On April 6-10, 2016, nineteen (19) United Methodist young leaders from various annual conferences in Africa gathered for the 5th Africa Young Leaders Summit at Hotel Luntu in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
We spent times in prayer and Bible Study. We participated in several training sessions and discussions that revolved around the Summit’s theme: "Africa Young Leaders as Agents of Peace and Change." Bishop David Yemba from the Congo Central Episcopal Area delivered Keynote Address. Rev. Dr. Mike Ratliff led a conversation on sexuality and also led the Visioning Process. Mighty Rasing led sessions on Young People Today, Leaders and Leadership, and Program Planning and Implementation. Pierre Omadjela, who is United Methodist Communications’ Special Projects Manager, led a workshop on Communication: The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet, and Collins Etchi Ako led a session on Conflict, Peace, and Sustainable Development: Young People’s Participation.
All the speakers highlighted the important role of young people in working for peace, addressing conflicts, and building a better world.
As delegates, we received tools, tips, and knowledge that will enable us to hone our ministries in our own contexts. It was also enriching to connect with other young leaders from different annual conferences and countries in Africa. By sharing our experiences with each other, we forged bonds of friendship and being part of the family of God. By listening to each other, we discovered that our experiences, challenges, and problems have a lot of similarities.
At the end of the summit, we were motivated to go back to our home countries with renewed passion for our faith, ready to accept the challenges.