History of Unity in Africa
_At this time there are approximately 65 Unity ministries in Africa.
That number includes 6 in Ghana, 1 in South Africa, 1 in Benin, 1 in Ethiopia and about 55 in Nigeria.
_Africa Is Strongly Unity
_The Unity ministries in Africa are very strongly Unity. At this time they focus on Unity books, with the older “classic” books as their favorites. They have a great desire to learn, and sending enough copies of a book such as Lessons in Truth, or Teach Us to Pray for a majority of the congregation can be a great blessing. They are not usually interested in books which are not written by a Unity minister, nor would they have a speaker who is not a Unity minister or a Licensed Unity Teacher.
_One of the great blessings with having a Sister Ministry is the opportunity to learn more about another culture. Even different parts of the United States and Canada, while being relatively close, have very different cultures.
Unity in Africa is the same way. You learn more about their Unity ministries with every form of communication, just as they will learn more about your center from all of the various ways you communicate with them. Sending a short “questionnaire” such as the one in this manual can help you get valuable information about how your Sister Ministry can be best served.
_Think Before You Write
_Please realize that anything you say may be taken as “law” since you are in the U.S. It is important to think of our words, and what we would like to portray. With prayer as a basis, great work is done.
_The way in which individuals are addressed is much more formal in Africa. It is customary to address Unity ministers in Nigeria by their official titles. Thus those who have achieved the status of senior ministers are addressed as “Senior Reverend”. This is done to show respect.
_Electricity and Technical Challenges
_Many of the people now have some access to the internet, although often through cyber cafes where they have to pay to send and receive emails. This is increasing all of the time. Ongoing electricity blackouts and power surges can be a problem for those who have computers. Always remember that electrical items such as computers, CD players, etc from the United States will not work in Africa and Europe without adaptors.
_City and Rural Churches
_The churches vary from location to location. Some of the churches are in rural areas and have few members that are literate in English. Others are in cities where English is frequently spoken and many of the members speak English, or at least read it. All of them desire Unity books and materials.
_Use Priority Mail First
_It is recommended that you make initial contact by Priority Mail. Do this before sending any large packages to get very clear on addresses. Enjoy your new friends; celebrate them as they will celebrate you. It is not much more expensive to send a book in a padded manila mailing envelope priority mail than it is to send a letter. And be sure to add a picture of your ministry! Pictures truly say a thousand words.
_Use Photos to Create an Educational Display
_Pictures and posters from your sister church, along with a permanent display can certainly aid the process of connecting people in your ministry with those in your Sister Ministry. A tri-fold board explaining about your Building Bridges team and highlighting the Sister Ministry can go a long way towards creating a strong team. Send pictures to your Sister Ministry and ask them for some, too!