The Empowered21 Africa Congress came to a close on Saturday, May 19, 2018, as more than 1,100 young people came forth to be anointed for ministry.
"To see the altar filled with young leaders under the age of 35 ready to accept their destiny to make a spiritual impact as Spirit-empowered leaders was amazing," said Dr. Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University and global co-chair of Empowered21. "It was an honor to pray over them as the future doctors, lawyers, presidents, evangelists, pastors, bishops, government officials and professors... the next generation of leaders for the nations of Africa."
The commissioning service was the culmination of the four-day Congress, which attracted delegates from 50 countries. A 2,400-voice children's choir, all dressed in white shirts, packed the stage and overflow areas of the auditorium and captivated the delegates with animated praise and worship songs native to South Africa. Dr. Wilson and Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, E21 Africa Co-chair, prayed over the children in the commissioning moment for these young lives.
"It moved me to the core of my being and brought tears to hear these children commit their love to Christ in song and spoken word to the 2033 challenge of Empowered21—to see every person on earth have an authentic encounter with the Holy Spirit by 2033," said Onyinah.
Co-chairs of the Africa Empowered21 Next Generation Network (NGN), Apostle David Hayforn from the Church of Pentecost in Ghana and Pastor Thandanani Savhasa of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, shared the stage in a powerful exchange of messages echoing the same theme as a cry from the next generation: "Give us the baton, we are ready!"
Sessions and educational tracks were offered at the event site, Word and Life Church, outside Johannesburg. Ministry tracks, many filled to overflowing with delegates, were held during the afternoons of May 17 and 18. Sessions on Thursday included Advocacy and Prophetic Voice to the Nations, Christian Business Ethics and Networking, Reaching People with Disabilities and Children's Ministry. On Friday, delegates flocked to tracks dealing with discipleship, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, prayer, theology and a session dealing with deliverance and prophetic ministry challenges.
Prior to the afternoon track sessions on Friday afternoon, delegates to the Congress heard powerful messages from Dave Burrows (Bahamas), Claudio Freidzon (Argentina), LaDonna Osborn (U.S.), and Michel Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso). Dr. Wilson challenged the delegates to live in a new dimension by "burying your past, surrendering your present, and accelerating your future" as a climax to the Friday evening general session.
Earlier in the Friday service, E21 Africa Cabinet Co-chair Frank Chikane recognized members of the Africa Cabinet and also reported registration figures that included a country roll call. "I was moved with emotion reading the list of countries and heard attendees shout out country names from onsite registration," said Chikane. "Clearly, this was the work of the Lord as Africa is on a new path of significance."
The Empowered21 celebration of Pentecost 2019 will be held for the Latin America regions in Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 5-7, 2019.
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