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This article was originally published in Missionalia, the journal of the Southern African Missiological Society. If you would like to see some other articles from Missionalia, have a look at the list of Missionalia articles on the Web


Matthews A. Ojo1

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Indigenous missionary organisations resulting from the Charismatic Renewal in West Africa have proliferated since the 1970s. Through their dramatic growth and missionary vigour they contribute to shifting Christianity's centre of gravity to the non-Western world. Members of these transcultural and transnational movements are mainly the educate elite, and they are strong on college and university campuses. The article discusses the important charismatic missionary organisations in West Africa one by one, pointing out how they succeeded in crossing national frontiers to become international movements. A closing section identifies the key characteristics of these missions and gives a brief evaluation.


The International Consultation on Missions held in Jos, Nigeria in August 1985 on the theme, "Mobilising indigenous missions for the harvest," was the first ever West African regional missions conference. Sponsored by the Nigeria Evangelical Mission Association (NEMA), the consultation drew participants from Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Guatemala, England, and USA. The conference reviewed the progress made by indig enous missionary initiatives, sought ways to stimulate and co-ordinate emerging indigenous missionary efforts, and lastly explored the means and patterns of co-operation between Western and Third World missions agencies (Gbade 1988:1-4). The consultation represented a new dimension and milestone in missions in Africa because never before had such a consultation been held in independent Africa. The task which the consultation sought to quicken, however, had actually begun about a decade before then.

Over the past two decades there has been tremendous progress in indigenous missionary enterprises all over West Africa. These African initiatives have largely been nurtured and sustained by the Charismatic movements, which are a new religious phenomenon in African Christianity. Charismatic missions had grown concomitantly with the rapid spread of the Charismatic Renewal. For example, five Charismatic organisations were charter members of the initial nine members of NEMA when it was inaugurated in 1982, and they were the only national missions association in West Africa during this period. It was only ten years later before the growth in Charismatic missions in West Africa had become very noticeable. Presently, indigenous Charismatic missionary activities are still vigorously pursued, and Charismatics are taking the lead in Christian missions in many countries.

Indigenous missions in West Africa are very important because this is the same region that witnessed much of the activity of Western missionary societies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition, the vigorousness of indigenous missions is contributing to shifting the focus of the centre of Christianity from the Western to the non-Western world. All over Africa, new institutional structures are emerging to indicate that Africa is becoming a significant factor in world evangelisation. Unlike the history of Western missions, that are well documented in academic and promotional mission literature, nothing substantial has been written about these indig enous initiatives in missions. Factors responsible for this discrepancy include the fact that, firstly, indigenous missions are still very recent. Secondly, there is no pool of experienced former missionaries to narrate their experiences of the mission fields. Thirdly, there is not yet a regional mission journal, and, lastly, scholars of missions are still very few. Notwithstanding, it is still worth telling the Christian world that amid the political instability and deteriorating economic situation of many West African countries, indigenous initiatives in Christian mission are progressing rapidly.

This paper therefore documents, analyses and evaluates the growth of indigenous missionary efforts in West Africa. Among other things, the paper highlights the beginnings of Charismatic missions, their patterns of indigenous missionary activities, their characteristics, and their motivation for missions.


Early attempts to introduce Christianity in West Africa date back to the fifteenth century when Portuguese exploration and commercial voyages

brought Roman Catholic missionaries to the West African coast. The Portuguese made various attempts to convert the rulers of their trading partners in Benin, Warri, Sao Tome and Elmina ) the purpose being thereby to establish permanent trade links. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, little trace of these attempts survived, except the ruins of churches, crucifixes in some African palaces, and archival records in Lisbon and Rome.

Sustained evangelisation of West Africa, sponsored by missionary enterprises from Europe and North America, began in earnest in the early nineteenth century. The Evangelical awakening in Europe, the abolition of the slave trade, the search for legitimate trade to replace slave trade, missionary commitment, the settlement of freed slaves in Liberia and Freetown, and the subsequent founding of European colonies on the West Africa coast, all worked together to plant the gospel firmly in West Africa. The colony of Sierra Leone, first established in 1791 as a haven for freed slaves, eventually became a base for the Church Missionary Society and the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society missions to the West African coast.

Colonisation brought new impetus to Christian missions. By the late nineteenth century, Christianity was firmly established with its own indigenous leadership, most of whom had been trained in mission schools or were interpreters for foreign missionaries. The work was greatly sustained by the involvement of Africans themselves. The early twentieth century brought in the interdenominational faith missions, and their work eventually resulted in the establishment of new denominations. Roman Catholicism spread more in the French-speaking colonies of the nineteenth century because the French colonial administration preferred another denomination to counter the growing influence of the British and their Protestant missions.

Christianity is a literary religion, and the power of literacy produced many Bibles in African languages. The British and Foreign Bible Society, founded in London in 1804, helped greatly in the translation and publication of the Bible or portions of it in many African languages. By the early twentieth century, many other translations were available through the BFBS (Beetham 1967:54). The cumulative effect of this literacy development was to stimulate indigenous assimilation.

Indigenous African Churches date from the late nineteenth century when agitation for more scope for African leadership in the churches and the quest to make the church more indigenous resulted in secessions from the mission churches. In Nigeria, they were called the African churches, elsewhere they were called Ethiopian churches. The first of these African churches was the Native Baptist Church founded in March 1888 after a secession from the Lagos Baptist Church. The African churches had the goal of promoting indigenous leadership in the church, evangelising Africa by African means, and making Christianity culturally more relevant to Africans.

In the second decade the African Independent Churches emerged and they were known as the Aladura churches in Nigeria, Spiritual churches in Ghana, and Harrist churches in Côte d'Ivoire. The rise of the Aladura churches brought tremendous growth as the emphasis in these churches on healing and prophecy took the Christian faith back to its grassroots for its African adherents. These churches also made the greatest number of converts and founded many independent churches within the shortest time in the history of Christianity in this region. From south-western Nigeria, the movement soon spread by means of missionary efforts to other West African countries. The missionary efforts of the Aladura churches in West Africa constituted the first of the indigenous missions, and H.W. Turner (1967) has documented these achievements.3 The foreign Pentecostal churches were introduced into the region in the 1940s. Although Christianity has grown exponentially since the nineteenth century, the advent of the Charismatic movements represents a new dimension in the history of African Christianity.


The most significant development in African Christianity in independent Africa is the emergence of the Charismatic movements. Since the 1970s, there had been a dramatic rise in the activities of Pentecostal and Charismatic move ments, most of which go by name of ministries or fellowships or evangelistic associations. This new trend is promoted by literature, crusades, fire or Holy Ghost or Power conferences, etc. The members are mostly the young edu cated elite and those people fluent in English, or in French or Portuguese in the non-English speaking countries. This new religious phenomenon con stitutes a milestone in African Christianity since the movements are trans- cultural and international in scope.

