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Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

“Did you know that she is now a sister,” my Egyptian colleague said to me the other day. A young Egyptian lady has been helping us out here at the Coptic mission station for a year or so. The other morning the Bishop decided to ordain her in, according to Coptic order, the first formal step after being a novice towards being a full Deaconess. She’s happy as a lark, they tell me.

When we have visitors here, the Coptic bishop introduces me as a ‘consecrated servant’. I guess I should feel privileged to be given such an elevated title. It has resulted in considerable interest in what I am doing here by some of the groups of Egyptian visitors that come through.

Seeing the Coptic church operate, and seeing local indigenous churches operate, helps me to understand something of church history. Without any government initiative, a church can enter a previously frustrated population bound by fear of witchcraft, and transform it into a community of orderly loving caring people oriented to serving and praising God.

Many people seem to think that the most important thing for coming alongside African people is ‘humility’. I can see where they are coming from. Humility is always important. I am not sure I agree entirely with them though. My dictionary says humility is a “low view of one's importance.” Unless African ways of life are inherently ‘lower’ that what we are used to in the West, coming alongside Africans requires primarily vulnerability, and dare I say it ‘intelligence’. Vulnerability, in this sense, is a willingness to be influenced.

A friend of mine has produced a review for African Heartbeat. Please can someone help me to post his review anonymously on to Amazon (it requires someone who has recently bought things from Amazon). Thanks!

Pray that the value of the UK pound not dive too low, as it is making life in Kenya more and more expensive for me.

Lookout – the sequel to my recent novel African Heartbeat is to be out early next year. The title will probably be In Love: Africa. This novel is especially oriented to helping people to better understand short-term mission.