By Sharon Mager
BALTIMORE, Md.–Over 100 people, representing Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Angola, Rwanda, the DR Congo, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville and Haiti participated at Salem Gospel Church’s recent multicultural festival at Hazelwood Baptist Church.
The atmosphere was festive. Many dressed in colorful clothes representing their home countries. There were booths representing different cultures. Some were manned by those seeking to minister to refugees and migrants, others, such as the Bantu Heritage Foundation, were dedicated to maintaing and uniting the Bantu tribes and improving social conditions. Several women were selling traditional African clothing.
Salem Gospel Ministries’ praise band played and an assortment of traditional cultural food was served.
Pastor Adrien Ngudiankama said the goal of the festival was to make French speaking migrants aware of Salem, and its ministries and locations. The festival was also intended as an opportunity to unite and worship.
“We wanted to make sure people know we can celebrate Christ with our cultures wherever we are,” Ngudiankama said.
Margaret Dureke, the president of WETATi, an organization dedicated to empower women to achieve their individual and collective potentials spoke on issues facing African migrants in Maryland.
An African American serving as a missionary in a closed country shared her struggles and asked for prayers to guard and strengthen her as she ministers in an Islamic environment.
Ed Reese, pastor of Hazelwood Baptist Church, brought the message, emphasizing evangelism and our walking obediently in Christ.
As a result of the conference, in an effort to holistically care for African and Haitian migrants, Ngudiankama said there is a possibility of starting a collaborative social ministry focusing on the wellbeing of migrants in collaboration with many churches and local humanitarian organizations.
Ngudiankama, his wife Barbara who ministers by his side, and his ministry staff would like to expand the festival next year and include migrant churches from other cultures.