As the Church of the Nazarene continues to expand across the Africa Region, leaders reviewed the current field structure and their names.
The first change led by Regional Director Filimao Chambo is the expansion of the Africa Lusophone Field, which will now include all Portuguese-speaking areas.
"This past year I have been in conversation with FSCs (field strategy coordinators), RAC (Regional Advisory Council) members, some district superintendents, and other leaders about the strategy for missions in the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa," Chambo said. "We have concluded that it would be advisable to expand the Africa Lusophone Field to include all the Portuguese-speaking countries and also Equatorial Guinea."
While Spanish is the primary/official language in Equatorial Guinea, Portuguese was also approved in recent years as an official language.
"It seems reasonable to assume that it will fit better to the Lusophone Field," Chambo said.
As of 1 October, the field will include Angola, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Principe. It will continue to be called the Africa Lusophone Field.
Two other fields received new names.
Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were grouped together several years ago to form the Africa Central Field. However, the denomination's work has expanded to a geographical area in Africa that is officially known as central Africa on the maps of Africa and the world.
As of 1 October, the Africa Middle Field will be renamed the Africa Central Field, which is consistent with the name of this geographical area. Many of the countries on this field are French-speaking. The word for "middle" in French is "central," which caused confusion.
The countries of Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are located between south and east Africa, so the field will be renamed Africa South-East Field.
"Although field changes either in countries served or names used can be confusing for a time, I am sure we can quickly adjust," Chambo said.
--Church of the Nazarene Africa Region