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Dear Friends,

Tuesday 17th January I was privileged to share with the group of Egyptians remaining here at Coptic. I brought a story from Mangalwadi. (I highly recommend this book by the way: Mangalwadi, Vishal, 2011, The Book that made your World: how the Bible created the soul of western civilisation. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.) As a Christian who had spent time in the West, after Mangalwadi went back to India, he was shocked to discover a family in his home-village who were intentionally allowing their daughter to die. These days we assume that everyone values all human life. Those Indian villagers seemed to be an exception.

I ask: In Genesis 18 – why did Abraham care about the Sodomites? In chapter 19, was Lot the only hospitable person in the whole town? These days, people like us to assume that ‘all people’ are simply ‘good’ and concerned for all others. Is this necessarily true, or is it an impact of Biblical teachings?

One Tanzanian girl was with us. I was translating for her, while teaching. She told us that a certain village near her home was renowned because it’s people are witches. Her mother had always warned her not to go there, and not to greet people from that village. As a Christian, she decided to pray blessing on them, and to openly greet them. One person from that village of witches was particularly suspect of causing them problems. He died suddenly, thus convincing her that what she was doing was right.

A few days later . . . I shared a message about being concerned for others, as was Abraham. This time the audience was in a Luo village home. Our gathering had been dominated by a prophetess who was helping people to identify and exorcise untoward spirits from their lives. I felt I was speaking God’s truth into a very ‘indigenous’ context.

A friend of mine had a surprise (to me!) hysterectomy. It turns out to have been done by a British doctor. Kenyan doctors are striking. The Brits apparently rented a ward and operating theatre at our local hospital, then did up to 15 operations per day. “Kenyans wouldn’t do that,” said my friend to me. Kenyan people consider that their own people do not share that kind of concern for the ‘other’. Meanwhile, parallel issues at Coptic, the Coptic hospital is becoming the fall-back because government services are not operational. Modern medical services are too foreign for people here. Their concern is with recognising witches and driving out demons. Where to from here . . . ?