Feedback form Nicholas Kelderman, Team Leader at CCCSA’s Digital Strategies! He shared from his resent visit to Ivory Coast for a Digital Strategy strategic meeting:
“Have you ever walked into a strange environment and just felt like you belong? Walking into the conference venue in Abidjan was like that for me. This was the first time all the Digital Strategy National Leaders from Africa came together, altogether 22 African countries represented. As I am walking in and finding a seat, people are greeting me by name and for some of them, I could reciprocate because we have had Zoom meetings throughout this year. It felt like meeting a few pen pals face to face.”
He shared that the program was full, and the content was relevant to help the leaders make the best of their ministries. From learning how to write stories to leading with information using analytics. “But for me”, Nicholas wrote “the best part was the engagements during mealtimes. I focused on finding out what different countries are doing in the digital ministry and how we can learn from each other.”
On the third night of the conference, we found out 30 minutes before our last session ended that we would receive cash and we need to go and buy our own dinner. While walking with our local guide, Timothee, I was having fun and getting to know the younger ones in the group. It took us an hour to make up our minds and get food in our stomachs.
While walking back I chatted with Simon from Nigeria. I asked him how his ministry looks. He shared with me that he does trainings at churches. “That’s great!” I responded, “But what does that look like practically?”. I asked him this question because I was scheduled to conduct a training at a church in 2 weeks and wanted input.
He shared that he focuses on app training. We continued to look at the GodTools app and he showed me some of the new features. It was helpful and insightful to see how they approached their ministry.”
On the last day of the conference, they broke up into groups and started sharing about each one’s current realities and challenges. Nicholas sat around a table with representatives from Malawi, Eswatini, South Sudan, Liberia, and Nigeria. Three of the countries recently started doing Digital Strategies. Nicholas shared that “it was such an encouraging time with them to be able to motivate and resource them with ideas.”
He concludes: “As I am sitting here and reflecting on the few days I was there, I am excited to see what God is going to do, not just in South Africa, but throughout Africa. Our level of technology is not the same. Data is not equally available. PC’s and smartphones are a luxury.
But we can make a difference with the tools God has placed in our hands.”