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Dear friends,

A few local pastors including myself are getting to know one another better by visiting each others homes and enjoying fellowship and discussions. Give thanks for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of meetings of pastors that contribute to local church life.

It looks as if senior Coptic Orthodox bishops, perhaps including the patriarch himself, may be visiting us here in Maseno in the next few weeks. We are told that there may be 100 plus visitors in this (relatively) small compound!

On 19th June, I was able to present a lecture to the staff and students of Kima International School of Theology. It was entitled ‘Holiness in African Perspective’. In it, I looked particularly Old Testament categorisation of ‘holiness’, then compared those with contemporary perceptions of holiness, particularly in East Africa . (For a copy of the paper see Here.) The students were attentive, I got some good questions, and left KIST very grateful for having been able to make a small contribution to their theological education.

A lady preacher threw scorn on those people taking daily medicines against AIDS. In her view, having AIDS showed that they did not have enough faith and clearly were sick because of some sin. I sat and listened intently as she spoke to us in Dholuo. The congregation was captivated by her message. Her close familiarity with deep Luo cultural ways resonated deeply in their hearts. Tears welled up in people’s eyes, even before they almost all came forward noisily seeking prayer for their various afflictions. The same preacher has been invited back to come again, and then again.

The above does not resonate with what people ‘should’ be teaching about AIDS. But it resonated very closely with people’s hearts and minds. A widespread lack of penetration arising as a result of all formal education (including theological education) being in English is curtailing the penetration of Christian teaching. The latter is one of the messages I hope to share with folks on my international trip, September to December 2013.

Trainee pastor of Andover Baptist Church Ross Maynard is due to visit me here from 24th June 2013. The North family from Acomb Baptist Church ( York ) are due to join us on 2nd July 2013.

For list of confirmed speakers for the November UK conference on vulnerable mission see here.

A flier about my latest book: Communication in Mission and Development.

Jim’s Journal, June 2013, is posted here.