NEWS mid July 2004
Complications arising from Kenya’s attempt at reviewing its constitution have resulted in riots, first in the capital of Kenya (Nairobi), and then later in Kisumu – the latter being just 25 miles from my home. Pray for the constitutional review process to continue peacefully.
Please pray for Mike and Gill Thompson and their son Jonathon from York in the UK who will be here from 12th to 21st July, and then spending a few more days based in Nairobi before returning to the UK.
We have postponed our YTC 10-year celebration from the original planned date of 7th August. We hope it may happen in December of this year – by which time it will be the 11 year celebration! We do expect to have 3 pastors from Tanzanian spending 2 weeks with us at YTC, helping us in our closing and visiting of students from 26th July to 6th August.
Preparations continue apace for KIST graduation. We are to graduate 38 students this year on 25th July (the highest number to date), over half with a diploma in Bible and Theology, and the rest with a BA in Bible and Theology.
16 years of quietly getting on with church work first in Zambia and now in Kenya is to meet a new level of exposure on 29th July when, following the advice of my PhD supervisor in Birmingham, I am to present a research seminar at one of the key Kenyan Government universities.
Professor William Ochieng’ of Maseno university, that I have been told has over 6000 students, has given me this date to share with lecturers and post-graduate students at the Institute for Research and Post-Graduate Studies. I am to talk on the use of language, sharing insights that I have acquired in seeking to share God’s word in ways meaningful to people of this area.
Despite the dominant university language being Kenyan English, I will be sharing in Kiswahili, so as to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that I understand Kenyan English when I don’t. I will be drawing heavily on my knowledge of Dholuo (the Luo language) and how it is used. Languages is a "hot" issue in Kenya. I suspect that a lot of scholars will be amazed to find an "unknown" white man speaking Kiswahili and Dholuo fluently.
Its close relationship with the old colonial power (Britain) and other Western nations means that the wider world is constantly feeding Kenya a diet of often much misconstrued secularism. Pray that I may be able to present a clear Christian critique of this damaging and misleading ideology in my sharing. I am aware of the sensitivity socially and otherwise of what I will share on various linguistic issues. Pray for the ability to speak truthfully, wisely, and in a way that brings glory to God.
Please continue to pray for the children on this country, who are easy prey to aids awareness campaigns. The campaigners came to the school where my children are a few days ago and gave out a lot of free condoms. Pray for the girls of this and other schools as they face pressure to comply with boys seeking to try out their new toys.