Gilbert Wari

Wari received an MA through Andrews University (Newbold campus, UK) in 1992, and a DMin from Andrews University (Babcock University cohort, Nigeria) in 2010. He is currently working on his PhD in leadership from Andrews as well.

What are you involved with that allows you to change the world around you?

I am currently serving in Custodial Services while working on my PhD in leadership. I serve the Department of Physical Therapy, Student Financial Services and Enrollment Management.

How did you get into this work/activity/project/etc.?

After receiving my MA through Andrews University (Newbold campus, UK) I returned home to the West Central Africa Division where I started as a local church pastor. From there God led me to be a mission president, conference president, union departmental director (twice), division executive secretary and division president, supervising God’s work in 22 countries in West and Central Africa (Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the French Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, the French Guinea, the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo). In July 2015, at the General Conference Session held in San Antonio, Texas, another leader took over from me and the Lord helped me come to Andrews. While I had originally planned to join the PhD program at the Seminary, the Lord used a series of events to lead me toward the PhD Leadership program.

In order to make ends meet, I had to start working since I came to Andrews self-sponsored. At first, I was supposed to work with Adventist Information Ministry (AIM), but the Lord impressed upon me that I should balance my academic activities with something more physical. Consequently, I went to work with Custodial Services. I have been serving there since June 2016, and I am very happy that the Lord can use me to serve others and brighten their day.

How have you been changed by this?

I have been reminded that it is truly all about the mission (service). Whether one finds himself/herself at the top of leadership or works as a teacher, pastor, janitor, driver, office secretary, doorkeeper, etc., the mission must continue under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit until King Jesus comes back to take us home according to His promise. Praise the Lord!!

I am very grateful that He has always been leading me ever since I joined this church in 1977. The Lord says, “I will still show you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). One can exclaim with the author of SDAH 524 that, indeed, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus” and follow His leading!”

How have you changed others?

Yesterday, I was a leader in the West-Central Africa Division (WAD). Today, I am here at Custodial while working on my new degree. Tomorrow, when, by His grace, my program is over, the Lord will lead me to another mission field through the guidance of the Holy Spirit for His glory and the blessings of His people.

While Custodial may not seem like a traditional mission field, I am grateful for the small ways that I can bring smiles to the faces of those that I serve. The leaders, employees and students are happy with what I do. I usually tell them that it is “not I, but Christ” (cf SDAH, 570). The Lord gives me strength, willingness and joy to serve happily. The little I do, He covers it with His grace, and it looks nice. Therefore, people are happy, and I am happy to see them happy.