The Charismatic movements first emerged in Africa in the 1970s, and the Nigerian movements are presently the most active, the largest and the fastest growing. In East Africa, the Fellowship of Christian Unions (FOCUS), which linked a number of national Christian Unions, facilitated the spread of the Charismatic renewal across borders. Kenyans were to play major roles in disseminating the renewal in this region. A training course with an em phasis on evangelism and Bible study, held in Kenya in June 1974 and attended by many students from other countries, created the right setting for the emergence of this new religious expression. By the late 1970s, the renewal had penetrated onto the campuses of Kenyan tertiary educational higher institutions. In Tanzania, high school students had their first Pente costal experiences. Then it spread to the tertiary educational institutions where it caused divisions in the Christian Union groups.

The Renewal began in Ghana in the late 1970s when some members of the Scripture Union came into contact with Pentecostal literature. In addition, there were contacts with and influence by members of such Pentecostal churches as Church of Pentecost, The Apostolic Church, and a number of Pentecostal prayer groups. Francophone West Africa witnessed the Charismatic renewal from the early 1980s. The beginnings of this move ment may be traced to the efforts of some Nigerian students who had done one-year language study courses in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea and so on. By the mid-1980s, the growth of the Charismatic renewal across Africa had been greatly helped by Nigerians as they interacted with other Africans in some of the regional and international activities of the Student Christian Movement, Christian Union and Scripture Union (Ojo 1996:92-96).

In Nigeria, the Charismatic movements benefited greatly in the beginning from the evangelical witness which interdenominational evangelical student organisations had already made in educational institutions from the 1950s onwards. In the early 1970s, some members of these organisations had contacts with Pentecostal literature and with Pentecostal activities outside the campuses of the higher education institutions. The Charismatic Renewal first surfaced in January 1970 among Christian students' organisations in the universities, when a few members of the Christian Union in the country's premier university, the University of Ibadan, proclaimed to their fellow students that they have been baptised in the Holy Spirit and were speaking in tongues. Amid opposition from fellow students of a conservative evan gelical persuasion, the Charismatic Renewal spread in Ibadan, and much later to other universities. By the mid-1970s, the Charismatic revival had gained strength and had diffused beyond the University campuses into the wider society (Ojo 1995:114-118)

Charismatic movements have caused a substantial Christian awakening in Africa, and have attracted and influenced millions of young people. Evangelistic and pentecostalising activities characterise the Charis matic movements in their early years. Since the movements arose within existing churches, it sought membership through its evangelistic activities primarily from the Christian fold. Later, their evangelistic activities were extended beyond existing churches when Charismatics became aware of the state of Christianity among people in other countries. After that, they determined that evangelism need not be bound by geographical and cultural boundaries. It was not long after that that the need for consistent and permanent missionary effort dawned on some Charismatics, who then either focused their existing Charismatic organisations on missions, or established new Charismatic organisations with cross-cultural missions as their goal.

The Beginnings of Charismatic Missions

The growth of indigenous Charismatic missions in West Africa has passed through three distinct phases. The first phase, from 1974 to the late 1970s, was the era when the foundation for missions was laid by evangelistic activity. The second phase witnessed the growth of mission consciousness and its sustenance with the formation of many indigenous mission agencies, and the furtherance of the efforts which had been made since 1974. 1980 marked the beginning of foreign missions by indigenous mission agencies. The third phase, beginning in about 1989, was an era of rapid advance, a period when indigenous missions assumed an international focus, and established linkages among indigenous missions agencies in West Africa. The third phase coincided with the inauguration of the "AD 2000 and Beyond Movement" in many West African countries. The publication of the national church surveys in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire further promoted the task of evangelising the unreached in these two countries. We may now explore these phases fully.

Unlike existing Protestant churches, Charismatic movements have made significant strides in indigenous African missions. It was the evangelical zeal of Charismatics that had stimulated their missionary activities among non-Christians in many parts of Africa.

The first Charismatic organisation in West Africa to adopt a mission orientation was the Calvary Ministries (CAPRO),4 which was established in early 1975 with international headquarters in Jos, Nigeria. The founders were principally graduates of the universities of Southern Nigeria, who were then undergoing their compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The principal actors and leaders were Emeka Onukaogu and Niyi Beecroft, who were graduates of the University of Ife, Ile-Ife; Gbola Durojaiye, a graduate of the University of Ibadan; Peter Ozodo, a graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Bayo Famonure, a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. All of these had been exposed to the Charismatic renewal on their campuses. They came together and organised an open-air evan gelistic programme for Muslims in the old city of Zaria on 25 December 1974. The attempt ended in a failure because Muslims in the city attacked them with stones, and drove them out of the city (Famonure 1988; see also Occupy 1995:29-30).

Despite the failure, the five were convinced that serious efforts had to be made to reach Muslims. Consequently Bayo Famonure called a meeting at Soba near Zaria on 25 April 1975 to consider establishing an organisation to evangelise Muslims in Northern Nigeria. From this meeting, which was attended by eight people, was born the Calvary Ministries, popularly called CAPRO, initially as an evangelistic association targeting Muslims. It later be came grounded as an indigenous missionary organisation advancing cross- cultural missions with a focus on Muslims in Northern Nigeria and in the neighbouring Sahelian countries (Famonure 1988). In recent years, CAPRO has decided to target other unreached groups apart from Muslims.

The initial crusade team had thinned down considerably by mid-1975 because most had left Zaria after the completion of their NYSC assignments. After completing his NYSC, Bayo Famonure was employed in August 1975 as Travelling Secretary of the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES), the national evangelical students' organisation, with the respon sibilities of organising, visiting and caring for evangelical students' groups in Northern Nigeria. It was at this time that Amos Aderonmu,5 a young man who had attended the School of Evangelism as part of T.L. Osborn crusade in Benin City, and who was planning to begin evangelistic work in Northern Nigeria, met Bayo Famonure. Amos offered to become a full-time evangelist under CAPRO, and he was accepted for the job (Occupy 1995:6, 28). Both Famonure and Aderonmu went to live in Zaria where they rented a building which eventually served both as CAPRO and NIFES offices. It was in this position as Travelling Secretary visiting the campuses of the higher education institutions that he was able to share his vision of an evangelistic or mission organisation with many Christian students.

Soon Aderonmu, working for CAPRO, launched out and organised Christian camps and outreaches in the North. Most of these outreaches were to towns, but in 1976 Aderonmu decided to find out about the Maguzawa people who were living in rural areas of Kaduna State. An evangelistic outreach to the people was found to be necessary, and eventually the Maguzawa became the first mission field of CAPRO. In 1980, the ministry moved from Zaria to a village near Kafachan, and, as a result of communi cation problems, it moved to Jos in January 1985. By this time, CAPRO had been fully established with many full time workers (Occupy 1995:11).

