NEWS MID JULY 2013
I can’t blame other visitors for having less time to spend getting close to indigenous churches and the community around my home in Yala in Kenya. The cultural chasm for a Westerner is so vast that it is hard work! Amazingly, Ross had prepared sufficiently, so that he was clearly able to pronounce some Swahili phrases on the day of his arrival in Kenya! As a flexible single man who could ride a bicycle, and a trainee Baptist minister in the UK, Ross was interested in ministry in local churches. We visited many churches with him, as well as having him participate in KIST, visit homes to pray for folks, and attend a funeral. Sometimes it was as if I had an African travel companion - except for his lack of language and cultural knowledge. I was able to translate the heartfelt messages that Ross had prepared for every location.
I think Ross was amazed by much that he saw and experienced. He himself testified that his outlook on Africa has been transformed by his experience. Ross was with me for just 12 days. We could do with more young folks of his ilk. I told him that new workers should commit themselves to a minimum of 10 years. Ross' patience and willingness to travel by bicycle, accept strictures of village life smiling, and engage with local people's Christian lives and churches was encouraging. His high valuation of vulnerable mission principles enabled him to share in ministry with me. It would be good to have more people like that. Ross realised that my involvement in vulnerable mission is not about highfaluted academics unconnected to grassroots mission. It is about reaching African people with the Gospel and with development, and about relating to them as brothers.
As I write, the North family and I are occupying ourselves viewing African wildlife on the Masai Mara Savannah. One generation on, it is good to renew good fellowship that I had with them back in 1987/8! It is great to be showing a British family some of the African ropes, and to be able to share insights, encouragements and inspiration along the way.
The North family is due to leave for the UK on 14th July. On the 16th, God willing, I will travel to Nairobi, then to reach Mbulu in Tanzania for 5 days of ministry on the 17th. I hope to spend a total of a month in Mbulu, Babati, Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and elsewhere in Tanzania. I anticipate that this will be primarily offering seminars, visiting ministry, and other teaching. I am to translate for an international conference on tent-making 1st to 4th August in Dar es Salaam. Please pray for my travelling alone and over many miles by bus, that I will be able to connect with Tanzanian people. Most of my hosts are bishops, who were once my students at KIST.
I have to say that I am very impressed by the recent Evangelical Alliance campaign to encourage Christians to engage in fostering and adoption. As someone who has adopted many children; my word is find out more at this url and get busy adopting/fostering kids!