Africa has for countless years been branded a dark continent marred with war, famine and pestilence.
Saturday Dialogue with Phillip Chidavaenzi
Its people, the majority of whom are of a darker hue, have been called pagan, godless and cannibal in a rather unfair portrayal.
Missionaries came from Europe, from as far back as the 16th century, to enlighten the “dark continent” through preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. What happened after, as they say, is history.
But the tide has turned, with Europe and America — to whom the gospel was first preached — having gradually slid into immorality, depravity and godlessness.
It is time that Africa sends missionaries to Europe and America, which are now in desperate need of God. The Americans, whose nation was founded on godly principles — a value still espoused on their currency (in God we trust) — now trust in the self. And for that reason, they have been overtaken by Africa. The Bible says:
“The last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen”.
Africa was the last to hear the gospel, yet now is poised to spearhead the revival that will usher in the second coming of Christ.
To our advantage, history testifies we have always been a spiritual people. During one of our recent classes at Bible School under the course “Missions, Evangelism and Discipleship”, we learnt that Africa is probably the most spiritual continent. Our tutor highlighted how each tribe had dimensions of spiritual strength. In the past, however, this found expression in ancestral worship.
David, a prophet of God, saw way into the future and proclaimed an age in which Africa would take its place and seek the Lord:
“Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” Psalm 68:31 (KJV).
Historical research has shown that the biblical Ethiopia seems to have included both Nubia and Abyssinia (now known as Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia). This Ethiopia is also often referred to as Cush.
Although when that old “ism” — colonialism — knocked on our African shores, it started the long, deliberate and systematic plunder not only of our resources, minds and spirituality, but sought to obliterate Africa’s slots in the Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures have no mention of the Greater Europe and America, with countries such England, Scotland and Sweden so conspicuously absent.
But Africa — Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia (Cush) — are mentioned over and over as places where the story of God’s interaction with His people is extensively played out. When hunger struck in Israel, did not Jacob send his sons to purchase grain in Africa?
And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” Gen. 42:2 (ESV).
Biblical references to Ethiopians, however, did not necessarily mean the people of modern-day Ethiopia, but this is an indicator of the darker skinned people who often inhabited parts of Africa.
They say facts are stubborn. But I prefer the truth is stubborn. As Africans we are a very spiritual lot. Even in a negative way. My lovely wife, who comes from a family whose immediate ancestors were steeped in occultism, admits to this.
Africans, therefore, are gifted with a natural ability to go into the spirit without struggle. In this day and age, the spiritual will superintend those in the flesh.
It is very significant that when Herod sought to destroy Jesus in his infancy, Africa was provided as a safe harbour: “Now, when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word…’” Matt 2:19-20, (NKJV).
Nations in the West that were once strong in Christianity are falling apart. Thankfully, just like Jesus, Christianity has been preserved and protected in Africa. Once described as a dark continent by Europe and America, Africa is now a torch bearer for the gospel of Jesus Christ and this is where the next revival that will sweep across the world will break.
As our Bible course tutor stressed, God has given us a responsibility and it would be tragic if we miss our season!
Britain, from whose Cambridge University we got the first comprehensive translation of the Bible authorised by the then King James, established an empire that dominated and ruled over much bigger continents like Africa and Asia, for instance.
Because they had the Bible, they ruled. When you have the Bible, you can dominate.
The tragedy of our day, however, is that the Bible is being taken out from schools and other significant institutions in Europe and America. The two continents are in decline. It cannot be coincidental.
In real terms, Europe and America are sliding — and sliding fast —into darkness. Right now they need missionaries from Africa. It is in Africa that Christianity has been preserved in its purest form. Ethiopia must rise.
It is no fluke that the most vibrant churches in Europe are black churches that preach an uncompromising and untainted gospel.
God bless you.