Renewal Conference 2017

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The Beacon of Hope Mission trip in January this year was unique for us.  For the first time ever, we brought each team leader with their spouse or a second team member to Johannesburg for a 4-day seminar. This is a total of about 35 participants from three countries. Unfortunately our four person team from Uganda was not able to be with us because they were not able to get visas to come to South Africa.  The eMseni Conference Center was perfect for our purpose. It is run by the Methodist Church from the nearby town of Benoni.  The property was very tranquil and beautifully kept.

We had very few objectives for holding our first International Renewal Conference:

  1. We wanted our African partners to all get to know each other.  To develop a sense that they are part part of something a little larger than their individual Smart Choices projects. We wanted them to have an opportunity to establish new friendships with their partners in neighboring countries.
  2. We wanted to spoil them with an all expenses paid stay in comfortable accommodations and all meals provided. They have been on the front lines sometimes working under very difficult circumstances. Zodwa has been doing it since the beginning, 13 years. Derrick for ten.
  3. We wanted to refill their spiritual tanks using Pastor Matt's Restor pastoral refresher course as a model.


Welcome Ndlovu, Johannesburg team

Days one and two were dedicated to covering all Smart Choices topics. Smart Choices is the name of the Aids Prevention Program that the teams teach. Topics we covered were:

  • Each team had an opportunity to introduce themselves and speak briefly about their program (by the Team Leaders).
  • A review of the Smart Choices AIDS training curriculum, with the view of making possible updates to the manual and videos (by Glynn & Melissa).
  • Grant writing with a focus on starting with applying for grants from Beacon of Hope (by Melissa) and also through the US government PEPFAR fund (by Janet Okoye, the first BOHI successful applicant and Christianne Wendler US Embassy rep who is the South African Country Manger for the PEPFAR program)
  • Project results reporting requirements and mechanism (by Melissa)


Pastor Jeff 

Days third and fourth focused on spiritual renewal:

  • Everyone did a Life Map.
  • Mission focus/Vocational Calling (by Jeff Scorziell).
  • Prevention against mission burnout. (by Jeff Scorzeill)
  • Setting aside a time for Sabbath rest and focus on God. (by John Tempelhoff)


All Renewal Conference attendees

We also did a few fun activities:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie cooking demonstration (by Tammy Scorziell & Judy Smith)
  • Ladies Spa Time. They did facial treatments. the ladies painted each others nails, they did adult coloring, and Melissa did massages for each lady.
  • While the ladies were having their Spa day, the men had a health presentation and voluntary blood pressure tests, followed by a game of touch rugby.  
  • On our last evening together we had a Braai Vleis or BBQ dinner followed by an evening of ethnic entertainment. Most were dressed in their ethnic garb. See the pictures on Facebook. The USA team's contribution was a session of Line and Square dancing, accompanied by the scrumptious chocolate cookies being handed out. DZ Mhkwanzi had the most authentic costume.

See Also second week posts:

Comments by Renewal Conference attendees:

  • We are so grateful. May the Lord Bless you and Keep you and make his face to shine upon you and give you peace. All of you. Trudy Rusike
  • What a wonderful & blessed time we spent with you. We have seen Jesus in you, your love & care is so amazing! May the good Lord keep you & use you more & give you more years to come to S.A. - Zodwa
  • This was great. We indeed got empowered & got refreshed. Thank you . God Bless you always. - Welcome Ndlovu
  • Thank you BOHI team for organizing such a wonderful Renewal Conference. I was so much rewarded and empowered by all the activities. Thank you. - Seabird
  • What a refreshing week and empowering event. When the Louis Giglio video was played it provoked something in me. There would never be a week like this and there will never be. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Great start to 2017 - Tumelo
  • Thank you for availing yourself for Africa and its people. It's called a dark continent but with people lke you, we see hope which is a symbol of light in Africa. - Sam Makhura
  • We thank the Lord for everything you are doing for S. African children & for all of us. You never know what impact you have to us. May the good Lord bless you. We enjoyed the conference so much. I am empowered and equipped for the job before me. - Zodwa
  • What a wonderful time, guys. I will never forget in my life. Can we do this every year? Maybe change venues or countries. I would love to go to Uganda or Zambia. Love and Joy is making me DREAM. Acts 2:44-47 Love you and I am praying for you. - Derrick
  • I just want to express my gratitude for the Renewal Conference, it was very beneficiary for me and my wife just to take some time out, just to forget about the family chores and other businesses here at home. Really enjoyed it. We had a time just to refresh, and we are beginning this year in a refreshed mood. Some of us, especially me in particular I do a lot of work, pastoring, Smart Choices, Orphan care work, these ministries keep me busy throughout the year. So to get such a time like that its quite refreshing.May God bless you Vu and Marvelous Lusinga

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