by Ellen Foell, International Program Specialist
I recently returned from a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, site of the 2019 Africa Cares for Life conference on "Bold Thinking, Courageous Steps." Africa Cares for Life currently has 73 member life affirming organizations stretching from Capetown at the southern tip to Pretoria in the north. With over 70 participants present at the conference, I had the incredible blessing to see how God is moving in a different country with a different historical context.
The conference had a mix of black and white South Africans. There were five nations represented. I heard English, Afrikaans, and a variety of other ethnic languages being spoken (South Africa has 34 languages with 11 official languages). But everyone at the conference was there to reach out with the Gospel of Life, to renew their communities and to rescue women, families and babies.
I had the privilege to present a keynote on Conscious Cultural Competence and three workshops on spiritual refreshment as well as mission focus.
Africa Cares for Life came into being through the faithful work of Gail Schreiner, 20 years ago. ACFL and Heartbeat have been in a formal joint affiliation partnership since 2008, a partnership which benefits and expands the reach of both organizations. Daniele Gradwell has attended several Heartbeat International annual conferences and has reciprocated with invitations to Heartbeat staff to participate at the ACFL conference.
In 2018, Africa Cares for Life significantly increased its reach and impact. In 2018 alone, they were able to provide 4,110 consulting hours, equip 600 volunteers, and provide for more than 85,000 women and men who received pregnancy help and support.
This is just a glimpse of what we can do together! Thank you for continuing to share the Gospel of Life where you are and remember that around the world, people just like you are doing this work as well. And praise God for that!