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News for Mid March 2008

Threat of American military action eventually convinced Kenyan leaders to share power. Now let's see if they can make it work .

* I am saddened by the educational experience of my children at home. (Twelve local African children stay in my house.) They never talk at home about what they have learned at school, except when huddled over each other's books explaining things in preparation for exams. This is because they are taught in English. This is a language they barely understand, that doesn't relate to their day to day lives, and the speaking of which is 'taboo' in our local community. But, without it they have no hope of one day getting a job in the (corrupt) 'formal sector' of the economy.

* 'I used to serve with church X.' my colleague shared. 'White visitors used to come. One day, an American visitor embraced me, and said that he loved me. I said the same to him in return. Then my African bishop called me aside, and said "Leave those Whites alone. They are my visitors. If you want Whites then get your own."' My colleague left this church. He has rightly observed, that getting a White friend is the 'break' that results in success for local pastors. Without a White friend, you get know-where. If you have a White friend, the financial implications of this relationship mean that your church will get lots of members. Quite likely you will soon be driving a car, earning higher degrees and travelling internationally.

To us, a White man is God, my friend observed. Yes, he is upset, but yet his bitterness won't help anything, because unless you get a White friend you are a nobody, and have to spend all your daylight hours on hard manual work just to keep food on the table. Yes, my children at home can be zombie-like through having to spend their prime years learning things that make little sense. Yes, local languages and local wisdom are garbage because everything is controlled by those absent foreigners. Yes, this domination by the foreign promotes magic and superstition. Yet, I have discovered, suggesting to Whites that either their language or their money is not the salvation of Africa but one of its biggest problems, and some of them will get upset. So convinced are even Western Christians sitting pretty in their 'developed economies' of the desperate need for the rest of the world to benefit not from the Gospel, but from their tongue and finance.

(See also more in this theme.)

Please pray for the Church of God missionary retreat in Malindi that I am to attend at the start of April. From there I hope to share at some Bible-teaching seminars in Tanzania till the end of the month.