NEWS MID JANUARY 2015
You are all welcome to attend one or more of the vulnerable mission conferences to be held at different locations in the UK in April of this year. Spaces are limited at some of the events. There is an early-bird discount. Full details available here.
A day in the life of a missionary in Africa - 8th January 2015:
Upon request, the housemother made me an early breakfast, so that by 7.30am I was on my bike for the three mile ride to Yala. I had various errands, including buying a pair of flip flops for one of my children, some malaria medicine, some fencing nails (which I ended up forgetting) posting a letter, and so on. At 8.30am my pastor colleague was telling me over the phone: “My friend will soon be here. Expect us at your home shortly.”
9.30am found me back home. My colleague soon arrived, together with a young man who is a relative of a certain orphaned six year old boy. We began our discussion. I was offering a place to the boy in my home. I sat with the housemother, pastor, and the boy’s relative. We explained just how my home functions, and the conditions under which we agree to take in the little boy. This meeting was intended to get to know one another and to discuss. Later all parties will pray so that, if the wider family of the boy want this, we can have another meeting later at which to come to a decision.
By 11.30am after all our discussions, I packed my bags and began the one-hour’s cycle to the Coptic Orthodox Church compound in Maseno, getting a light lunch on the way. Once in Maseno, I had a long skype conversation with Ralph Hanger, a colleague in the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission. We are in the throes of reaching out to the Chief Executive Officers of over 70 mission organisations and agencies from different parts of the UK. The aim, is to remind them of an email that they recently received, and to encourage them to attend an invitation-only consultation on vulnerable mission to be held in Oxford in April.
After various correspondences, I went, Swahili Bible in hand, to teach Swahili to some of my Coptic colleagues. Unfortunately the class did not work out. I did have opportunity to discuss some anticipated details of my planned visit to a monastery for up to a week in Egypt in March (on my way to the UK). Once back in my room, it was soon time for me to visit and pray for the sick. I visited seven wards in the Coptic hospital, just a minute’s walk from my room, encouraging the sick and praying for their healing. That took over an hour. Most of the time I used Swahili, but a few times Dholuo. A number of the Luo patients also know me from my work in the Luo community.
Having completed those visits, 15 minutes later I joined two Kenyan colleagues in the chapel for evening prayers. Suddenly 10 or so visitors from Nairobi joined us. After a short liturgy, I was asked to lead the study. I took the same topic as I had in the hospital: 2 Kings 25:9 and surrounding verses: Jerusalem was totally destroyed, but God’s people continued to hold to their faith in him in their hearts. We were done by about 9.45pm, which just gave me time to phone Marilyn James in the UK who has been copy-editing my latest book (this was 6.45pm in the UK). (This book should be out in a few months. It is entitled: Secularism and Africa: In the Light of the Intercultural Christ.)
See here for my recent review of a book called ‘The Myth of Religious Violence’.
Happy New Year to all!