Global Advance Project – A Modern-day Apostolic Journey – Part 1
Names of the individuals are sown into the fabric of the apostle Paul’s letters. He personally knew the leaders, stayed at their homes and ate meals with them. He could connect people and give personal endorsements because he had spent weeks, months, sometimes years together with them. Paul knew these men and women intimately.
Athanase Chiruza began his journey to Saskatchewan as a refugee from Congo. While seeking safety for his family in Africa, he planted churches within Africa diaspora communities wherever he found himself. He soon became a pastor to pastors, supporting leaders in these church plants, many of whom he ordained. Some of these pastors are now scattered throughout the world, pastoring diaspora churches in places such as Australia, Europe, and the United States. Others still live in Africa. But regardless of location, his personal connection to these leaders after years of mentoring remains strong. They see him as an apostolic leader, and he knows them at a uniquely personal level, in particular, through the common struggles and hardships of being displaced peoples.
Athanase met both Revis and Safari while all three men were refugees in Africa. When he first met Athanase, Revis was a refugee from Burundi pastoring a diaspora church in South Africa. Eventually, Revis was invited to live in the United States and now makes his home in Georgia. Safari, originally from Congo, met Athanase in Zambia and was later ordained by him. When Athanase learned that Safari would also be moving to Georgia, he connected the two pastors who quickly became friends.
Revis and Safari invited Athanase to preach and encourage their congregations. Upon arriving in Atlanta, June 24th, Athanase spoke at a conference there about church unity, using John 17: 20-25, Jesus’s prayer for the church, as his text. Sunday, June 26, he preached at Safari’s church from Hebrew 12, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith. All these services were held in the heart language of the congregations attending.
Traveling with Safari and Revis to Alabama, and after visiting churches along the way, Athanase then spoke at the Evangelical Conference and Dedication Ceremony of Revis’s new church building. The conference in Alabama ran over the July long weekend. Next, he is off to Kentucky to preach at another conference (part 2).
Athanase’s heart is for unity within God’s church, being one in spirit. he believes this happens as we spend time together and get to lnow each other. In November, it is his hope that Canadians from SKMB churches will go with him to Africa to meet fellow believers so that true, shared Christian fellowship and communion can take root and grow. If you are interested in joining this team or are looking for more information, please contact Phil Gunther.
If you would like to partner with Athanase as he supports leaders in diaspora churches around the globe, donations can be made through Multiply.