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Dear Friends,

I was just amazed by an email I received from Rev. Dr. Chris Wright. Chris, international director of the Langham Partnership. Chris took over the reins in London from John Stott. Twenty-five years ago, he was my tutor when I did my missionary training. I recently told him about my new book, African Heartbeat. He agreed to read it. Here are some of his comments:

“I’ve finished your book . . . (it’s a long read - and accompanied me on several plane journeys!). It is very well written indeed and engaging - and does a good job of raising so many of the issues you have wrestled with over many years now . . . it is a fascinating read. I did enjoy it and found it both readable and challenging, and very through-provoking - as you no doubt intended! I think it could make a useful resource for mission-focused discussions and training purposes. I had not realised … how many other books you have written. I also see that there is a conference on VM at All Nations, and [the current issue of Global Missiology] devoted to the topic, which I’m sure are encouraging developments. You have 'moved the dial', as they say, significantly in the past 10 years or so especially . . .”

I point my reader to the above novel, the full title of which is African Heartbeat: and a vulnerable fool (click here. to find it on Amazon) This book is an attempt at explaining the nature of my work in Africa, in a format that non-specialists can understand. It will be very helpful to me if as many people as possible can have read it before I come back to the UK, in just about 2-weeks-time!

I recently found this report from the BBC. It tells us that many Kenyan youths would rather leave Kenya. There is something crazy going on in many parts of the world, and not just in Kenya. (China seems to be another example.) Young people are strongly encouraged to aspire to being British or American. No wonder they want to leave for foreign shores, if they are told in school, for years and years, that ‘British (and American) is better than Kenyan’! Unlike China, not only does Kenya (and so other African countries) encourage their youth to learn English. Many African countries have thrown in the towel: they want to be Western, pull out all stops! They have capitulated.

The above is no joke. Young people in Kenya are less and less concerned to think for themselves, or to try to understand their world or what life is about. What counts always seems to be: ‘how good are you at English?’ Unfortunately, English does not address their ways of life. Forcing people to use English is like tying their hands behind their backs; it stops them understanding who they are.

Ironically, a careful look at history reveals how the West has become what it is due to the impact of the Gospel. Nowadays, instead of sharing the Gospel, it is as if the language of English has become God. Things are very serious when millions and millions of people throw in the towel and want only to be as American as possible. Many African countries seem to be willingly making themselves totally dependent on foreign leadership! (See for details.)

A great irony is, that while all the above is happening, the West has its head in the sand. While Africa is cutting off its own legs, the West refuses to perceive what is happening. Why? Because to acknowledge as much puts one in danger of being accused of being racist.

Do have a look here. for copies of papers that were presented at our conference in the USA in November of last year.

I value your prayers for my trip over the next few months. I am to be in Tanzania from 25th April to 7th May speaking at a missionary retreat. Then in UK 8th May to 14th June visiting churches, plus a conference, Germany from 14th June to 27th June visiting churches plus a conference, then Meru in Kenya from 28th June to 2nd July.