Throughout the 1970s a number of Charismatic organisations em barked on evangelistic activities. One that deserves attention here was the Christian Students Social Movement of Nigeria, (CSSM), an organisation that endorses social action as a means to spiritual regeneration. It was estab lished as a result of evangelical opposition to the cultural renewal of the mid- 1970s, opposition that climaxed with the World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Lagos in February 1977 (Ezemadu 1993:1-3).CSSM sought to incorporate socio-political concerns with evangelistic outreaches. This approach was based on the ideological conviction that Nigeria and the whole continent of Africa will become a better place for all to live in when the Christian faith and its ideals completely penetrate and permeate the fabric of national life in all countries. In pursuance of its objectives, CSSM has undertaken agricultural, medical and educational work in rural areas.

As part of CSSM's plans to reach out to the rural areas with its social gospel, Idere, a village in the Ibarapa division of Oyo State, was chosen for a village outreach following reports of widespread guinea worm infection. Subsequently, from 15 to 17 May 1981, a crusade and a medical mission were organised to Idere with some Christian doctors, medical and nursing students from the University College Hospital, Ibadan (Mission Focus 1982:7).

Shortly after the mission to Idere, Reuben Ezemadu, one of the leaders of CSSM, sent out a proposal for the formation of an organisation to be called Nigerian Christian Missionary Foundation, which would prepare Nigerian Christians for missionary work (Ezemadu 1981). On 12 and 13 September 1981, the inaugural meeting of CMF was held at Idere. The meeting discussed and agreed that a unique missionary organisation, to be called Christian Missionary Foundation, was to be established to carry on the work in Idere with medical, agricultural and industrial work, since it was felt that a purely evangelistic work would yield little results. It was also decided to inaugurate similar work in other areas (CMF (Nigeria) 1981: 1-4). Conse quently, CMF was established solely as the missionary arm of CSSM with the aim of "identifying areas in Nigeria and abroad where there are needs for preaching the gospel and stimulating and mobilising Christians for missionary assignments in various fields in such areas" (Constitution of the Christian Missionary Foundation (Nigeria) p.1). CMF operates mainly in villages, and in the urban slums, but its plan of using such means as medical missions, agricultural projects, etc. could not be sustained for long because of lack of workers.

Before the end of the year a graduate volunteered to work as a missionary in Idere, and so she was posted there as a teacher to the secon dary school in the village (Mission Focus, 1982: 7; also CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1982: 8-9. By September 1982, three other graduates also volunteered and went to Idere (CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1982: 3.) The speed with which this happened could partly be attributed to the publicity given to the missionary project, and to the fact that CMF was publicly launched on 15 May 1982 in the University of Ibadan at an impressive ceremony (Mission Focus 1982:14-15; CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1983: 1).

The popular support which CMF enjoyed in its first year might be attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, CMF's mission to Idere was not a conventional type of missionary work because the work was diversified. Though evangelism was kept in the background, the volunteers went as teachers, doctors, social workers, and so on. Secondly, and more importantly, the missionary work was allowed to be performed part time, and this afforded many people the opportunity to volunteer their services. No definite commit ment or any administrative screening processes were imposed on the volunteers. The urgency of the work generated such enthusiasm that it carried the work of CMF forward on a wave. Moreover, though some of the volunteers were graduates, CMF was presented as a student movement, and this aroused the interest of students. Many students took part in the mission to Idere. Thirdly, the people of Idere gave the mission every encouragement because the agricultural, medical and industrial services provided by the missionaries were done free of charge. For example, an open clinic was provided every Wednesday at the Medical Centre at no cost to those attending. Furthermore, the dedication and courage shown by the mission aries who came as teachers to the secondary school in the village, when, as graduates, better positions awaited them in cities, won the admiration of the villagers. The effectiveness of CMF's mission in Idere demonstrated clearly that the best approach to missions in recent times is to use non-professional missionaries.

Idere was the first mission field for CMF, and the lasting influence of the CMF's mission in the village was due to the success of its medical mission. The evangelistic mission to Idere was predicated on the work of the medical mission, and this has continued with an even stronger emphasis until today. The medical mission of CMF is unique: it is not composed only of medical doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedical staff, and so on, but also of Christians in other disciplines who minister to the sick. There are five main areas in which the medical mission operates, and these are: 1) the medical mission, which is the centre piece of the mission; 2) the divine healing clinics; 3) spiritual medicine, research and training; 4) spiritual medicine consulting service, and 5) ministry to the Aladura churches.6

Equally important for CMF is its foreign missions. The beginning of these can also be traced back to student initiative. Some of the students of the then University of Ife, who were studying French and who had participated in the activities of CSSM, went to the Ivory Coast and Benin Republic during the 1981/82 academic session for their language year abroad. These stu dents soon established contact with other Christians in these countries, and put their contacts in touch with CSSM. When CMF was established, these contacts were referred to the missionary organisation (Modern European Languages Christians (University of Ife) Newsletter 1982:1). One such contact was Paul Zinsou, a pastor in Cotonou. After some negotiation, he agreed to be the CMF representative in Benin Republic. He subsequently organised an evangelistic tour to Cotonou, Benin Republic, between 1 and 4 October 1982, with fifty-seven volunteers, mostly students from Nigeria (CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1982:1-3). The missionary tour was judged to be a success, and many converts were won. As a result, another missionary tour was organised to Porto Novo in October 1983. CMF has thus continued to maintain a permanent presence in Benin Republic (CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1983 : 4-6). The foreign missions of CMF grew rapidly; and, by June 1984, CMF was working in eight countries through nationals or Nigerians.7

Many more mission agencies have been formed since the early 1980s. Some of the major ones include His Grace Evangelical Movement based in Ibadan (which has sent a missionary couple to Brazil), the Soul Harvesters Ministries based in Warri with mission work in the riverine areas, and Children Evangelism Ministry, Inc., which focuses on training children's evangelists. Others are Ethnos Christian Mission, which is based in Ibadan, and Grace Evangelical Mission in Lagos. Both are working among unreached people in Nigeria (Directory of the Nigeria Evangelicals Missions Association 1993). NEMA has tried to promote sound relationships and co-operation among various mission groups, create a forum for sharing new ideas on missions to stimulate, and encourage and improve the outreach work of each member body. In 1987, NEMA established a joint missionary training institute in cross-cultural ministries. The growth of the institution has been slow because some mission agencies have established their own Schools of Missions, and these have diminished the resources available to the Nigeria Evangelical Missionary Institute (NEMI).

