East Africa (MNN) — Ministries are coming together to train children’s ministry workers in East Africa. Advancing Native Missions (ANM) is partnering with International Network of Children’s Ministry (INCM) to host an inaugural children’s ministry training conference in Uganda this spring.
ANM works alongside Alex Mitala, a children’s ministry leader in Uganda. He says the upcoming conference will help leaders share the Gospel more effectively with Africa’s next generation. Over 500 leaders are expected to come.
“It’s very important to us; it’s going to be the first thing in the country of East Africa,” says Mitala. “We are going to invite people from Kenya, which is our neighbor, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Congo, [and] South Sudan.”
Based in the U.S., ANM acts as a bridge between indigenous missionaries and the Church in the West. They currently work with over 200 native missionary organizations in 75 countries, representing more than 5,000 indigenous missionaries.
Mindy Spurrier, ANM’s Next Generation Director, says the partnership with INCM for this conference was an answer to prayer.
“It clicked I guess is the best way to say it. They met a need that our missionaries–not just in Africa but around the world–showed,” Spurrier explains.
For the past few years, ANM has been seeking a group that could help them fill a void in many of their partners’ child ministry programs.
“They wanted to have resources and trainings, and I didn’t have any of that,” says Spurrier. “I was a former teacher, but I couldn’t do what they needed. For the next few years, I just prayed and asked God to [fill] that empty hole.”
INCM’s Executive Director Michael Chanley says the new partnership with ANM also offsets one of their organization’s weaknesses. INCM has an excellent training curriculum, but doesn’t always have a way to get their material to indigenous churches that need it.
The start of a beautiful friendship
By leveraging their partnership with ANM, INCM can now equip ministries throughout East Africa. It all starts with the children’s ministry training conference in Uganda during the third week of May.
“It’ll be training along the lines of how to work with children who have signs of extreme stress in their lives, and how to minister to them,” explains Chanley.
“Also, how to do lessons for kids and some basic children’s ministry fundamentals that will help them develop some of those ministries as a movement.”
Your help is needed to make this conference happen. Around 500 leaders are expected to attend, but Spurrier says as many as 600 leaders could show up. ANM needs your help to cover the leaders’ food, lodging, and training.
Mitala is asking for prayer.
“Pray first of all that the whole thing materializes, because we need it,” he says. “Pray for good health. We need to be in good health in order to do such meetings for the Kingdom of God.”