Wednesday, 02 January 2019 06:01

Changing a Culture One Heart at a Time: CIDEL

Students at CIDEL, on the campus of the University of Bangui, Central African Republic Students at CIDEL, on the campus of the University of Bangui, Central African Republic

When a nation does not value integrity and moral virtue, the effects are felt in all levels of society. Dr. Augustin Hibaile noticed in his country, the Central African Republic, “a deficit of ethical leaders from all levels of society: family, church, and government,” and he determined to do something about it.

“The nation’s morals are like its teeth; the more decayed they are, the more it hurts to touch them.” – George Bernard Shaw

The problems in CAR are understandable. Since it gained independence from France in 1960, the tiny nation located between Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo has had more than its share of unrest and violence. This is particularly true in the years following the 2013 takeover by Muslim rebels. There are hopeful signs, with a peaceful 2016 election and a constitutional referendum that is currently taking place under the supervision of an international delegation.

However, the fact remains: true and lasting peace in CAR will only come when leaders and citizens live out ethical values and make it their goal to have a positive influence on society.

CIDEL—the Center International for the Development of Ethical Leadership—is working to bring Christian ethics into all levels of society. At its heart, it’s a leadership training institute with an emphasis on integrity and living out Biblical principles.

Since its founding in 2005, over 1,500 students have attended CIDEL, which is located on the campus of the University of Bangui. The ethics training provided here is designed to form minds, change hearts, and sharpen character.

And it’s meeting that objective. One student named Prince said, “CIDEL has helped me discover how to be a man of integrity, discipline, and courage.” Another student, Cristel, said she has learned “the importance of living a godly life and making a difference in the world.”

The impact of CIDEL is felt far beyond the bounds of the university. Founder and Executive Director Dr. Augustin Hibaile has had opportunities to work with government leaders from the ministries of Finance, Justice, Defense, the Public Security, and the Interior. He has even met with President Faustin-Arcange Toudéra and other cabinet members for weekly Bible study and prayer. Imagine the lasting results that could come from this ongoing, behind-the-scenes spiritual mentorship at the highest levels of government.

CIDEL has influence beyond the borders of CAR. It was officially recognized by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon in 2013. And Dr. Hibaile was honorably recognized as an avid advocate for transforming cities in the name of Christ at the gathering of the New York Leadership Center in 2016.

These are fantastic accomplishments, and the opportunities for widespread impact continue, but the ongoing strategic work of CIDEL depends on the prayer and financial support of believers around the world.

Specific prayer needs are:

  • That the vision for ethics training would be passed on to coming generations across the entire continent of Africa.
  • For qualified workers to carry out CIDEL’s vision and ministry across different spheres of society.
  • That churches in CAR would catch the vision for societal transformation.
  • For financial support, so CIDEL can respond to requests for training.
  • For someone to take the reigns from Dr. Hibaile as he looks toward retirement.

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