The missions of the Charismatic movements were determined and aided by the country's buoyant economy of the 1970s. Many Charismatics hold the conviction that Nigeria has been especially blessed by God because God wants Nigerians to use the resources of the country to evangelise Africa. Thus, for example, at the official launching ceremony of CMF in 1982, Emeka Nwankpa (1982:3), the Co-ordinating Secretary of CSSM, said, "God expressly intends that Nigeria should be the base for the gospel for West Africa and indeed the whole of Africa." CSSM's explanation of Nigeria's responsibility to evangelise Africa is as follows:

God has had occasions [sic] recently to reiterate by words of prophecy and through revelations ... that Nigeria should be the beacon of the Gospel in Africa. ... It is for this reason we are a little bit prosperous. Looking through the West African belt, Nigeria is surrounded by poverty-stricken and grossly under-developed nations. It is an act of Divine Providence that Nigeria stands out differently as the richest nation in terms of human and material resources in this belt. This is for no other purpose than to enable the CHURCH [to] champion God's ultimate will for Africa.8

In addition, the expansion of Nigeria's foreign relations, particularly the country's contribution to the liberation struggle in southern Africa in the 1970s, created in Charismatics a vision of what their possible influence in other African countries might be. Lastly, Nigeria's hosting of the Second World Black Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), with the goal of promoting traditional African culture, provoked antagonism from evangelical Christians who considered that the festival would be spreading a "spiritual darkness" over the country. Because of this belief, some Charismatics felt challenged to undertake evangelism as a way of countering the spiritual darkness in the country. It was from the mobilisation of students and youths in this era that the initial phase of Charismatic missions began.


During the second phase of indigenous Charismatic missions, many more organisations in Nigeria and Ghana became mission-conscious and sought to promote the involvement of Charismatics in missions. In Nigeria itself more activities were recorded in connection with CAPRO, CMF, His Grace Evangelical Movement, Deeper Life Christian Ministry, and many other organ isations.

Calvary Ministries was very successful in the 1980s in establishing mission fields with resident missionaries (as an alternative to organising occasional evangelistic programmes ) as had been the case in the 1970s). In addition, CAPRO moved boldly into foreign mission fields. Amos Aderonmu's foray into Gambia signalled a new era of missions for CAPRO. Starting as an adventurous quest, it met up with some missionaries of World Wide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC), a British mission society, and finally formed a partnership with WEC before receiving a challenge from WEC to be the vanguard of indigenous mission agencies in West Africa.

In 1978 Aderonmu had read about the deplorable spiritual condition of the youth in Gambia. He made a trip to Gambia to verify the report, and there he met missionaries of WEC. It was not long before a healthy working relationship was established between WEC and CAPRO. Under the auspices of CAPRO, Amos was invited to train and disciple the youths in Gambia (Occupy 1995:28). After the initial successes of Aderonmu, WEC asked if CAPRO could send Nigerian missionaries to reach the Gambians. At this point, Victoria Hassan, a thirty-one-year old nurse and midwife who had graduated from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, came into contact with Aderonmu and was recruited to go to Gambia as the first CAPRO foreign missionary. She arrived in Gambia in 1980 and worked there till 1982 (Occupy 1995:7 & 28). On her return to Nigeria, she became a leader in the Mobilisation and Awareness Team of CAPRO, and later pioneered mission work among the Gbagyi people of Kaduna and Niger State.

CAPRO's foreign work began smoothly enough because of the assistance received from WEC personnel who had been in Gambia. This experience broadened the outlook of CAPRO leaders and provided the impetus for their later advance into other mission fields. Aderonmu and his wife, Clara, after their wedding in 1982, proceeded to Gambia to take over from Victoria Hassan. In 1987, they left Gambia and went to Guinea Conakry to begin indigenous missionary work in the country. This opportunity opened up as a result of the liberalisation policies of the new government after the death of Sekou Toure, the country's first president, in 1984 (Occupy 1992:7- 10; Occupy 1995: 28).

At the same time, CMF moved boldly into another six foreign mission fields. Of all the mission fields, the work in Côte d'Ivoire has been the most fruitful and has been maintained continuously since 1982. Côte d'Ivoire occupies a vitally strategic position on the West African coast. As a result of her stable government and buoyant economy, in comparison to other coun tries, many nationals from Francophone countries flock to Côte d'Ivoire. Most of these nationals come from unreached groups. For example, citizens of Burkina Faso now resident in Côte d'Ivoire number over 1,600,000, out of a national population of 12.8 million. The strategy of the two indigenous mission agencies in the country is to mobilise the Ivorien church to evangelise these migrants in the hope they might go back and evangelise their own people. Moreover, Ivorien Christians have an economic advantage over their neighbours and, as such, they could adequately support missions from Côte d'Ivoire to neighbouring countries. In addition, the good relations existing between Côte d'Ivoire and numerous African countries provide the church in Côte d'Ivoire with good opportunities to undertake foreign missions.

Philomena Chinwe Onochie, now Mrs Ezealuka, a graduate in French, was CMF's first missionary to be sent to Côte d'Ivoire in October 1982. The objectives of the CMF missions in Côte d'Ivoire include the mobilisation of Ivorien Christians towards greater involvement in missions, the planting of indigenous churches among some of the unreached people groups in Côte d'Ivoire, the development and sustaining of a flow of Ivorien missionaries, and of prayer and support for missions. Onochie's work was mainly among students and children. She led many of them to Christ, trained many children's workers from various churches, established a number of Children Bible clubs and set up an association of children's evangelism workers called Ministere de l'Evangelisation des Enfants pour l'Afrique Francophone en Côte d'Ivoire. James and Gloria Kwarteng, a Ghanaian couple trained in a mission school in Nigeria, joined Chinwe in 1984 and served with Eglise Evangelique de Reveil under a partnership pact between EER and CMF. Sister Violent Mtegha from Malawi was appointed the co- ordinator of CMF in Côte d'Ivoire in November 1988. Under her leadership, new strategies for reaching the unreached and raising indigenous missionaries were mapped out (Côte d'Ivoire Missions: Report of Mission Work in Ivory Coast and Plan for Further Mission 1994).

Djile Paul Michel and his wife were the first Ivoriens to join the CMF team.. They were followed by Kauadio K. Dominique and Sister Christine. By the late 1980s, CMF work in Côte d'Ivoire had been indigenised, and a new name, Foundation Missionaire Chretiene en Côte d'Ivoire, had been registered. By mid-1996, Mr. Emmanuel Dadie, an Ivorien civil servant, had taken over the leadership of the organisation, and more Ivorien youths are now being mobilised for missions (Interview with Emmanuel Dadie, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire).

It was Emmanuel Olewa, a Nigerian, who began mission work in Senegal in December 1986, after his training in the CAPRO School of Mission. Little progress was made because new converts would inevitably be expelled from their homes by their Muslim parents or guardians (and so would become destitute). And so, in 1991, when Emmanuel came to Nigeria on furlough, he campaigned for the setting up of businesses and industries for young Senegalese Christians so as to make them less dependent on their Muslim relatives (Olonade 1995:107-109.)

