Stand with North Africa as “partakers of God’s calling”

stock photo from Unsplash

North Africa (MNN) — In 1 Corinthians 12, God’s design for His Church is a multifaceted, beautiful masterpiece that calls for love and intentional one-another care. The Church has many members with different strengths, roles, and needs, so “that its parts should have equal concern for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:25 ESV).

The Body of Christ as such plays out within single church congregations — and on regional and international scales.

Yernathen* is a North African leader who serves with A3. He tells us, “The (North African) region has been looking for models, especially Christians — they have never had an example or a model of how they built the church.”

Two years ago, A3 was invited to serve a deep need for mentorship and training among leaders in the Middle East and North Africa.

(Photo courtesy of StockSnap on Pixabay.)

Mentorship can shape a person’s entire ministry. Yernathen shares the story of one young pastor who chose to stay when war broke out in his country. When asked why he didn’t flee, the pastor said, ”I had a mentor in my life who said, ‘Keep God’s perspective in front of your eyes. Don’t lose sight of God’s plan in your life and in your country.’Each time I remember that man, I cannot betray him.” (Representative photo courtesy of StockSnap on Pixabay.)

The invitation came with good reason. God has done amazing things through A3’s leadership development ministry in Asia for decades. (Learn more about A3’s intentional learning cohort model here.)

Yernathen says there are sensitive areas in North African cultures where the church could come into conflict with the government or with the established Islamic societies as a whole, in ways that could hinder the expansion of the Church. It requires wisdom and care and trust to be established between churches.

“Over the past, we’ve had several mission organizations coming up with different ideas. “Some of it was good, but some of it, unfortunately, was not appropriate for the culture,” Yernathen says.

“A3 comes with the idea of ​​’we are one.’ Because they have their experience in different places in Asia, I think they have the sensitivity of fixing those problems, even before they emerge, because we address them before we have to go through them again. So the discipline of putting the principles of faith, the principles of being together, helps us to grow.”

Already leaders within Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and Egypt are being built up through the initiative — and it’s not stopping there. Yernathen says these individuals are inviting leaders in other countries such as Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire to join their groups.

“It seems like it’s expanding naturally without having to push it or without having to put it an agenda or an emphasis or one region or the other,” he says.

(Graphic courtesy of Asian Access)

He says the entire movement can be traced back to the faithful, visionary leadership of one North African man, who is now with the Lord.

“(He) challenged us [African leaders] to get together, because there is much more we could do together than just if we stayed each other by ourselves.

God is truly building up His Church in North Africa through life-giving relationships. Would you prayerfully stand behind this movement as well? Ask God to point you to an African nation or people group that you will pray for and strategically invest in. One way to do that is through A3.

“It’s God’s Kingdom, to which God has brought us together as one body of Christ to fulfill His command in all nations that He’s sent us to,” Yernathen says.

“So I’m not looking at churches in the West as a separated from this journey, but as participants of God’s calling in their lives to enhance our ministry, and to give us the ability to serve effectively.”


Header is a representative stock photo courtesy of Artem Beliaikin/Unsplash.