Seeking to address the challenges that face both Black youth and young adults in the U.S. and in South Africa, Allen Temple Baptist Church Global Ministries of Oakland will host an International Missions Conference.
The conference, called “From Clarity Justice: the Changing Paradigm of Mission,” will take place Saturday, Feb. 7 staring at 9 a.m.at Allen Temple, located at 8501 International Blvd. in Oakland.
The conference is designed to encourage cultural exchange, service learning and collaboration on developing programs, and ministries in other countries where the church currently engages in mission outreach.
The Global Ministry of the church has provided outreach to children in South Africa for the past seven years, particularly to children in a nursery in Soweto, South Africa, where some of the children are infected with HIV/AIDS.
The nursery is run by the WW Brown Memorial Baptist Church. The Global Ministry purchases cribs, beds and supplies. In 2011, the Global Ministry was able to take several young people from East Oakland to South Africa.
The youth participated in workshops where they discussed challenges that American and South African youth mutually face and started conversations about solutions.
In 2014, the young people of South Africa took part in a competition to develop community service projects to meet challenges in their communities. The grand prize was a trip to the United States.
Nombuso Phiri, a young woman who attends WW Brown Memorial Baptist Church, was chair of the Youth Ministry of the church and won the contest with her community design called “The Skill Transfer Project.”
Phiri says her church is located in the middle of Slum Village in a township called Kliptown.
Attending church with residents, she says, “I see their dreams of getting out of poverty through education shattered because it’s the very thing they can’t afford.”
She says it was her education at a university and the opportunity to work for a large corporation that gave her skills and experiences, which she hopes she and others like her can pass on.
Her project will identify students in the 12th grade who come from low-income homes and help them with prerequisites for college or university entrance. Students would serve as mentors and offer access to skills, which young people would otherwise have pay to for in school.
Phiri’s trip to the U.S. gives her a chance to further develop her winning design. With resources provided by Allen Temple, the project is already being implemented in South Africa.
On her visit here, she will have the opportunity to learn about the community, church ministries and city projects in Oakland that may help her.
At the conference, Phiri will be part of a panel, along with some of the youth from Global Ministries in East Oakland, many of whom have traveled to South Africa.
The guest speaker will be Dr. David Goatley, executive secretary and treasurer of Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission, an international Christian agency that helps churches extend their ministries to help improve the quality of life in marginalized communities around the world.
He will facilitate a conversation on the projects via Skype between youth here in Oakland and in South Africa.
Registration is $10 and free to students. There will be music and a luncheon. For information or to register, contact Theohous Reagans at [email protected] or go to Eventbrite.com.