Mark and Nancy Pitts spent 3 years at Africa Nazarene University in educational administration. During that time, they opened up their home to a variety of Nazarene students and leaders from a swath of the African continent. African Voices (CDs available here) presents profiles of eight leaders and the impact they are having as they serve Christ.
The Pitts did a good job presenting a variety of stories. Two of the leaders interviewed were women clergy (Jackie Mugane and Agnes Ibanda), a reminder that the Church of the Nazarene without apology believes that God calls both women and men to all roles of ministry in the church, both lay and ordained. Other profiles underscored the sacrifices that those whom God calls are willing to make (with their families’ blessing) in order to equip themselves for service. This came through in the story of Chanshi Chanda, who sold his business and for several months lived in humble conditions, awaiting their move to Malawi to begin ministerial studies.
But in all the stories, the emphasis on changed lives and holiness shone through. Sometimes this included the social impact that holiness should have. Ermias Choliye from Ethiopia observed:
“The message of holiness helps in corruption in the government, and it helps in the community to do away with individualism. Some preach prosperity, some preach tradition…but they don’t live like true Christians. When we bring in this living strategy from the teachings, then they accept, [and] the community now opens the door and gives licenses to the Church. So holiness is the full message that we need in life.”
African Voices does raise a question. One leader interviewed (p. 23) claimed 400,000 Nazarenes in a single field. Can this be accurate when the entire Region is composed of just over a half million?
Yet overall, African Voices effectively helps the reader get a glimpse of the passion for Christ that animates many of our African Nazarene leaders. Readers will be inspired to pray for them individually as they push out the boundaries of the Kingdom.