CAPRO's work in the Niger Republic began in early 1977 with a month-long crusade in Maradi, a border town with Nigeria. The crusade was a co-operative effort of the Roman Catholic Church, CAPRO and the Evangelical Church of Niger Republic. Converts were won, and a School of Evangelism was begun (Olonade 1995:105-106). Over the years, the work has grown enormously in scope. Apart from evangelistic work to unreached groups, mission and rehabilitation work is undertaken among prostitutes in Niamey, and a rehabilitation centre has been operating from the mid-1990s. A Christian video club and a library have also been opened. There is a plan to increase the number of missionaries beyond the present two, so that more ethnic groups can be reached (Occupy 1994, Look Supplement, p. 2.)

Indigenous Charismatic missions in Ghana have been making progress since the formation of the Ghana Evangelical Mission Association in 1990. The report of the National Church Survey sponsored by the Ghana Evangelism committee in 1989 and 1993 revealed the widespread incidence of nominal Christians in the South, and a large number of unreached people groups in the North. Out of the national population of 16.37 million, 10 202 770 people, i.e. 62.29% claimed to be Christians, but regrettably, only 1,900,990 of these Christians are Bible-believing and attend churches on Sundays National Church Survey 1993:13-15). The church in Ghana therefore has a two-fold task: to evangelise unreached people (mostly in Northern Ghana), and to evangelise the nominal Christians in the developed south. Geopolitics affects missions in Ghana because Ghanaians from the south are reluctant to go to the unreached and unevangelised in the less- developed north. However, since the late 1970s, young people (mostly Charismatics) have been in the forefront of promoting indigenous missions.

Christian Outreach Fellowship, an inter-denominational indigenous mission agency, is the largest of all the indigenous mission agencies in Ghana. Although its founders were not Charismatics, many of its missionaries have been involved in the Charismatic renewal. The vision to start an indigenous mission agency was conceived in the early 1970s, when it was felt that the church in Ghana, because of its laxity and nominalism, would not be able to evangelise unreached people. It was only in 1981 that the organisation started active missionary activities by appointing two pioneer missionaries to work among the Gushi in the Upper East Region. These were followed by the appointment of two more missionaries to work among the Mafi and Agave in the Volta Region. Another one was later appointed to work among the rural Ga people outside Accra. These missionaries made tremendous progress by planting fourteen churches among the Gushi, five churches among the Mafi, a church among the Agave, and three churches in the Ga rural areas of Accra (Ofori-Atta 1996).

A renewed effort in 1987 yielded excellent results and, by 1988, twenty missionaries were in various fields. Christian Outreach Fellowship missionary work has covered most of the country, the exception being the Ashanti Region. Christian Outreach Fellowship has emphasised church planting since it believes that it is only within the context of a local church that converts can be nurtured. As soon as a church is able to stand on its own, it is handed over to one of the Protestant denominations. Once the National Church Survey had been published, Christian Outreach Fellowship were able to use the report to set its priorities, supplementing it as they did with on-the- spot research carried out by missionaries. By the early 1990s a strategy had been evolved for missionaries who go into the field to recruit volunteer workers who need to be trained to assist in mission work. The Training Programme has been the focus of much attention, and the hope is that trained volunteers will eventually be able to be included in full-time mission work. This new strategy has been crowned with success: by mid-1996, Christian Outreach Fellowship had a labour force of one hundred and sixty-nine. Most of these workers are volunteers, and only thirteen are full- time missionaries. Another strategy which has been developed is the Northern Outreach Project, which aims to extend the Gospel to more ethnic groups in the North (Ofori-Atta 1996).

The beginning of the African Christian Mission (ACM) in 1984 brought a new impetus to indigenous mission initiatives in Ghana. African Christian Mission has focused mainly on educational missions because the founder, Dr Seth Anyomi, is an expert in education. Seth Anyomi, born in 1952, is from the Ewe town of Amedzofe. After elementary and teacher training education in Ghana, he received a scholarship to study at the Oral Roberts University in the USA where he obtained his bachelor's degree. Having received his master's degree, he completed a doctoral programme in Education Administration from the University of Tulsa in 1983 (Anyomi 1996b).

Upon his return to Ghana in that same year, he began a new programme of Christian outreach, similar to the one in which he had been engaged before going to the USA. With some support from his friends in Ghana and the USA, he entered into partnership with the District Education Directorate for the ACM to take control and operate an existing school at Sankor near Winneba ) which was about to close down. With the government paying teachers' salaries, the school was revived and it soon became the best school in the district, with about 1,000 pupils. The school was run as a mission school with a strong evangelistic programme (Anyomi 1996a).

The missionary effort of ACM expanded in 1987 when the organisation, having entered into partnership with the Action Partners (formerly the Sudan United Mission) took over an old clinic in Amedzofe. The clinic expanded to serve seven neighbouring villages, and its success brought more opportunities for the organisation (Anyomi 1996a). A Day Care Centre and a Vocational Institute for women were opened in Amedzofe in the mid- 1990s.

The Torchbearers under the leadership of Albert Ocram, the founder, was established shortly after Ocram returned in 1987 from a nine-year sojourn in Nigeria. Ocram, with six other people, founded the organisation in early 1988; their goal was to carry the torch of the gospel to the unreached places of Africa, places where others would not normally go. One of the founders, Dr. Solomon Ayittey, a medical doctor, had volunteered to go to Mali as a medical missionary for a Western mission agency, but he decided to work for the Torchbearers instead. In addition, a Malawian couple also do foreign mission work in Malawi. Using the tool of literacy teaching as a method of making contact, a church has been planted in Ashiaman, a suburb of Tema, in Ghana, for migrant Frafra workers from the Upper East Region. In the 1990s, a move, which involved evangelism and church planting, was made into Northern Ghana in what is called the Northern Ghana Project (Ocram 1996).

The Church of Pentecost, an indigenous church that had a back ground in The Apostolic Church, which is British, has made much progress in foreign missions. Under its first International Missions Director, the Rev. Opoku Onyinah, evangelistic work has been extended to twenty-seven foreign countries, nine of which are West African countries. Using branches of the Church of Pentecost in such countries as springboards, full-time pastors who have been sent out from Ghana have embarked on missionary work among the indigenous people (Know your Mission Areas 1995).

The Deeper Christian Life Ministry (or the Deeper Life Bible Church, as it is now known) is not a mission organisation, but a Charismatic organisation that is increasingly assuming denominational status. Deeper Life was founded by W.F. Kumuyi, formerly a Mathematics lecturer at the Univer sity of Lagos in early 1973. The organisation is unique in the way it has utilised evangelistic activities in place of missions. In late 1979 the organ isation was introduced to Ghana as a result of a programme held by W.F. Kumuyi. In October 1980, Pastor J.J. Oladimeji, currently the national overseer, was sent from Nigeria to oversee the work.

