August 6-12, 2017. Also, the second in a series of ICI’s Christian Witness in the Public Arena Seminar was held on August 6-12, 2017 at the Hephzibah Christian Centre, Peduase, Ghana. Forty-eight people, including speakers and Board Members, from thirteen different nations, participated. Countries represented were Benin République, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Guinea. Speakers and facilitators were from South Africa, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and USA.
Under the theme, Missions for a Bright Africa: To be or not to be, speakers led participants to reflect on various topics-Integration of Faith and Life: Recovery of lost grounds and path to recovery, Christian ethics and integrity in the public arena, both by Patrick Kuwana from South Africa, African Christian identity and societal change by Ganoune Diop, Beyond anger and bitterness to transformational engagement by Rev. Dr. Blakey Randall, if politics is dirty why get involved by Prof. Remi Sonaiya, Christian witness and the common good by Bishop David Zac Niringiye and Integrity in business by Patrick Oduro. Other facilitators led interactive seminars.
The ICI workshops and seminars met their objectives of motivating participants to reflect on ways to embark on ‘Mission for a Bright Africa.’ The speakers indicated that the road to recovery involves spiritual, moral and transformation, understanding the times, boldly challenging the status quo, disrupting the current tide of ‘religion without societal influence and power’, moving from talking about the Kingdom of God to demonstrating action plans to influence all sectors of society with it, putting in place intentional transformational ‘truth’. Part of this truth involves understanding and putting into practice the laws of the kingdom-Law of use, reciprocity, perseverance, miracles, greatness and unity; leadership for maximum impact-seeing leadership from God’s perspective; living an integrated life-for the common good; African Christian identity and societal change; seeing politics as credible and honourable field of engagement for Christians and understanding strategies that would help Christians be effective in the political arena and practising business with integrity.
The seminar ended on Friday 11th of August 2017 having made great impact on the lives of all participants. Delegates however left bearing in mind the emphasis that the end of the weeklong seminar is only the beginning of the action plans, to which they have made commitments. ICI had engaged the services of language interpreters who did an exceptional job of interpreting the talks and conversations into French and English as needed.
Some Feedback/Testimonies from Participants at August 2017 Seminar
- “It has provided me with more to share with people, especially since I have opportunities to speak at different fora.”- Prof. Remi Sonaiya (Nigeria)
- “It will help me to maintain integrity as accountability group will be formed after this programme” Blessing Umeokechukwu (Nigeria)
- “As from this time on, I bear the duty of sharing and impacting my generation and country in a positive way out of what I have learnt at ICI Seminar” Jadi Issoufou (Niger Republic)
- “The common interest of all the participants is to see Africa come out of all these difficulties and so I am returning to my country convinced to be an agent of Change in my society. I am going to denounce and refuse all the injustices around me.” Abokan Konan (Cote D’Ivoire)
- “To be an agent of transformation/change in my Society” Aristide Takore (Cote D’Ivoire)
- “I am challenged to start writing the book I have postponed for so long and to start implementing the mentoring Institute God had burdened me to initiate” and what has been most helpful for him is the deep scholarship in reading the Bible and readiness to obey by the Plenary Speakers. Prof Funso Sonaiya (Nigeria)