Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

9th SOLA 5 CONFERENCE - WINDHOEK 5th - 8th September 2013

      
Part of the great congregation
The annual SOLA 5  conference is now over, but fond  memories  remain. Eastside Baptist Church has been privileged  to  host this  Association of God centred Evangelicals in Southern Africa for  the  second time  since its inception in 2005. Since the conference invites member  churches from across the SADEC region (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia)  the challenge  to  organize  such an event is formidable – particularly  in terms of communication.  The Zimbabwean  delegations made up of 7  led by Joseph Soko  was  eventually unable to come.  We really missed those dear brothers and sisters. Despite a number of last minute cancellations   we had a full house.
Some of the Zambian delegates 
It needs to be said again and again  that this  fellowship of churches is  unique!  Where else  do you find such  co-operation  among churches  coming   across  from  a number  of nations and borders? This takes commitment!
Our organising team  led by Doug Reissner,  Liz Walters,  Niels and  Bente Bernstein together with  dedicated help from many  church members  ensured that  eventually every  visitor was housed, fed and fetched  for the  meetings. Most people were housed by members of our churches. Some were placed in guesthouses,  the accommodation which was paid for by  members  of the Windhoek churches.    The meetings  started on  Thursday evening  and  ended  on Sunday  with  lunch after the morning worship.
The SOLA 5  steering committee led by Peter Sammons from Germiston Baptist Church  chose as  our theme this year  the subject  of  “Gospel Tolerance”. Six  speakers, Jeff Gage (Free Grace Baptist Church – Boksburg) , Tim Cantrell (Antioch Bible Church- Johannesburg)  Isaac Makashinyi (Emmasdale Baptist Church,Lusaka),Erroll Wagner (George Baptist Church, Western Cape), Chris Wooley (Midrand Chapel, Gauteng)  and Joachim Rieck  (Eastside Baptist Church, Namibia)   were allocated to handle  various aspects of this subject. The  substance of the addresses  given was meaty  and well received.  The  audio recordings  will  soon be  available on the SOLA 5 website.   http://www.sola5.org
Missions  reports were heard from the  various regions.  It is clear that this group of churches  is actively spreading the gospel  in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Zambia reported that the planning  of the Africa Christian University  (in Lusaka) is progressing well.   (See the ACU  website  at  http://www.acu-zambia.com).  Ray Warwick, dean of the new University  spoke passionately  about the  aims of this unique  University.
A new  initiative  is underway in Malawi  as Newton  Chilingulo  (sending church -  Living Hope Church, Pretoria, S.A.) aims to return to  Malawi  to engage  in church planting in Lilongwe.
South Africa, Namibia  and Swaziland  all  reported  pleasing progress  in  church planting, and in  pastoral training  efforts.
Two  churches joined  the SOLA 5 on this occasion: Heritage  Baptist Church  (Johannesburg) and  Elim Baptist Church  (Limpopo Province, S.A.).
Pastor Laban Mwashekele presents the Namibian Missions Report

There are a number of churches seeking affiliation  with SOLA 5 at this  time, and  for this we are very pleased. It should be stressed once again that SOLA 5   does not aim to be a denomination. There is no distinctive head office  and no  distinctive leader.  The steering committee  annually  rotates  among the member churches.  This year Jeff  Gage  from Free Grace Baptist Church (Boksburg, S.A)  will be our chairman. Hein Strauss  our  extremely efficient and able  administrator  for the last  9 years  asked to be released from his duries at this time.  The  annual business  meeting  gave him a   well- deserved standing ovation. The business meeting  then appointed Kobus van der Walt  and  Jeff Gage  to take over  Hein Strauss’  work.
SOLA 5  is an association and a fellowship of like minded  churches, existing for the purpose of  sharing  resources   for the  sake  of the progress of the gospel. This association only  works if  churches are committed  to  real relationships  with one another. The greatest benefit that we have from this association is one another!   If  you read this  and would like to learn more about  the  core values  and  constitution  of SOLA 5 then  please visit our website  at http://www.sola5.org/

THIS YEAR'S  SPEAKERS 
Jeff Gage 
Erroll Wagner 

Chris Woolley

Isaac Makashinyi
 Tim Cantrell

Joachim Rieck 









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