Since my last news, I completed my teaching in the South of Tanzania, near the Mozambique border. My 10 students did well. I was teaching them on Christian Stewardship. The highlight of the course was probably my bringing in a local church leader to answer their questions. I was told that no one else had ever done this. It worked well, it seemed to me, as a way of getting local input to the students.
One of the leaders of the church told me a little more about the Kanisa la Biblia (Church of the Bible), as their denomination is known in Tanzania. German missionaries who came post world-war two were frequently chased away, because the area was heavily Islamic. They eventually settled at a few stations. There are just a few families that have come to Christ from the largely Islamic Yao people group. The work of those early missionaries was foundational to establishing hospitals and schools, which are now being handed over to nationals. The predominance of Islam means that a lot of the churches around have few members.
Leaders of the church asked me to consider going back to do some more teaching. I am prayerfully considering that option. They want to use the diploma course to develop a competent leadership that can engage internationally as well as in Tanzania. That requires English. I find teaching using English very frustrating because of very low levels of comprehension and connection with indigenous contexts. Engagement using English can seem to encourage prosperity Gospel more than discipleship.
On completing my teaching, I have travelled around 1800 km by bus (3 full days in a bus) to my current location as I write, in Tanzania near the border with Kenya, in the town of Musoma. I was able to visit and encourage some pastors on my way here. I am now completing four days of ministry with the Coptic church here in Musoma. As always, ministry is fascinating – especially to me, because of ways in which people live and understand the Gospel that takes no account of ‘modernity’. Of course that should not surprise us, but it does because we think, somehow, they should have imbibed ‘our’ values.
Sunday 8th October thanksgiving for 35 years of missionary service, incorporating a birthday celebration, to be held as part of a missions’ Sunday at Wantage Baptist Church in Oxfordshire. WELCOME. Sunday morning service 10.30 am. The address is 6 Mill Street, Wantage OX12 9AQ, very near Wantage’s central market square, very near St. Alfred’s statue.
‘Working with Dead People’
Pray for Tanzania and other African people’s response to challenges of contemporary life. My experience verifies, that the global spread of the internet and smart phones, is making it more difficult for people in Africa either to be content with their lot, or to desire to invest into their own people and contexts. ‘Escape’ into things that glitter brightly, whether linguistically into English, or geographically into the West if possible, is high on the agenda for the young and mobile. The pace of change is so fast, that one wonders whether Africa will flounder before they ever get near ‘catching up’, or even ‘getting their feet onto the ground’. The desperation for learning English can dwarf the rest of life. Yet, what people are aiming at, threatens to engulf them …
Please pray for my mother’s visit from the UK. Mum is to arrive in Nairobi on the 13th July. I anticipate that we will spend most of the time at the Coptic mission in Maseno (near Yala), with excursions. She is to leave again from Nairobi on 26th July. I am looking forward to showing mum some of my haunts! Pray for her for good health.
Craig Greenfield, who was recently featured in the March 2023 edition of Premier Christianity Magazine (pages 16-19), is to be our guest speaker at the next webinar, to be held 20th July. Welcome! Go to vulnerablemission.org
The wide-spread of the use of whatsapp today is such, that I plan to set up a whatsapp group to receive my regular news and information. (2x per month). If you would like to be included, please message me at +254721804282
This article entitled: Preventing Abuses in the International Aid Sector: A Global Effort, and a British-based Case Study has been published in globalmissiology.org
‘Bringing Love to Africa’
For a discussion on ‘bringing love to Africa’ please go to this link (on academia.edu)
‘New’ Website I have revamped my old website – now new, up to date, and informative! Have a look here for more: www.jim-mission.org.uk