING: Mwai Kibaki, president of the republic of Kenya, receives a delegation of Adventist Church leaders at his Harambee House office in Nairobi. Left to right: East African Union president, Paul Muasya; GC vice president Delbert Baker; ECD president, Blasious Ruguri; Nancy Wilson; GC president, Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson; President Kibaki; Kenyan minister for education, Sam Ongeri; internal security minister, George Saitoti. [PHOTOS: Edward Onyango\ECD] 

Seventh-day Adventists have a substantial presence in the East African nation. “It is impressive that in Nairobi alone, there are 242 Seventh-day Adventist churches,” Wilson said, according to a report in The Standard newspaper.

The church operates several radio and television stations in Kenya, including Hope Channel TV in Kisii, Kisima FM in Nyamira, Wikwatyo FM in Kitui, and Baraton FM in Eldoret, church media sources confirmed.

Wilson took the task of explaining to the congregation who Seventh-day Adventists are and why they are here. Urging Adventists to be proud of their name and beliefs, he said, “As Seventh-day Adventists living at the end of time, don’t hide the name Seventh-day Adventist. As church members involved in local churches, institutions, and organizations, we should use our name.”

Wilson used this statement to urge the congregation and leaders to stand for Christ and live up to their name in proclaiming Bible truth, calling on members to pray for revival and to renew their relationship with God and reconnect with the Creator through prayer and Bible study. “To those church members who are frustrated, discouraged, or distant from the church or the Lord, take hold of God’s hand and renew your relationship with Christ. I encourage you to go to your local churches when you leave this place and bring encouragement and reconciliation to your churches,” he said.


A TREE GROWS IN NAIROBI: Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson (center) plants a tree in commemoration of his visit to the Nairobi, Kenya, Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. His wife, Nancy Wilson, looks on, along with GC communication director Williams Costa, Jr., and ECD president, Blasious Ruguri (right).

Addressing young people, he urged them to stand up for Bible truth and be a vital part of the last great proclamation. “Get involved in your local church, in missionary work, and in the strong proclamation of truth through personal witness and public expression. Ask your youth leaders, pastors, and teachers for solid biblical and Spirit of Prophecy teaching and preaching. Turn away from the idea of just entertaining yourselves, but rather be active in the service of others. I appeal to all members—especially young members—to help return the Seventh-day Adventist movement to spiritual godliness,” he said.

The following day Wilson spoke at an “Ebenezer Celebration” marking the continued construction of a library building at the new Adventist University of Africa, a seminary being constructed near Nairobi.

“When you take a look at this glass of water, some of you will say they brought the president of the General Conference a glass of water that is half empty and some will say he received a glass that is half full. What kind of perspective do you have? When you look at this building, do you look at what is not done, or do you see a beautiful potentially finished building? Praise God for this building. It is not half empty but half full,” Wilson said.

He chose to see the unfinished building as a work in progress and based his message on the story of the spies of Israel who were sent to spy on Canaan and give a report on what they’d seen. “Soon you will enter this library to work, study, and learn more about God. To all of you who are academics and students, the foundation of all true Seventh-day Adventist education is knowledge of God. May that ever be the theme of this library and the classes that are taught,” Wilson said.

The stops in Kenya, which included a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki at the Harambee House, were the first leg of an African trip that would also see a visit to Angola.