To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends
from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya
and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council
30th September 2013
‘Finally be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil’ Ephesians 6:10, 11
My dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Today we are just three weeks away from the first day of GAFCON 2013 and I am eagerly looking forward to welcoming many of you from around the world to Nairobi and All Saints Cathedral. Last week our General Secretary, Archbishop Peter Jensen and our Executive Director, Bishop Martyn Minns, were with me here in Nairobi on a planned visit to review our preparation and we are so thankful to God for his blessing and provision.
I know however that, like me, you will have been very distressed by the callous and violent attack on the Westgate shopping centre here in Nairobi last week. It seems that this was an exercise carefully designed in cold blood to create a climate of fear and break the spirit of the Kenyan people. We have seen a manifestation of evil in this city, but my prayer for our conference is that it will be a manifestation of the presence of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are gathering to be inspired afresh from the Scriptures by the love of God which has triumphed over evil by the power of the cross and compels us to reach all nations. Nairobi will become the focus not of bad news, but of the good news of the gospel of God.
Terrorism is of course a global phenomenon, as those brothers and sisters joining us from Pakistan and Nigeria know only too well. Likewise, but more subtly, the spiritual crisis of secularism and pluralism is also becoming a global threat through the spread of mass communications. To meet these challenges we need to become a Communion which is confident and courageous in its witness because it is making strong disciples who are securely grounded in the truth of God’s Word.
GAFCON 2013 builds on the outstanding achievement of our first meeting In Jerusalem five years ago. Now, as we meet again in Nairobi, we look forward not only to a time of refreshment and inspiration, but we also prepare ourselves to give careful thought to the action we need to take so that we can sustain and strengthen our fellowship for the future.
It is a very big encouragement to me that so many of you will be here in solidarity with us, standing ‘strong in the Lord and the strength of his might’. I want to assure delegates that we are of course taking every step possible to ensure your safety and security, and ask all of us to join with me in earnest prayer in seeking the face of the Lord as we prepare for this great gathering.
The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans