CMS-Africa celebrates 10th anniversary with opening of new Nairobi hub for mission across Africa
CMS-Africa, Church Mission Society’s sister organisation, this week celebrated its 10th anniversary with the opening of a new international headquarters in central Nairobi. ‘CMS Africa House’ was officially opened by the Most Rev Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop of Tanzania (Retired), and the Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of Rwanda (Retired), at a ceremony attended by 200 guests and key church leaders from across Africa, including Dennis Tongoi, CMS-Africa’s outgoing international director, and Canon Moses Bushendich, CMS-Africa’s newly appointed international director.
The new building, which comprises office space, conference facilities and parking, will form a central hub for mission in Africa as CMS-Africa seeks to fulfil its vision to impact 50 million families across the continent by 2050, through its transformational programme of training, focusing on women's empowerment, families, young people, and business owners and leaders. Canon Moses described the new building “as a miracle of faith, belief and trust in God”. Speaking before the opening ceremony, he said: “The new building will provide a base for CMS-Africa, a place where Africans can pray for mission and the means to make CMS-Africa sustainable.”
Rev Steve Maina, executive leader of New Zealand CMS (himself a Kenyan) gave the keynote address at the celebration, emphasising that mission is about people, that it's the people working within this iconic building who will continue firing one another up to transform Africa as well as take the gospel to other parts of the world. Maina said, "We are living in a time where we must embrace missions by everyone from everywhere to everywhere."
The 13-storey building, which took three years to construct, is based in Nairobi’s Kilimani district and is an integral element of CMS-Africa’s strategic vision to bring holistic transformation to Africa. Since its inception in 2008, CMS-Africa has expanded to include a growing team of missionaries and country coordinators in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. It has developed bespoke training courses, such as Business as Mission, Financial Freedom for Families and its 3D youth development training programme, that have been delivered to over 20,000 people across the region.
Through its whole-life discipleship training programmes families learn how to handle money, women are empowered and business owners are shown how to run ethical businesses, and other important life skills. Dr Dennis Tongoi summed up the vision: "We believe in church on Monday."
Dr Tongoi, who is retiring after 10 years at the helm of CMS-Africa, concluded, "As I come to the end of my tenure as director of CMS-Africa, the overriding emotion I feel is joy at seeing people that God has raised up and I have had the privilege to work alongside, impacting countless lives as God works through this ministry.”
Canon Philip Mounstephen, executive leader of Church Mission Society, commented: “This moment is a significant step towards the fulfilment of CMS’s vision for mission in Africa. Over 10 years CMS-Africa has grown and matured, and is now at the vanguard of mission, not only for Africa, but elsewhere in the world. Through Canon Moses and his team, I believe CMS-Africa can be a catalyst to renew mindsets and transform communities for millions of Africans.”