Hope gets harder as the tour moves west

Today Pastor M on the Msfara tour of hope writes:

Nakuru was quite something. Initially the pastor’s fellowship didn’t want Msafara in their town because the church was so divided ethnically and politically. They didn’t think it would be possible to meet together. It was only by God’s grace that they finally agreed to host us. . .The pastor’s meeting was intense. Against all expectations, a large group of local pastors attended, many of whom I came to learn hadn’t spoken to each other for a long time.

. . . I keep reminding myself we’re not here to ‘fix’ these towns, only to hold out hope. If the church can work together, to care for the hurting and to build and maintain peace, then nothing will be impossible. We’re only a catalyst. The true test of Msafara will be what happens in these places after Msafara is gone. But this is where faith comes in. I have faith that God is using our small contribution as a seed, one that He will water after we’re gone; one that will grow into a beautiful tree that will hold our nation together in peace and justice…

. . . Pastor Ken told me of a young man he met at one of the camps we visited in Nakuru. His wife had been killed by militia the night before (contrary to popular belief, the Anan accord hasn’t ended the tension and killing in all parts of the country). The young man was gathering 100 of his friends from the camp to go on a revenge mission. Ken asked what he thought would happen next. Of course they would also come back and revenge, and the vicious cycle would continue. Someone had to break the cycle of violence. Young man promised to think about it.

[Next Day on the way to Eldoret]

Passing through Eldama Ravine, Timboroa, Burnt Forest… many of these places had IDP camps. People living in tents not far from where they once owned homes and property… We saw many homesteads that had been razed to the ground. You could still see the smoke curling lazily out of some of the ruins. A poignant moment was when one of the pastors sitting near me pointed out the home where her family had lived a little while back, just after we passed the camp where many of her family members, including her sisters, still reside. . .

Pictures are here.

Healing tour (Mombassa), cell phone Bible, etc.

The Bible on cell phone
– This is a series of posts in lingalinga early March

For those of you who followed the tragedy of the Ebola virus in Western Uganda. A happy moment a very happy moment – baby Jonah Muhindo.

This quote from the cover of Lancet (British Medical journal):

Africa carries 25% of the world’s disease burden
yet has only 3% of the world’s health workers
and 1% of the world’s economic resources
to meet that challenge.

Follow the the “Wheels of Hope” – Kenya healing tour.

On Day 1, Pastor Oscar Muriu writes: We have just gone through about the most amazing prayer day ever. The air was sizzling as over 200 pastors prayed together and confessed the sins of the city of Mombasa. I stood briefly in a corner, watching, and could feel the hair on the back of my neck rise with excitement! The passion, the excitement, the tears, the cries of prayer. It was overwhelming.

. . . if Mombasa stands judged before God it would be for the 3 sins of idolatry, witchcraft and promiscuity. Mombasa is known in Kenya for being the most active center of witchcraft in the country. It is also known for it’s sex trade, now mainly sex tourism.

As we prayed together the story of the coming of the gospel to Kenya was told. The first missionaries to Kenya were a small team of Catholics who set up a chapel in Malindi in the 1500’s. Though they tried they were however unable to penetrate the interior. Finally they gave up and left. The next attempt was 350 yrs later in late 1800’s. This time it was an Anglican mission. They landed in the Miji-Kenda land (Miji-Kenda (9 homes) are a tribe made up of 9 clans, who have a different dialects, but common traditions. They occupy much of the coastal strip). As the story goes (and this is folklore – happened 150 yrs ago), the Anglican missionaries met the elders of the tribe and requested permission to build a church. The Elders then met together and discussed the matter, recognizing the missionaries were about to introduce a new god to them. This they did not want.

But they also recognized they could not say no. So they slaughtered a goat as a sacrifice to their gods, and made a spiritual covenant that the territory of the new god would be limited to the size of that goat skin. They buried the skin in the ground and then gave that piece of property to the missionaries to build their church on. This is the Anglican church at Rabai. To this day the gospel has not penetrated the Miji-Kenda tribe even though it has been there for over 150 yrs, and only a handful have become Christians over that time. Most churches at the coast are full of inland people, but not Miji-Kenda.

[Read the rest of this entry.]

History of the Easter Calendar

The question of the proper date for Easter—the most important festival on the Christian calendar—is another of those fascinating and complicated odysseys in the history of Christianity.

10 reasons I don’t read your blog (Lingamish), with a response from Jim West. (Insider stuff.)

Lots of great stuff from biblioblogs that will have to wait till tomorrow.