ASF members, friends and associates of this gigantic organisation it gives me great pleasure to reflect and commend the work of Anglican Students’ Federation, for our short time in the office as the newly elected leadership of 2014-2015.
I would like to start by paying tribute to all those members and friends who have passed away during this past year. Their presence will be dearly missed, our sincere condolences go to their families once again, may their souls rest in peace and rise in glory, hope they are watching over us and guiding our federation.
The federation was celebrating its 54th year of existence in this year’s conference and 24 years after the liberation of our country which also was significant for ASF because it changed the federations focus because apartheid was no longer the binding factor; therefore the ministry had to continue in a new context and with new aims. Now the question that we have to ask ourselves is that are we still relevant as a student structure and are we carrying out the mission and vision of the federation in our respective ANSOC’s?
It gives me great pleasure to see that our respective Regions are carrying out programs, which are a benchmark for other organisations because Ansoc is still the only Student Christian Organisation which doesn’t only focus on ministry but also focuses on issues which affect us as young people and students, that’s what makes us unique from the other organisations, but it is also our weakness, because we tend to focus less on the spiritual aspect of it all, and that is why we find our Ansoc’s losing membership to other structures as if we praise a less God then others. It is very painful when you find out that other ANSOC’s are just in universities by name, but no programs what so ever, but when it comes to conference every branch is represented by people.
These are the many challenges which we face as an organisation, there can only be one solution to these challenges and that is to be honest to ourselves first and also accept and seek for help from those who have been there before us, and those who still have the love and passion for our federation. I put this as a challenge and call to all ASF friends to assist and mentor the second layer of leadership, Mark 3:14 reads as follows “Then He appointed twelve, that might be with him and that He might send them out to preach” Jesus welcomed people to come to Him for mentoring. He was and is the ultimate mentor. He developed imperfect humans to become effective leaders. Jesus did everything a mentor can do to enable the disciples to flourish in their personal lives and ministry. In Matthew 11:28-30, He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” In those days a yoke was used for oxen as they laboured in the field. The yoke He spoke of was designed to harness two oxen, a strong one and a weak one. The weaker of the two was present to learn what it meant to work in the field through “on the job” training from the stronger ox. Most of the weight was carried by the strong one until the development process was complete. This is the challenge we face in our Ansocs, leaders leave without mentoring and guiding the second layer of leaders, hence we find our Ansocs dead after certain individuals have left. This is a humble plea to all lovers of God and of ASF to work hand in hand and grow our beloved federation.
This year we are also facing many challenges in our different institutions, there increasing amounts of strikes in our Universities; it is evident that the devil is targeting young people, and this affects ASF directly because it’s the futures of our members that are on the line. This is a test of time, and our faith, and we must stand firm in our faith and pray until something happens. Nearly every moment of life is a test; however there are seasons of testing that can be identified, understood and passed if we are alert. When God tests us, He takes us through a crucial screening which reveals what they are made of. Passing the test is the pathway to progress. Therefore in these difficult times let us pray for each other and let’s not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Lesotho.
As the PEC we are always willing to be of any assistance to each and every Ansoc that is in need, as we are trying to create an Ansoc for our brothers, sisters and children which will still exist for another 54 years, and all evil spirit that try to stop us from achieving this, will not prosper. As God is on our side, the devil shall sweat when it stands on our way.
God bless Africa, God bless ASF, and God bless you all.
53RD ASF President.