Dr. Rebecca Goropevsek participated in the recent Global Children’s Forum event held from November 7-12 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of this year’s GCF was “Families on Mission”, which emphasizes the centrality of the family for evangelism and discipleship in local communities.
The Global Children Forum is a forum that gives a platform to more than 100 children focused organizations for a better collaboration with a vision to see Children Everywhere Walking With Jesus. The event in Ethiopia had a major focus on Africa. Among the 125 participants from 27 countries, two-thirds came from 16 African countries representing children’s a range of organizations and networks.
Dr. Rebecca who serves as the Coordinator of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Children’s Network, co-led a four-day workshop together with Ms. Pearl Ganta from India, the Lausanne Movement’s Catalyst for Children and Families. Together they led group a workgroup ‘Children on Mission’ where the explored real-life examples and stories how families can be better equipped to focus on sharing their faith.
The event also provided opportunities for Dr. Rebecca to strengthen and extend her network of relationships through many conversations and gaining deeper insights into the situation of the Church on the African continent.
“I am thankful to God that I could participate in this year’s GCF in Ethiopia. It highlighted families as the most basic building block of the Church. They are an ideal model for mission and outreach: the whole family centered around Jesus Christ with a heart of serving God and sharing the gospel,” Dr. Rebecca said. “African leaders are very spiritual and focus a lot on prayer and worship. They are creative and proactive with a passion for Christ and a longing to see the gospel being passed down to the next generation.”
Among the highlights for her was the meeting with Dr. Master Matlhaope, the General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA), who himself has a great desire to see more effective ministry to children and expressed his interest in closer collaboration, and Faith Mutua who serves as coordinator of Focus on Children at the AEA.
Emphasizing that Africa is the youngest continent, Dr. Master shared about AEA’s development of a mapping tool that will be used to create an overview of organizations focusing on children that are already active across African countries. This would then allow them to more easily identify the gaps and consider strategies to fill them.