NEWS END OF SEPTEMBER 2015
The American missionary group in Kisumu (25 miles away) had asked me to provide some training for their new missionary. I was happy to oblige. He had already received some basic language instruction. My job was to provide a ‘cultural orientation’. That is, to help him to see how ministry could be done by an outsider within the African milieu. To do this not in the classroom, but as with an apprentice; in practice! This was very challenging. I took him with me on some of my ‘regular routines’; visiting, walking and talking (and drinking tea), attending indigenously led fellowships, even giving him a lift on the back of my bicycle. Being able to influence someone so early in their ministry could make a difference to his whole stay in Africa. At the same time someone’s capability at absorbing new information over an ‘intensive’ two days is limited and I didn’t want to wear the poor fellow out. Thanks for your prayers!
This church (i.e. denomination), usually heavily occupied in demon-chasing, had arranged a weekend teaching seminar, especially for their leaders within the county. I had visited a branch of the church with my American colleague just a few days before, so I had heard about it, and went to join them. I had been at the same site for a weekend event 6 or so years previously. On that occasion the strong focus had indeed been on demon-casting. I expected much the same-again. This time was very different. The leaders of the church, about 30 women and 20 men sat under the shade of a tarpaulin in this homestead, were quiet and attentive as one speaker after another shared.
At times like that, I wish a fellow Westerner could have joined me to hear the teaching. (I.e. a Westerner who could understand the language used and the context being addressed.) It was not what one would have got in the West, like in the UK. It was broadly speaking prosperity teaching. But it was not ‘crude’ prosperity teaching. It was teaching people how to live well. How to accumulate wealth instead of squandering it. How to be generous. How to support the leaders of the church. How to make churches prosper and grow. As I have these days come to expect – there was neither talk of the material, nor talk of the spiritual. It was always of both – as if there was no difference between the two. That’s hard to get your head around for someone like myself born and raised in the UK.
Here’s the news written by the wife of the missionary who recently accompanied me, including a report of his time with me.
For information on my latest book see: here.