Pray for the people of sub-Saharan Africa
Of the 2,575 groups of people in sub-Saharan Africa, 752 are unaffected by anyone. Southern Baptists are engaged with 81. Great Commission Christians reach 1,742 groups. The people of sub-Saharan Africa have a growing Christian population, but there are still nearly 1,600 unreached groups of people in sprawling cities, arid deserts, rainforests and tropical islands.
An estimated 38% of the world’s Christians will be in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050, said Jamie Schilt, an Oklahoma Baptist living and serving in Malawi.
Southern Baptists in sub-Saharan Africa took a three-pronged approach to meeting anticipated needs: forming healthy churches, developing leadership, and handing over work to national partners.
Of the 111 churches started in 2019, vacation Bible schools and neighborhood outreach were used to plant two new churches. Partnerships between national leaders and American pastors resulted in the formation of three more new churches. Additionally, an elderly couple planted another church – with mud block walls and a grass roof – in a nearby village.
Responding to requests from local church leaders, four churches have teamed up to train church leaders and members. The International Mission Board (IMB) and Brazilian Baptists train and equip African pastors to be effective leaders with strong theology.
In 2009, IMB workers began training six men for missionary work in a sub-Saharan country. Over the years, men have taken ownership and set out on the task of reaching their people with the gospel. DGI staff now continue to maintain relationships with managers but no longer run the ministry. Through the obedience of the six men to the Great Commission, they formed two separate teams to evangelize in several places.
Eleven groups of indigenous peoples reported self-sustaining in missionary work in 2019. Sixteen groups of people engage other groups of people in their countries, and two groups of people engage groups of people outside of their countries.
Due to generous donations from Oklahoma Baptists through the Co-op Program, an incredible array of ministries are supported, including church planting in Oklahoma and across the country. This unified gift encourages fellowship with other believers around the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists advance the gospel together.
Sub-Saharan peoples were featured in the 2021 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. To see more information on working in sub-Saharan Africa, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp
Photo credit: IMB.org