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Dear Friends,

The new blurb about Jim at Norwich Central Baptist Church is found here.

A blog by Jim, that says becoming a missionary should be like getting a wife.

A blog by Jim about what to do with unwanted missionaries.

I must by now have attended hundreds of funerals around here in Kenya. If you want to show love for people, attend their funerals, is a clear message arising in this culture. Usually when I attend a funeral, I know and understand the least. That is to say, I don’t know who is related to who, and I don’t know the ‘pressure points’ of family events. At a recent funeral, I did understand. I knew the family of the person who had died very well indeed. Hence I could follow much of what was said in some detail. (A funeral service typically takes about 4 hours. There are easily 500 people in attendance, many of whom get a good meal for free. It is held at the home of the deceased.) I conclude: no wonder people around here don’t need soap operas; they already have them. They are called funerals!

It is hard to know how funerals were conducted in pre-Christian times. What is known – is that funerals, particularly of old men, often ended in fighting. Funerals were places at which murderers were accused. Hence they were tense and dangerous. The impact of the church has transformed all that. All funerals these days are dominated by the good news of Jesus.

(Since writing the above . . . I experienced a funeral this week, in which fighting did break out. The reason clearly seems to be – because the church was prevented from functioning during the night-watch before the burial.)

“Perhaps the fundamental problem is that a problem is raised which it is said many people do not realise is a problem and it is conceded in the article that nothing much has been done about or can be done about it.” This was a response I got recently to an article I wrote. It resulted in its rejection. It is incredible to me, how many scholars are brushing issues that they do not like under the carpet. The issues concerned are enormous. The implications, should they come clearly into view, are enormous. Use of English in Africa, for example, might come to be identified as the devil that it is. A colleague and I recently did a search: are there any Western native-English scholars who have anything like native or ‘scholarly’ familiarity with non-Western languages? So far we have not found any. (One is perhaps Pattberg, except that his native language is German. He produced this entertaining short video .

I am due to visit the Moser family in Nairobi in a few days (one-time Andover Baptist Church), and other people in Nairobi. Give thanks for the prospect for good fellowship.