END OF JUNE 2019
Give thanks that I have recently had a book proposal accepted. It is to be published under the World Evangelical Alliance, first in Germany, then in the USA. It is an academic book of around 45,000 words. The current title to the book is: Not being racist: an excuse for pulling the rug on Africa. Publishing with the WEA will give the book automatic visibility and credibility. The academic publisher in Germany is affiliated to a contemporarily highly influential evangelical theological seminary in Bonn. The book will also be available in the USA through Wipf and Stock publishers, and as a free pdf download, assuring a wide readership at low cost. In the book I reveal the deception and lies inherent to contemporary Western faith in secularism. A central thesis to the book: supposed opposition to racism is a disguised way of disparaging people’s culture. Opposition to racism conceals God’s work in human hearts, and thus it conceals the Gospel from view. The same, because it conceals people’s culture, is bringing incompetence, poverty, and death in Africa. I am looking for volunteers to proof-read this book before it goes to copy-editing. Please let me know if you are willing: Jim Harries
One of my regular activities, is developing relationships with some of the ‘poorest’ most indigenous churches within cycling distance of my home in Kenya. On recently visiting such a church, I was quite amazed to hear people singing through a PA system. On reaching the church, I found children playing with a professional standard portable speaker and microphones. The pastor of the same church, told me he had found donors, who are to put up a new improved church building for them. Again visiting a similar church, visitors told us of a plan to help indigenous churches throughout the whole country. They are offering to pay pastors, educate their children, construct church buildings, and provide other support, it seems to thousands and thousands of church congregations from West to East. Unlike previous donor-efforts, on this occasion there will be no partiality on the basis of doctrine, as long as a church comes across as Christian, they will offer full support. They will also ensure that the support gets right down to grass-roots ‘poor’ churches and is not intercepted by more wealthy, powerful, Western-oriented congregations. Donors involved are from France, Switzerland, Canada, etc. Around £12,000 per church will be available for buildings alone, we were told.
I value your prayers for my trip, that I am to begin tomorrow:
25th June: visiting some of my grown-children, and Mennonite missionaries in Kisumu, Kenya.
26-29th June: Visiting German missionaries, and some of my children, in Homa Bay, Kenya.
29th - 30th June, Coptic Mission, Nairobi, Kenya.
1st July Coptic Mission, Lusaka, Zambia.
2nd to 25th July – Chizela Bible College, North West Province, Zambia – relearning Kikaonde.
25th to 27th July – Coptic mission and with SIM missionaries in Lusaka. (Maybe visit Livingstone, Zambia?)
28th July, Coptic Mission, Nairobi.
29th July, back home
Please pray for safe travelling and good meetings, and for the Kikaonde language that I learned 30 years ago to ‘come back again’!
My explorations into the Kaonde language of Zambia have already proven interesting. This especially by contrast with bible translations done in East Africa. In East Africa, very commonly, the Holy Spirit is translated by a ‘foreign’ term, from Arabic, Roho. Then the indigenous term for ‘ghost’ is used for evil spirits. In Kaonde in Zambia, the reverse has happened, and the indigenous term for ghost translates ‘spirit’ in Holy Spirit, whereas a foreign term, a transliteration of demons, is used for evil spirits. In Zambia, the term that is in East Africa translated as witchdoctor, is also used to translate Priest. Particularly interesting also, is that the same term that in Kaonde translates ‘Word’, i.e. logos in John 1:1, also translates sin. This is the term mambo. This is clearly related to the issue we have in East Africa, whereby the same term translates ‘word’ and ‘problem’. This results in interesting challenges in interpretation of the Bible.