Deeper Life first started with Bible study groups which members attended in addition to their regular activities in their own churches. With the adoption of a denominational orientation from 1982, the attention of Deeper Christian Life Ministry shifted to church planting. It held that it had been forced to do this because of the opposition which it encountered from existing churches with regard to its primary task of helping to revive church life (Oladimeji 1996).

Deeper Christian Life Ministry in Ghana has no full-time missionaries but members are trained to be evangelists and to aim to reach unreached areas and groups. The strategy is first to plant churches in regional capitals, and then to extend the work to district capitals. Once the work is secured in the district capitals, evangelistic activities will be extended to towns and finally to villages. Each Deeper Life member is told to view himself or herself as the only one engaged in evangelism: this orientation will inspire him or her to invest all his or her efforts in the work. Since missionaries are not used, there is little of problem of coming across cross-cultural evangelism since most people used in the regions and districts are indigenes.

The success of Deeper Life evangelistic programmes may be judged from statistics. Between 1988, when the first national church survey was undertaken, and 1993, when the second survey was conducted, Deeper Life has grown from 5,704 members in seventy-two churches to a total member ship of 20,832 in about 270 churches, indicating a membership growth rate of 265% in five years (National Church Survey 1993: 16, 18).

Indigenous missionary work in Liberia began in the mid-1980s. A CMF missionary visited Monrovia, Liberia, in July 1983 to attend a conference on Children Evangelism. Shortly after that, plans were mapped out for the evangelisation of Liberia, and, in January 1986, Edet George, a founding member of CMF began work there as a resident missionary. Unfortunately, the Liberian civil war that began in late December 1989, has disrupted most Christian activities in that country. Edet George returned to Nigeria in 1990, and was posted to head the CMF School of Missions at Idere. With the intensification of the war, CMF has shifted its attention to relief missions to the Liberian refugees in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Another interesting develop ment is the emergence of many Liberian evangelists in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, who are trying to do mission work among the refugees. This force will be much needed once the war has ended and the refugees return home.


A new era began for indigenous missions from 1989. This epoch began with the Third World Missions Association (TWMA), whose inaugural meeting was held in Portland, Oregon, USA, in May 1989. Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria were represented at the meeting, and Reuben Ezemadu, a Nigerian, was elected as Secretary of this new organisation. A year later, Dr. Seth Anyomi was elected the President of World Link University (WLU ), an educational project of TWMA. WLU is an international university for missions and inter-cultural studies, which aims at co-ordinating the resources of mission training centres in developing nations. These achievements on the international scene were matched with rapid progress in Africa. A number of events contributed to this rapid advance. The major one was the emergence of national committees of the 'AD 2000 and Beyond Movement' in many countries from 1989. In Nigeria, the National Congress on Evangelisation, which was founded in 1975 after the Lausanne Congress of Evangelism, became the coordinator for these concerted efforts at evangelism. The AD 2000 Movement provided inter-denominational organisations with a much-needed opportunity for them to identify themselves with the mainstream of Nigerian Christianity. The Prayer Track of the Movement is presently controlled by Charismatics under the chairmanship of Austin Ukachi, a founding member of CSSM..

In Ghana, the publication of the first edition of the National Church Survey in 1989 encouraged trans-denominational efforts at documenting past missionary endeavours, and helped denominations to face missionary challenges for the future. The report generated a lot of interest in missions in a number of existing Protestant churches and in some Charismatic organisations. The update of the survey released in 1993 focused anew on the task. Another significant development was the inauguration of the Ghana Evangelical Mission Association (GEMA) in February 1990 with twenty-one member-agencies, among which are about eight Charismatic organisations (Third World Missions Advance 1990:3). This was followed in 1993 with the establishment of the Ghana Evangelical Missionary Institute in Amedzofe. It is run by the African Christian Mission in partnership with the Action Partners. In addition, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa and Madagascar established its Evangelism and Missions Commission in 1990, and appointed Bayo Famonure, the founder and former chief executive of CAPRO, as its first Executive Secretary. The aim of the Commission is to stimulate more missionary interest and involvement among the churches in Africa (Third World Missions Advance 1990:3). Its first major programme was a seminar organised on the theme "Training in Evangelism and Mission" for the West African region. This was held in Ghana in April 1990, and drew participants from seven countries (Third World Missions Advance 1990:3).

Emerging indigenous missionary efforts have assumed a regional and international complexion and focus ) partly as a result of the AD 2000 Movement. Thus, for example, the much-advertised International Church Growth Conference held in Lagos between 5 and 12 August 1992, was attended by delegates from almost all West African countries, and it emphasised the necessity of linkages and the sharing of information in the evangelisation of West Africa.

It was at this time that the concept of unreached groups gained currency among evangelistic and missionary organisations. In pursuance of evangelising the unreached, a number of ethnographic surveys were conducted and published. By 1994 the Research Office of CAPRO had published four books in this series, in addition to other small-scale surveys undertaken by other Charismatic organisations.9 Most of the surveys in Ghana were undertaken by the research team of the Ghana Evangelism Committee. In Côte d'Ivoire, a national church survey first published in 1990 was soon followed by an in-depth survey of individual ethnic groups.

The mission agencies have made rapid progress in both home and foreign missions. Of particular interest is CAPRO's work in Côte d'Ivoire, which started in May 1990 when Pade Tokun and his wife were posted there. The purpose of CAPRO's work in Côte d'Ivoire is to mobilise the church for missions and to prepare manpower for the Francophone countries. A new approach was adopted because of the strategic importance of Côte d'Ivoire in the Francophone world and the potential of Ivoriens for the future of missions. CAPRO envisaged that the School of Missions, established in 1992, will be used for a launch into the Francophone world. The first fruit of this endeavour was an Ivorien couple who were sent out in 1996 as the first foreign missionaries from Côte d'Ivoire to Senegal. They are going to join the Nigerian missionaries already in that country (Tokun 1996; see also Occupy 1992: 8-9).

A significant result of indigenous missions in West Africa is the making of second generation missionaries. These are missionaries from an evangelised group who send their own missionaries to neighbouring peoples. CAPRO's work, for example, has already produced second generation missionaries. Saidu Dogo, and his wife, Lami, from the Gbagyi in Kaduna and Niger states, a CAPRO mission field, were the trail blazers of CAPRO's second generation missionaries. Saidu, a convert from Islam, was given a basic training in discipleship in 1987, and in 1988 he was commissioned by the Rumana church as its missionary. They were followed by Sale Nayano, and his wife, Kande, in 1991 (Occupy 1992:12). Similarly, Kabiru Hassan and Haruna Usman are being supported by the Kwontakomawa church as their missionaries. Both having been given basic evangelistic and discipleship training, and are now working among the Maguzawa.

