Posted by: jacobgillard | April 26, 2010

Africa Volunteer Coordinator Summit

Africa Volunteer Coordinator (VC) Summit Attendees, April 2010 in Nairobi: Top row: Rev. Jacob Gillard, Mission Facilitator for Uganda & Sudan; Rev. Claude Houge, East Africa Area Facilitator. Front row: Cindy Rodewald, Southern Africa VC (living in Pretoria, South Africa); Catherine Wangari, East Africa VC; Rhoda Houge, Mission Support Coordinator for Africa; Ivan Rasch, West Africa Anglophone VC (living in Jos, Nigeria); Beth Heiney, West Africa Francophone VC (living in Siguri, Guinea).

For better or for worse, most of us do things that aren’t in our job descriptions.  Missionaries are no exception.  For example, up to 25% of my time in a given year is focused on preparing and guiding short-term individuals and teams.  So even though I’m not an official “Volunteer Coordinator”, or VC, they included me in the summit.

We converged upon Nairobi from all over Africa.  Two co-workers from St. Louis were prevented from attending by Iceland’s ash cloud but they conferred with us via Skype on several occasions.  The concept of hosting short-term individuals and teams–as well as GEO missionaries–is new for some fields so we spent some time coming to a common understanding.

We also discussed Congregation Connect–a program that links LCMS congregations with LCMS partner churches.  The desired outcome is a partnership whereby the congregation sends a series of  short-term teams over a period of 5+ years to help in ways which bolster the national church strategy.

Our take-home assignments are to write “Field Guides” and “Country Profiles” so that interested parties have the appropriate information as they consider serving in Africa.

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