Hundreds Attend African Voices Conference at Moody Bible Institute
Wheaton, IL – Hundreds of Moody Bible Institute students, faculty, and distinguished guests joined together April 10-12 to learn about the explosive growth and future of the church in Africa as part of the African Voices Conference, hosted by Oasis International in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers and Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI). The conference also served as the United States launch of the Africa Study Bible, the first study Bible developed by Africans with over 2,600 notes written by 350 contributors from 50 countries (Oasis International/Tyndale House Publishers).
“The African church has a voice,” Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody, told attendees. “It’s a mature voice, it’s a learned voice, it’s a contextualized voice, and it’s a global voice. The African church does not lack for evangelism; it gains approximately 20,000 brand new believers every single day. It’s the fastest growing church in the world. But those believers need to grow and they need to be educated in the truth of God’s word so they can serve and lead and start more Bible-centered churches.”
Conference attendees heard from six leaders and scholars from Africa and the United States, all contributors to the ASB, who gave 28 lectures over the three-day conference on topics ranging from missional theology to the roots of Christianity in Africa. The conference also included a chapel focused on the ASB, a luncheon with the African guests, and a special dinner for more than 100 people hosted by Dr. Nyquist, Dr. Mark Taylor, chairman and CEO of Tyndale House, and C. Jeff Wright, CEO of UMI. More than 100 Moody faculty members from three campuses also participated in a faculty forum, led by the six visiting professors.
“The greatest injustice you can do to anybody is to deny that person education,” said Dr. John Jusu, Supervising Editor of the ASB and Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Africa International University, who shared his testimony in chapel. “The worse injustice you can do to anybody is to deny that person the Word of God because the Word of God is light, is food. You deny people, you have denied them their livelihood, you’ve denied them food for life here on earth and over there. When the idea of the ASB came, I said, ‘Hallelujah, this is our time.’ We are going to make it different. We are going to make the word of God understandable to Africa.”
“Hearing the convictions of the visiting African professors fueled my faith. The conference introduced us to two African theologians that we had never heard of and the testimony of their lives and work both inspired and challenged me deeply. The ASB is a wonderfully condensed resource of biblically engaged scholarly work and traditional heritage from the continent.”
“I was happy to witness a connection between Christians from Africa and those of us of African descent born in the United States. I felt close to my brothers and sisters from Africa for the first time. The most valuable aspect was meeting Christians from Africa.”
After a seven-year, cross-continental effort, Oasis, in partnership with several major Christian organizations, is in the midst of a multiple country launch of the ASB. Special celebratory events were held in April in Nairobi, Kenya, and Accra, Ghana, with additional events planned for Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa on June 4-11, and Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria on June 29-July 1.
With nearly every evangelical study Bible written from the viewpoint of the United States or the United Kingdom, Africans have lacked a one-volume biblical resource that connects God’s Word with their experiences, hindering discipleship. Designed to grow the faith of church members in Africa and teach them to apply a biblical worldview to their culture and society, the ASB uses the New Living Translation and includes over 2,600 features such as application notes, stories and proverbs, touchpoints that link Africa and the Bible, learn notes that explain basic values and theology, and major theme articles that apply the Bible to key issues. The ASB brings unique African perspectives to the global Church and allows Christians around to the world to better understand God’s Word through African Eyes.
Tyndale House Publishers released the ASB in English in the United States in May and a freestanding app is now available in both iOS and Android formats. French and Portuguese translations are in development.
Oasis partnered with Tyndale House Publishers and Tyndale House Foundation to create the Bible. Other participants and supporters include Wycliffe, Willow Creek and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Scripture Union, Center for Early African Christianity, PJA (Publications pour la Jeunesse Africaine), SIM, UMI, Association of Evangelicals in Africa, and Moody Bible Institute.
For additional information, samplers of the ASB, or to schedule an interview, contact: Debbie Lykins, 224-234-6699 or [email protected].net