There is also Nyatubum Ezekiel Kanka, who is heading a mission among his own people, the Mumuye. Ezekiel was an interpreter to the first CAPRO gospel team to the Mumuye in 1983. Called to be a missionary to his own people, he attended a CAPRO Discipleship Training School and in 1989 became a full-time missionary (Occupy 1992: 4-6, 12). The successes of second generation missionaries have enabled the expansion of indigenous missions. They have also allowed for the overcoming of language and cultural barriers and have produced more assistance for pioneer missionaries. The second generation missionaries, though they may be persecuted, are more acceptable among their own people than are missionaries from other ethnic groups. There are indeed problems of financial support when it comes to sending out second generation missionaries. The churches sending them are made up of subsistence farmers with big families. Recently they decided to ask for help from big churches in other places.

In 1989, CAPRO mapped out strategies for reaching the unreached in the next decade. The plan, called Vision 2000, has called for a bold corporate step of faith. Within two years, mission work has been extended to six new people groups, thus bringing to eleven the total number of ethnic groups among which CAPRO is maintaining resident long-term missionaries.


Over the past two decades, Charismatic missions have created new patterns for world evangelisation and have forged new mission strategies for penetrating the unreached of the world. Generally, these mission activities have been patterned according to four missionary models.

In the first place, there are some Charismatic organisations that provide financial support for missions. Some give on request, a few give as part of their annual budget, while others devote programmes to mission awareness and invite leaders or representatives of mission agencies or missionaries to their churches for promotion. Such churches include Glory Tabernacle in Ibadan, Nigeria, which over the years has given support to various missions agencies. In Ghana, the International Central Gospel Church under the leadership of Dr. Mensah Otabil ought to be mentioned. Usually, the support from these churches is used for home missions. The mission supporting model may really be the best way of getting local churches to be involved in missions.

Secondly, there are churches who substitute evangelism for missions, and consider their territorial expansion, particularly the estab lishment of new branches in both unreached and reached areas, as missions. Such evangelistic activities, even if they are cross-cultural, are mostly used to plant more branches of their churches. In Nigeria and Ghana, the Deeper Life is outstanding in their use of this strategy. Recently, other churches, like the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and the Living Faith Church, have adopted this model.

Thirdly, the formation of indigenous mission agencies are mostly non- denominational for the recruitment, training, sending, supporting and super vising missionaries. The setting up of missions societies or agencies have been the best action plan for cross-cultural missions. In spite of this, the number of mission agencies that have emerged so far in Ghana and Nigeria (over twenty-five between 1975 and September 1993 in Nigeria, and about thirty in Ghana) is a matter of serious concern because of the duplication of effort, over-burdened administration, over-lapping activities, and competition among these mission agencies and their missionaries. Too many mission fields have been opened too soon, and, with inadequate financial and material resources, the evangelisation of the unreached areas has been slow.

Some freelance missionaries without any supporting agency also go into the mission fields, either as bi-vocational missionaries or as full-time missionaries. A lot of information is needed before these efforts can be documented.

Charismatic missions have focused primarily on the proclamation of the Good News, and their main purpose has been to win converts, discipline them, and plant churches. Another area of indigenous missionary enterprises is the mobilisation and empowerment of Christians in other countries so that they can reach unreached people inside their countries. Secondly, there is an awareness of how Christians may, through prayer and right living, reverse conditions so that the deteriorating social and political situations in the continent can be turned around for good. Lastly, some Charismatic organi sations have undertaken missions with the goal of checking the advance of Islam in Africa.

Charismatic missions have responded appropriately to the traditional African world-view which emphasises magical and spiritual powers, by emphasising in turn the incidence of power encounters and spiritual warfare in missions. Every African missionary is conscious that what represses a people and keeps them in spiritual and economic degradation is nothing but "Satanic bondage", which also manifests as witchcraft and sorcery among unreached people. Among these people, spiritual warfare is very real and is taken most seriously. Charismatic missionaries, relying on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, have initiated power encounters by the working of miracles and divine healing. In addition, many Schools of Missions have courses on Spiritual Warfare and Power Encounters, and reports from missionaries have confirmed the relevance of such courses.

Charismatics believe that the more they pray, the greater is the power of God working through them to defeat the powers of darkness. Many missionaries engage in spiritual battles as part of their daily work, while others engage in battles on behalf of their converts or for the unreached people among whom they are working. For many missionaries who have had encounters with the forces of darkness in their work, Paul's statement ("for the weapons of our warfare therefore are not of the flesh but are of divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses") has become a reality in their lives.

Another area of spiritual warfare for Charismatic missions includes daily encounters with Islamic fundamentalism, encounters that have often resulted in physical attacks on missionaries and the destruction of property. The onslaught of Islamic fundamentalism, with its destructive and disruptive effects on missions, cannot be separated from geopolitical events. For instance, Northern Nigeria is strongly Muslim, and had been intolerant of Christian missions as a result of the protectionism of British colonial administration since early in this century. Since 1980, religious riots involving rampages by Muslim fundamentalists or Christian-Muslim clashes, have occurred annually. Missionaries have been attacked and some have sus tained serious bodily injuries. Each time there have been religious riots, mission work has suffered setbacks, and it has taken time and scarce re sources to rehabilitate the work.

There has been an increasing awareness of the necessity for missions among students in West Africa. This has led a number of graduate students to become involved as missionaries in the field. In addition, Christian student organisations have engaged in evangelistic and mission outreaches from the mid-1970s. In Nigeria, for example, the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students is a member of NEMA. Through its zonal units it engaged in outreaches to remote villages. Likewise, the Baptist Student Fellowship now sends short-term missionaries to both home and foreign mission fields. Scripture Union (Nigeria) has included a mission emphasis in its programme to their adult support groups. In fact, a full-time Missions Secretary, Mr. O.A.. Oladeji, trained at NEMI, has been appointed to promote the new emphasis (Oladeji 1995). In Ghana, the evangelistic programme, New Life for All, launched in the 1970s, has mobilised the Ghana Evangelical Students' Fellowship for missions. Christian students thus constitute a potential force for mission in the West African region if mission awareness can be promoted even more strongly among them.

Several countries where indigenous missions are developing are economically poor countries, and are also suffering from the effects of political turmoil. In spite of this, missionary interest and support are growing. Nigeria is a good case in point. Since 1975, indigenous missionary efforts initiated by Nigerians have been growing, and more foreign fields are being opened every year. Unlike Western missionary movements that have come to depend upon the economic and political power of their sponsoring nations, indigenous African missions have grown from a position of weakness and poverty. These missions have been motivated and sustained by such faith in God's wonderful provision as may only be described as unimaginable.

