MID AUGUST 2019
Good news from Zambia – is that I now have an open invitation from the bishop to, when I get opportunity, teach at the bible school that I recently visited. I was able to speak to the bishop before leaving Zambia, and he gave me a green light. (I do not know if or when this may happen. It takes 4-6 days of travel to get there.) I may try to combine it with other visits in the years ahead.
Linguistically speaking, my knowledge of Kikaonde is far too poor to use for teaching. My main hope would be that I pick it up as I teach. I want to keep it ticking over while I am in Kenya. I note that the Zambian people’s attitude to their own languages is different from that in Kenya. In some ways it is more positive. That gives me hope that just perhaps students will be able to put up with my struggles in Kaonde, should I come back for that purpose. Your prayers valued.
On getting back home, I found that all were well. I attended my home church on the 4th, at which I was asked to preach. Although it is good to travel, it is also good to be home!
I have had some good news on the immigration front. I have now been 2 years without a work permit. The government folks finally got to visit me a few months ago. Who knows what they were looking for. One of them, however, picked up a copy of one of my books. He seemed impressed, and later when we went back to town commented positively on it. So, maybe my writing is what now gives me my legitimacy to continue staying in Kenya! It continues to be challenging, as I become more and more aware of how little the West understands what is ‘really’ going on in Africa!
See here for one of my latest articles, just gone to press. Title: ‘Christian Mission Conference enabling communication across linguistic and economic divides; focusing on Africa.’ In it I look at important considerations for people considering holding serious conferences to be attended by African as well as Western people. On the topic of articles: I am noticing a growing interest in the pieces I am publishing in Swahili. I think this is because of a great dearth in advanced materials in that language. Hence I am seeking to do more Swahili writing, … when I can get through my current ‘to-do’ list!
A comment from a recent visitor has stuck in my mind . . . He told me of the days when he was a child, and a certain aunty would come to visit, and insist on telling her sister’s children lots of traditional stories. What was striking was when my visitor told me; ‘no one tells those stories any more now, and no one wants to hear them. These days we all want to hear bible stories’. Immediately, I thought, what a shame. Then I thought; no, that is right. Why force people to hear stories that they don’t want to hear? Bible stories are obviously much more inspiring to people. Isn’t that incredible!? What is it about bible stories that makes them so inspiring? Now there’s a question …
Prayers valued, as I plan to make some visits over the next week, and then go to Kisumu, and participate in the annual conference of my home church.