The Pan African Christian Women Alliance (PACWA) held a 5-day leadership conference at the Cooperative College Retreat and Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya, 7-14 July 2008.
As a commission of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), the conference was attended by some thirty-five women from about fifteen countries in Africa, including PACWA national coordinators from Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Liberia, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mauritius. The purpose of the event was to celebrate together, reflect on past victories and challenges, and strategize collectively toward creating a look for PACWA for the next ten years. The program was designed to provide training opportunities and time for strategic planning and discussions.
During the opening ceremony, Rev. Dr. Judy Mbugua, the continental coordinator of PACWA (and a member of the Lausanne Administrative Committee), explained the theme of the meeting—“10 times better”—which was taken from Daniel 1:20b. She challenged the women to pay attention to three key areas: taking care of their health; learning and studying to stay relevant with the times; and making a serious commitment to prayer.
Dr. Tokunboh Adeyemo, executive director of the Center for Biblical Transformation, led devotions with a series on grace. He spoke about “grace in service” and “grace in security and storm.” Other sessions included: self-understanding; servant leadership training; proposal writing; fundraising; and sustainability.
Rev. Esme Bowers, the Southern African coordinator and co-chair of PACWA, facilitated group discussions. Participants spent time in small groups, processing questions raised during plenary sessions. In various breakaway groups delegates also brainstormed strategies and ways to increase ownership, thereby assisting PACWA to move forward.
Several projects and activities of PACWA were highlighted as testimonies. Examples include: a one million dollar project for AIDS and orphans in Zambia led by Leah Mutala and literacy programs and church planting among the Masai people group in Kenya.
PACWA currently operates in thirty-two countries in Africa; six regional coordinators oversee the national initiatives. The mission of the PACWA network is to mobilize and empower women through prayer, evangelism, discipleship, and capacity-building to be all that God made them to be in the home, church, and society.