On 21 November, the mission council (general meeting) of EBM INTERNATIONAL took place digitally for the first time. It was an inspiring meeting with over 80 delegates and guests from 28 different countries. As much as we all miss the real encounters, this experience of seeing each other without the need to travel, hearing from each other, experiencing fellowship with each other, and making important decisions was impressive.
The highlight was the election of the new EBM Executive Committee (Board) which is responsible for the overall work. For many years the committee has been staffed with volunteers from all continents in which EBM INTERNATIONAL is active. The two presidents, Arild Harvik (Norway) and David Boydell (France), were no longer up for election after many years. Two further positions had to be filled or refilled.
With Emma Mabidilala from South Africa, for the first time a woman was elected by a large majority as President of our missionary organization. Her deputy is the Norwegian Lyse Killingstadt. “One of our most important values is learning from each other across the continents because the times are long gone when we in Germany or Europe had the faith and knowledge and carried it out into the world. Today we find the experts for church growth and relevance of church for society in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. That is why we are proud that six of our new board members come from non-European countries. And the fact that EBM INTERNATIONAL is now being led by two women underlines how important equal rights are to us,” says Christoph Haus, Secretary General of EBM INTERNATIONAL.
Two other important decisions were the admission of the Quetchua Baptist Union as an independent member of EBM INTERNATIONAL. Under the leadership of Adrián Campero, a union of congregations has grown in the Peruvian Andes region over three decades which now comprises 60 congregations and is responsible for its own theological seminary. The decision clearly shows how important the contextual work is within the mission work which relies 100% on local employees in the management of its projects.
The regional representative for Central Africa and Sierra Leone, Pastor Magloire Kadjio from Cameroon, was confirmed in office for another four years.