Skip to content

SLU Africa: The Why|The What|The How…

I remember it like it happened last week. I graduated from college and my father and I boarded a plane to Uganda, Africa where the following two weeks would transform my understanding of ministry and influence. The days were filled with personal evangelism, pastoral training, medical seminars and clinics. While it was my first trip to Africa, Dad had been there multiple times and in the forthcoming years would journey there many more. Over the years I have made several trips to the continent to preach Jesus, teach leadership and take part in festivals. While much has gone into my development as a leader (and I am sure much more is needed), I would have to say my trips to Africa have played one of the most significant roles in this development to this point.

The question is why? I have come to the conclusion, or rather conviction, that the mission of God can, in part, be understood as the influence of God on His creation. Therefore, to be engaged in the mission of God is to be influenced by His mission and to influence for His mission. Since ‘influence’ is the broad term that encompasses the actions of a leader, to influence in with a missional mindset is to do so at the feet of Jesus. This is at the heart of the vision for Student Leadership University and why we are proud to announce we will be offering an experience in Africa this coming summer.

SLU Africa is an exciting new opportunity that combines leadership development with a missions experience and a world-class safari. Step onto the east African soil of the Republic of Kenya and have your vision for leadership evolve and maybe even be transformed. You may have previously heard that leadership begins at the feet of Jesus and even understood that influence is devotional before it is practical. If so, then SLU Africa will serve as a gateway not to just another land, but to a fresh perspective that emphasizes service and the infinite value of every human being. This will be accomplished through a three-fold approach that will constitute the experiential DNA of SLU Africa.

FIRSTinvolvement and the mission of God

The mission of God, which has hopefully intersected with each SLU student transforming them into new creations in Christ, bids us all to come and participate. As theologian Christopher Wright has already written, mission, from the point of view of our human endeavor, means the committed participation of Gods people in the purposes of God for the redemption of the whole creation. The mission is Gods. The marvel is that God invites us to join in. SLU Africa desires to position Gods mission to be a permanent fixture in our thinking and a perfect filter for our actions (or for the endeavors of our lives). This will be accomplished through teaching but experientially through two strategic SLU partnerships:

Compassion International

Compassion International is a Christ centered child sponsorship program dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty all around the world. Kenya is one of the eight countries where Compassion currently has a significant ministry.

Compassions work in Kenya began in 1980. More than 74,900 children participate in more than 285 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Kenyan children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all that God created them to be.

Compassion is one of the most trustworthy and God-honoring organizations on the planet and SLU is proud of this partnership. Compassion demonstrates a standard of excellence through:

Commitment to Christ

Commitment to children

Commitment to the Church

Commitment to integrity

Our SLU students will have the opportunity to serve children in some of the child development centers operated by Compassion personal.

Care for Aids

Imagine if you lost your job. Your spouse has left you. Your family and friends have disowned you. You are left to live by yourself. Why? Because you have contracted a disease for which there is no known cure. A disease our society despises and deems intolerable. Now, imagine that none of this is your fault. This is the ugly truth for many Kenyans living with HIV. Approximately 1.4 million Kenyans are HIV-positive and are in need of a life transformation, both physically and spiritually. Without proper medical, nutritional, and hygienic care, these individuals have limited life expectancy. Without Jesus, they have no eternal hope. CARE for AIDS seeks to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of Kenyans that are HIV-positive by mobilizing local churches to care for those suffering from this disease. CARE for AIDS was started by SLU alumni Justin Miller and teams up with local Kenyan churches to operate life transforming centers that serve the physical, spiritual, economic, and social needs of men and women living with HIV/AIDS. Each of these centers operates from within the local church and serve 80 clients at a time. These 80 men and women go through a nine-month process of education, training, and support in order to live full, productive, and healthy lives. Our students will have the opportunity to serve at one of CARE for AIDS 14 centers that at present have 1050 families in the program, and have seen 1735 graduates and 527 professions of faith over the last five years.

SECONDa Missional climate and approach to leadership development

Both Dr. Jay Strack and Brent Crowe, SLUs president and vice president, will be accompanying the trip and guiding this experience. One of the components that make an SLU program distinct is its holistic approach to development. Therefore an SLU Africa syllabus will be provided to each student. The syllabus and sessions will be designed to address several significant issues necessary to a Christ-centered approach to leadership:

  • How does the mission of God impact my leadership journey?
  • How does the grand narrative of Scripture inform my thinking and approach to justice and mercy ministry?
  • Its a jungle out there: how to maintain a relational approach to leadership in a predatory environment
  • Leadership Lessons from the Legendary Maasai Warriors; one of Africas oldest tribes whose legends are told around the world of heroic and protective feats.
  • Equipping oneself for your Safari into the Future

THIRDa once in a lifetime experience on a world-class safari

SLU Africa Breathtaking is a term that is often over used, not when it describes The Mara Serena Safari Lodge. Located at the very center of the famous Mara Triangle’ of the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge is the ultimate safari destination. Set high on a bush-cloaked hill with long views over the savannah and down to the winding coils of the hippo-filled Mara River, it stands center-stage to one of Africa’s most dramatic wildlife arenas, with a ringside seat for the greatest wildlife show on earth’, the legendary migration of the wildebeest. SLU is proud to offer this experience to alumni of Student Leadership University. On this trip your hands will get dirty from servingtired from writingand shake from the nervous excitement as you capture pictures of lions and elephants in just a few feet of arms reach.

ByBrent Crowe

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Podcast in iTunes

Site Designed and Developed by 5by5 - A Change Agency