Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Report on the SOLA 5 Conference held in Harare – Zimbabwe, 2nd- 5th September 2010

(From l-r)  Pastor Joseph Soko of the Harare  Reformed Baptist Church  , Theo Soko  and  Mrs Plaxedes  Soko , wife of Pastor Soko
Sola 5 is an association of God centered churches in Southern Africa. The association exists for the mutual encouragement of likeminded churches (Baptist and Reformed)  , for the promotion of missions (through church planting) and theological education .

The highlight of  our association is  our annual conference . Each year the conference aims to take place in a different country and province .

This year we have met in Harare , Zimbabwe, under the auspices of the Harare Reformed Baptist Church and its pastor Joseph Soko , greatly assisted by Jeff Gage and the Free Grace Baptist Church in Boksburg, South Africa. Zimbabwe has been ( and still is) going through trying political times. Many   of our people there are unemployed and struggle make ends meet.  And yet we thank God, that despite all their difficulties, this church  had invited us all to meet with them. I for one was glad to have been there.
Christo Beetge - Sola 5 Chairman 2010

Eighteen of our twenty –one member churches were present,  whilst 5 new churches sent delegates. We trust that in time these churches would join our association . We estimate that about 200 people attended the conference at times.

We met over 4 days to hear the Bible preached, to hear mission reports, to attend to a few ‘business’ matters and to spend time in close fellowship .

This year our theme was “God’s Grace Today” – an exposition of the doctrines of Grace. For the benefit of our readers, I will give a brief outline of the themes and speakers. Those who are interested to read a more detailed description of the various sessions are encouraged to visit Conrad Mbewe’s excellent blog, “A letter from Kabwata “.

Session 1 : The Sovereign Nature of God – Conrad Mbewe (Zambia)
Session 2: The sinful nature of man - Theo Soko (Zimbabwe)
Session 3: The specific nature of salvation - Kobus van der Walt (South Africa)
Session 4: The successful nature of Christ’s work - Laban Mwashekele (Namibia)
Session 5: The supernatural nature of God’s Grace - Jeff Gage (South Africa)
Session 6: The steadfast nature of the Christian’s enablement – Victor Kanyense (Zambia)
Pastor Laban  Mwashekele from Windhoek , Namibia, preaching at one of the sessions

The association is directed by a steering committee , whose members serve for a term of two years. The steering committee meets three times a year . Christo Beetge was re-elected as chairman for the current year, with Hein Strauss continuing as our secretary. 

A typical session
The other steering committee members at present are Bheki Macwele (Swaziland), Kobus van der Walt (S.A) , Roland Eskinazi (S.A) , Peter Sammons (S.A), Grave Singogo (Zambia),  Conrad Mbewe (Zambia)  and  Joachim Rieck (Namibia).

Our next SOLA 5 conference  (2011)  will be held in Livingstone (Zambia ) in close proximity to the great Victoria Waterfalls! This location  should prove to be a great attraction for many. We urge you to make plans now to be there. 
Future conferences  are planned  for Swaziland (2012)  and  Namibia (2013).

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