The results of indigenous African mission have been very encouraging. The picture indicated that, by the turn of the century, the majority of missionaries in Africa will be African themselves. By 1993, there were about twelve indigenous mission agencies and about ten more Charismatic organisations that include missionary activities among their programmes. In all, a total of 651 missionaries were (in 1993) working in various mission fields in the country. This figure excludes the two hundred students of the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES) on short- term missionary assignments. A total of one hundred missionaries were working in foreign mission fields. The fields are located in Cameroon, Guinea, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Gambia, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea, the USA, England, the USSR and Brazil. The non-African countries exclude about ten other countries with Deeper Life congregations. The total number of home missionaries at the time stood at 2,203 and 187 foreign missionaries, if we are to include statistics from the missionary arm of Protestant denominations, which are all indigenised. In Ghana, the total number of missionaries from indigenous missions is about four hundred, with about seventy in Côte d'Ivoire. Much growth is expected before the end of this century.


The evaluation of ongoing mission activities

Finance has been a major hindrance to most indigenous mission agencies and their missionaries in West Africa. Although most indigenous mission agencies operate on faith principles, both at the national office and for field missionaries, there are three general patterns of financial support for the missionaries. Thus, for example, some organisations such as CMF and Christian Outreach Fellowship do provide a minimum responsibility allowance to the missionaries and their dependants, and this leaves missionaries at liberty to raise additional support on their own. Others like CAPRO expect their missionaries to raise their entire financial support by themselves. It is only ACM that pays full salaries, though not all the workers can be called missionaries. With the exception of ACM, the financial support available to a missionary per month, whether raised privately or provided for from the national office, is really below subsistence level. For example, Christian Outreach Fellowship was paying 25,000 cedis, and this was raised to 50,000 cedis ($31.00) in 1996. Fondation Misionnaire Chretiene in Côte d'Ivoire was paying 20,000 CFA ($39.00), while CMF in Nigeria was providing a little over 1,000 Naira ($13).

Another factor is that, in most cases, only one missionary couple is able to work in a field at any time. Consequently there is no sharing or peer assessment, and the National Director relies only on the reports that are sent in monthly or quarterly. Lapses on the part of the missionaries are difficult to detect. To compound this problem, there is the difficulty of finding replace ments for missionaries who go on furlough, relocate to other fields or who resign from the work.

Another factor is that Charismatic missions have largely neglected social needs and specialised missions such as medical missions or industrial missions, and have concentrated on the spiritual nature of missions. Basic problems of recruitment and financing have contributed to these problems. Specialised and social ministry in a depressed economy is bound to be very costly and so almost all the indigenous missions have been more or less forced to neglect such needs. Although some mission agencies and missionaries have occasionally sponsored medical outreaches or educational programmes in some mission fields, it has not been possible to sustain such efforts for long periods. Moreover, few professionals in lucrative professions such as law or medicine or banking volunteer for missions because of the counter-attractions of highly paid positions in their primary vocations. One approach which may be adopted by to medical missions, for example, is that of ACM, which opened a medical centre in Accra, Ghana, in 1996. It is run on business lines, but with a mission orientation, and the profit is channelled into other areas of missions. Although the Charismatic emphasis on spiritual needs is highly commendable, it is impossible to carry on missions in a politically unstable and depressed social-economic environment while failing to take care of the socio-economic needs of people. What is needed by Charismatic missions is a comprehensive biblical missiology for when the necessary infrastructures are in place.

Indigenous missions, just like their Western counterparts, have tended to be imperialistic. This does not stem from a history of political hegemony. It is predicated on the supposed superiority of the culture of the missionaries in comparison to the ethnic groups they are evangelising. It is therefore no surprise that photographs of half-naked Africans are circulated in missions awareness programmes. In addition, some written reports are full of cultural and religious biases, which in some cases make the missionaries look and sound like nineteenth-century anthropologists. Cross-cultural missions should undertake the proclamation of the Good News and not get involved in anthropological evaluations.

Charismatic missions have been successful in spreading the Charismatic renewal and in contributing to church growth in Africa. The vigorousness of Charismatic missions in Africa really indicates therefore that Africa, long considered a mission field, is becoming a mission base, and this offers a challenge to Western missions who need to consider themselves partners with African missionaries in evangelising Africa and further afield.


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ANYOMI, Seth 1996b. My testimony of God's Guidance in My Christian Walk and Conduct of Missionary Business, typescript, September.

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CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1982. Vol. 1(4) November.

CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1983. Vol. 2(4) October.

CMF (Nigeria) Newsletter 1983. Vol2(2) Special Firstt Anniversary Edition, May.

CÔTE d'Ivoire Missions: Report of Mission Work in Ivory Coast and Plan for Further Mission 1994. Abidjan: CMF.

DIRECTORY of the Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association 1993. Ibadan: NEMA.

EZEMADU, Reuben 1991. Draft Proposal For a Nigerian Christian Missionary (NCMF), a letter dated 15 June. Ibadan: CMF Archives.

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FAMONURE, Bayo 1988. Interview. Ibadan, 31 July.

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KNOW YOUR MISSION AREAS 1995. Accra: Church of the Pentecost.

MISSION FOCUS: A Bulletin of the Christian Missionary Foundation, (Nigeria) 1982.(Kyk eers hierdei voetnoot - dieselfde??) Mission Focus, 1982, p. 7, and also

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OCRAM, Albert 1996. Interview, Accra. 4 September.

OFORI-ATTA, William 1996. Interview with Mr William Ofori-Atta, National Director, COF. Accra, 6 May.

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1 * Dr Matthews A. Ojo, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of Religious Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.

2 1 Funding for research leading to this publication was provided by the Research Enablement Program, a grant program for mission scholarship supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and administered by the Overseas Ministries Study Centre, New Haven, CT, USA.

3 2 The Aladura evangelistic and missionary activities virtually closed down by the 1960s because they were not co-ordinated. They are therefore not considered in this paper.

4 3 This abbreviation comes from an earlier name, Calvary Productions.

5 4 Aderonmu, a Yoruba man, returned from Ghana in late 1969, and was active in the Scripture Union Pilgrims group in Ogbomoso before joining CAPRO.

6 5 Tunde Adeyefa, "The Role of Medical Mission in a Missionary Vision," typescript, p. 1. CMF archives.

7 6 "Profile of CMF Missionaries," June 1984. The countries were Ivory Coast, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Benin Republic, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Cameroon.

8 7 CSSM, "The Way out of Our Present Predicament: A Clarion Call on the Church," p. 6. Advertisement issued in December 1983.

9 8 The publications are: The cross and the gods (1992); Conquered by the sword (1993); Unmask the giant (1995), and Rescue the trophies (1996).

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