NEWS END OF MAY 2014
Despite having lived here 21 years, I still look (and maybe behave?) very oddly. Hence frankly it is difficult to get to positions where I can share with people on their issues at depth heart-2-heart. The exception to this rule; the children who I have reared at home. Many of them are now adults with their own homes, families, and challenges. Of course they know me well, our having lived together for many years. When it comes to talking to them, I am free and they feel free. Pray for the opportunities this gives to be an ongoing encouragement to them in their lives and to encourage them and their spouses and colleagues and friends in their Christian walk. Pray that this may open other doors.
Many people know the Amish as a group of peace-loving Americans who refuse modern technology and prefer to ride horse-drawn buggy’s to cars. A group that broke away from the strict Amish, are the Beachy Mennonites. I was privileged to visit some of their missionaries in near-by Kisumu again last week. It’s an honour to be able to (informally) advise newer groups of missionaries about missionary work in this part of the world. Another senior missionary couple recently asked if I could make an effort to visit them as soon as I find opportunity. Many missionaries are struggling with issues to do with power, language, African tradition, how to handle money and corruption, etc.
Funeral pressure is an incredible force here! Here’s an example: A man, who came from a catholic background, joined my home church. When his father died, there was a big concern that should no one attend his father’s funeral, he may go back to being a Catholic. So, people were sought to attend the funeral. Many were busy that Saturday, but I was free, so I was recruited for that role. Along I went. Often in churches I find a common announcement to the church members being ‘if there is a funeral, all of us must go’! Funerals are an important place at which to advertise one’s churches.
“I’ve read one of your articles and I really liked it. Can I come and see you? Where can I find you and when are you around?” Thus read a recent email from an ex-student of Kima International School of Theology. This particular student has done a lot of theological study. He has a regular job which does not use all his theological knowledge. He wanted to know how to put his advanced training to greater use. “Do some research on the church amongst your own people” I told him. I hope he will do so, and that we will continue to be in touch so that I can encourage him in the same in the days ahead!
An excellent technical, scientific cum philosophical and scholarly account of vulnerable mission written by Norwich Central Baptist Church member Tim Reeves can be found here. (Also included is a paper by Jean Johnson, and the paper by John Henry, who were also at our November 2013 conference.)