Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bits & Bytes July 2013

July 2013
Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers
West African Leadership Training
At the end of May Wesleyan leaders from five West African countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso) gathered for a training event in Makeni, Sierra Leone. The training came about because in several countries the church is growing to the extent that administrative structures will need to be expanded resulting in the need for a significant number of new leaders to fill the leadership positions that will be created. Most of the training sessions and discussions were led by past and present African leaders with additional input by Bob and Dr. Dennis Jackson, Executive Director of Global Partners. 
A highlight of the gathering was an invitation to visit with the president of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, in his office to pray with him. Bob had the honor of sharing a brief devotional message during the meeting reflecting on the story of the feeding of the 5,000 that when God calls us to a task that exceeds our capacity He also can enable us to accomplish way beyond what we could imagine.
Koroma visit
West African Wesleyan leaders with Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone
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Sierra Leone National Conference
Immediately following the West African leadership training event, the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone held its quadrennial national conference. The conference combined informative seminars with business sessions as the church laid plans for its ministry in the coming four years. The Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone is the oldest and largest of Wesleyan national conference in Africa.

During the conference Rev. Dr. Usman J. Fornah was resoundingly re-elected to a second four-year term as National Superintendent.

Another highlight was the introduction of Dr. David and Dahlia Dyer, new missionary doctor at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital, who had arrived in the country earlier that week. The Sierra Leone church welcomed them enthusiastically and prayed for God's blessing on them and their ministry.

Photos from the Sierra Leone national conference can be seen by clicking the button below:

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Bob helping to commission a missionary couple appointed to serve in a creative access country
USA Visit
This past month we made a quick three-week visit to the States for meetings.

First on our agenda was to teach new missionaries for a week at GP's Missionary Training Institute held at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN. What a joy to share the enthusiasm of new missionaries and try to offer advice from our years of service. It was also a joy to participate in the final commissioning service.

The following week Bob was involved in a meeting of GP's Leadership Council - consisting of the seven Area Directors from around the world as well as the home office leadership team.

It was great to visit three of our supporting churches while we were there: Forest Hills Wesleyan (IN), Wheaton Wesleyan (IL), and Alive Wesleyan (SC). Forest Hills and Alive had both recently moved into new facilities and it was exciting for us to worship in them for the first time.

Getting back to the States also gave us a chance to reconnect with some of our family. We spent a weekend, including a day at the zoo with our son Joshua, his wife Jamie, and our three grandchildren. We joined members of Brenda's family to celebrate her parents' sixtieth wedding anniversary. Finally, we celebrated July 4th with our daughter Mary Beth in a picnic shelter in pouring rain!
Africa Area Prayer Calendar
The Africa Area Prayer Calendar for July - September, 2013 is available for download by clicking the button below:
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Praise Reports
  1. Praise God for a highly successful and profitable leadership training event for West African church leaders held in Sierra Leone at the end of May.
  2. Thank God for His help in the Sierra Leone National Conference and for the vision and enthusiasm evident in church leaders.
  3. Praise God for the safe arrival of the Dyer family in Sierra Leone to fill the desperate need for a doctor at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital.
  4. Praise God for new missionaries who have responded to God's call, have received training, and now are being deployed in various places around the world.

Prayer Requests
  1. Please continue to pray for Randal and Candice Cheney and their family as they arrive in South Africa on August 9th. Since they have not yet received work permits for Zimbabwe the plan is to assign them to the Bible College in Swaziland while efforts continue to be made to get them into Zimbabwe.
  2. Pray for God's presence and direction to be felt in District Conferences to be held in Limpopo District (South Africa) August 2-4, Zimbabwe August 8-11, and Swaziland August 23-25.
  3. Ask God to help Bob as he works with the church in Ghana and the church in Swaziland as they make plans for significant organizational changes to accommodate continued growth.
  4. Pray for God's help and strength for the Dr. David and Dahlia Dyer family as they continue to adjust to the challenges of serving in a rural African hospital.

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