News for End of March 2006
Global Connections Connection?
I see an important part of my mission role being to help people in the UK (the West) to better understand how to work in Africa. I would value making more inputs into the British mission scene. I have an invitation to present a paper in the UK to key British mission leaders. This would need 6 months notice. Much international travelling is I feel however incompatible with 'grass-roots' work here. In consultation with my supporters and following prayer, I have for the time being turned down this invitation. I intend to take it up when I am anyway travelling to the UK. This could be three years away.
Let me know if you think there are further contributions I can make while still here in Kenya.
"Ni wa ukweli mtupu" (this is absolutely true) said an African person after listening to the Maarifa Lecture (a public lecture) that I presented (in Kiswahili) to KIST students and staff on 15th March 2006. Pray for me to know how to respond to the enormous intercontinental gulf in understanding between (Black) Africa and Europe. I recently arranged a debate between KIST students entitled: "Are donors good for the church in Africa?" At the end of the debate 7 students said that donors are good for the African church, and six said that they are bad for the church. I guess some people are tired of being dominated by foreigners who don't understand them, although they are also in a dependence trap which it is not at all easy to get out of.
I continue to value prayer for a closely related issue with which I have been battling for a long time. The notion that the value and only value of white people in Africa is to turf out the contents of their pockets, is constantly being strengthened as ever increasing numbers of Westerners pour into Kenya determined to spend money to solve people's problems. Very few of these visitors take the time to make more careful checks on the impact of what they do. Their activities make having a normal relationship with African people more and more difficult.
The latest addition to the Harries household in Kenya has been a sewing machine. The old treadle-type machine is to be used by some of the girls who stay with me to do our household repairs and learn to make some money by doing repairs for others. Pray for wisdom in nurturing the children who I have at my home, particularly in relation to recent concerns requiring discipline.
Pray for seminars on 'marriage and family life' planned for Siaya (11th to 13th April) and Yala (17th to 21st April) under Siaya and Yala Theological Centres.