Skip to main content

Dreaming of Africa


A couple days back, I randomly found myself at the website of Iris Ministries, an interdenominational mission in Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world. I got engulfed in the website, reading about their work of ministering to the poor of the southeastern African nation, and about how God is turning hearts to him.

Two days later, I found myself once again intertwined with mission work in Africa. It was just today, actually. I spent the afternoon visiting with Bob & Alene Holloway, from Sparta, who have been doing mission work in Malawi for the past 10 years. Alene has worked closely with the medical mission at Embangweni and Bob has done some great work to help the locals with agricultural needs, involving soybeans, soy milk, wells, construction and more. Bob showed me this snazzy soy milk machine that churns out six cups of soy milk, which he has introduced them to. Soy milk provides the much needed protein that young kids need for maximum potential growth and the leftover pulp is rich in nutrients as well, making it great for soups and baby food. Children who move past nursing, enter a world of malnutrition, where their diet consists of starch and more starch. Malawi, largely a Christian nation and a self-instituted democracy, is a safe and extremely kind-hearted place, where the women work doubly hard and smiles are abound. Unfortunately, AIDS is also a tremendous problem and many Malawians in remote areas struggle with subsistence farming. Low on natural resources, Malawi does have natural beauty however, particularly in its prized Lake Malawi.

Now that I think about it, a couple weeks back, I enjoyed breakfast with John Baker, a former missionary of 17 years in Botswana and Zimbabwe, two countries that I have actually visited. Botswana, rich in natural resources and wildlife, is a beautiful country, the richest in Africa as well, I believe. Zims are some of the kindest, most warm-hearted people you'll find in southern Africa, but with the state of unrest, thanks to Mugabe, I'm not sure if I'd venture back there anytime soon. Maybe someday...

Perhaps I'll end up in Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana or Zim someday...only God knows. Southern Africa seems to be a theme here... But my passion lies in working with college students for now, helping them to find a purpose for their lives that comes through knowing Jesus Christ. There's much that can be said on this topic, but I have others things needing my attention for now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What were my memorable books of 2016?

I don't read nearly as much these days. Or maybe not as much as I'd prefer in some idealistic (unreal) world where I get to spend a few hours a day soaking up good literature.

Mostly, I'm reading Goodnight, Gorilla, There's a Rumble in the Jungle or Fancy Nancy. (Let's be honest. I actually like children's literature.) And at bedtime, Anna has fallen in love with (routine?) my narration of homegrown stories. (In case you're wondering, I'm a terrible storyteller. I wish I were that dad whose stories inspire her to one day look back and marvel at the whimsical, imaginative stories I cooked up at bedtime, but alas, probably not. I'm learning slowly, though, at least about what kind of story she will likely enjoy.)

But in the margins of here and there, I have found time for a sampling of books in 2016. Here are some memorable ones:

More of Less, Joshua Becker

A helpful guide on minimizing excess (possessions) so you can focus on what's most important…

Today's Awakening - With malice toward none, with charity for all

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address “How are you doing today?” she asked with a smile. “Not great,” I replied in haste, opting for honesty over pleasantry. “I’m sad and angry,” I told the woman on my way to work.
Like many of you, I awoke today in disbelief. How could *this* man be our President elect? How could our country – the great US of A, land of liberty and justice for all - knowingly choose a man who unashamedly propagates racism, xenophobia, sexism, isolationism, greed, fear and disregard for the stewardship of this planet? What will we say to our children? I grieve with my friends and neighbors …

Another RSVP this Christmas season? Advent beckons

It's the most wonderful time of the year. For me, at least, it typically is.

I truly enjoy this Christmas season full of festive cheer: hanging lights on the fir tree, unpacking the ornaments and memories from a dusty Christmas bin, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, making snow angels, sipping egg nog, watching Home Alone, wrapping gifts. Christmas!

As I grow older, though, my eyes are obtaining new lenses to see the gorge that often lies between Christmas and Advent.

Though the wider culture doesn't use the term "Christmas" any more, in view of the diverse beliefs represented in Western culture, Christmas still stands a monolithic tree whose branches reach wide in the culture. We've built an entire consumer mindset as well as a strong dose of nostalgia from this festive season of giving, having transgressed a two-thousand millennia wide boundary water from the banks of Bethlehem's stable. For many, Christmas - or "the holidays" - is a wonderfull…