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News for End of January 2008

Dear friends,

Conclusion reached early in the course I am teaching at KIST: using English you can defend African theology, and Africans can contribute to debates on Western theology, but you cannot do African theology. That is, it is impossible to sensibly discuss and advocate progress in the African church at any depth unless one uses an African language. Theology MUST be taught/discussed in African languages if the church in Africa is ever to grow from its own roots.

I am realising increasingly just how many of 'Africa's problems' are being caused by the fact that the language of rule (English) just does not fit with the extant culture. Even the help given by outsiders in the current crisis in Kenya, in linguistically ignoring the Kenyan context (discussion is presumably occurring in English), is like a boxer in the ring wearing a blindfold!

The Serving in Mission annual Kenya spiritual life conference is from 31st Jan. to 3rd February in Nairobi. I hope to attend, if the unrest does not stop me from travelling. Pray for discussions that are to follow the conference on my future relationship with SIM. My primary interest in being associated with them, is in order to be linked with fellow missionaries back in the UK. They do not see the point, as things stand, in my being linked with them if we are not cooperating in any ministry here in Kenya. Because their personnel are apparently all either geographically distant, operating in English and/or heavily involved in donor roles, it is hard to find a place for cooperation!

Continue to pray for a way out of the political impasse in which Kenya still finds itself. Kofi Annan is currently in country attempting to mediate.

Best wishes,