We have postponed this trip until October 2021.
The Covid19 pandemic has drastically altered the normality of our lives. The West Africa Leadership travel committee has not let this pandemic stop us this far; it only serves to increase better possibilities for 2021. We have agreed to hold our travel until October 2021 for Mennonite Mission Network’s West Africa Leadership Tour.
Our principal goal is to worship together to inspire transformative experiences in the global body of Christ by bringing together African-American leaders in the United States with our brothers and sisters in West Africa.
This visit to West Africa was inspired by a conversation between Ann Jacobs, Mission Network Church Relations representative, and Pastor Thomas Oduro during a 2016 West Africa visit. Pastor Oduro, president of Good News Theological College and Seminary in Ghana, and a lifelong friend of Mission Network, asked an important question: "Why aren't there more African-American brothers and sisters participating in this visit, and where are the Black Mennonite churches and leaders?" Together, they have imagined a trip to reunite and connect with brothers and sisters across the globe.
This invitation is for Mennonite Church USA leaders across the United States, especially for African-American leaders. Mission Network has approved $20,000 to provide support for participants, as needed up to $3,000 per person/per congregation, trusting that this arrangement will increase interest and encourage leaders across the church to imagine joining this rare opportunity. To reserve space, apply online as soon as possible to secure your place. Mission Network is imagining a mentor/mentee connection between college students and first- and second-generation African-American leaders to journey together in this historical leadership tour to pursue reconciliation, to strengthen their connections, and to cultivate relationships across the global church. This visit is sure to offer healing and wholeness to both African and African-American brothers and sisters in Christ. The leadership tour will include a visit to a historical site where slaves were held and then transported. The group will have opportunity to share questions and stories, and to lament and seek healing.
We are seeking additional partners to join Mission Network in an effort to fund this leadership tour. We hope to share the financial cost across several groups as we respond to Pastor Oduro's prophetic insight into our own churches' racial inequality. We look forward to journeying together with you in this life-giving opportunity!
- Develop a missional consciousness that considers the global church in West Africa and its mission activities.
Explore and experience the context of the global church with opportunity to build relationships that reflect the body of Christ.
Expand a model for the 21st-century church that encourages and mobilizes the church to be in mission beyond itself.
Network people and resources across congregations and internationally.
African-American college students, pastors, and church leaders are invited to join this West Africa Leadership Tour. We are expecting 10–15 leaders to gather together to imagine future partnership and learning opportunities. Young adults, college students, and pastors may explore their interest in participating in Good News Theological College and Seminary.
The following are recommendations to secure your place. The total cost of the trip is $4,000 per person.
- Seek support from your local congregation, family and friends.
- Mission Network has approved $20,000 to provide support for participants, as needed up to $3,000 per person/per congregation, while funds are available — first come, first served.
- Participants will pay for passport, visa, and medical expenses related to the tour. Travel to the airport that the group will depart from is also the expense of the participants. Make sure your passports are up-to-date or purchase them soon. Visas will need to be purchased closer to the travel date. All travelers/participants will be invited to an informational meeting to orient participants to the tour.
- Questions about the trip should be directed to Ann Jacobs.
Download a printable application if you would rather mail it in.