Bishop Kasap Owan, episcopal leader presiding over five annual conferences in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, addressed the 2018 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association on Saturday, November 3. As the event concluded, Owan celebrated Holy Communion with over 2,500 people present at the live venue and the 105 simulcast sites across the country.
In his remarks, Owan focused on the reality of what Jesus has accomplished for us through his crucifixion, observing that on the cross Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. “Faith is the confidence we have in God,” he said, “and that confidence is centered on Jesus. Faith makes us dependent on God, and we have faith because we depend on God for our personal salvation – for eternal life, and when we depend on God, we need to be obedient to the Gospel because the cross of Christ has made us free, free from our sins. Because we are freed, we are in peace with God. We are in peace with our neighbors.”
Owan recalled how missionaries shared the Gospel in his country in 1912, and how it completely transformed the culture of his people. “Christ is our Savior. Christ is the one who freed us from our culture.” Because Christ is powerfully at work in Africa, Bishop Owan assured the assembled laity and clergy that “Africa keeps faith in the Gospel which saves.”
“When Jesus was born, Herod decided to kill all male kids,” Owan reminded the gathering. “You know where Jesus went as a refugee? It was in Egypt. It was in Africa. Jesus was protected in Africa. And when the church is in this turmoil, Africa will remain the place to protect the Gospel. Africa will keep faith. Africa will respect the cross of the one who died for us. Africa will continue to obey the one who is just. Africa will continue to say yes to Christ. Africa will not walk away from Christ.”
Celebrating the significant growth of the church in Africa, Bishop Owan cautioned, “If you bring us another teaching on marriage, our churches will be empty, but if we remain obedient to the word of God, the church will continue to grow.”