Archive for August, 2013

ImageRecently I had the privilege to be part of a team who facilitated the MANI Emerging Leaders Gathering (ELG) for Southern Africa. It has indeed been an enriching experience as we explored the uniqueness of the ELG, how it relates to previous and coming generations, and how it sees itself in relation to Global Evangelisation.

Young people from various regions across Southern Africa gathered for two days in Pretoria under the banner of MANI – Movement for Africa National Initiatives. Their goal was to learn from each other, and to produce a continuous working document on who the ELG of Southern Africa is. This was done in relation to a broader strategy established in March this year when a small group of us gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to establish the Africa ELG network. The Southern Africa gathering was the first of five(5) regional gatherings that will take place in the coming months.

Although a thorough report will be released soon, I can share a few interesting discoveries:

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Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 3.44.22 PMRecently as I was stranded in Nairobi for three(3) days, I woke up at four in the morning to switch on the TV to see if there are any news on the fire that destroyed the International Arrivals Hall of the Nairobi Airport. Browsing between the few channels available I ended up watching an interview on Al Jazeera with Reza Aslan, author of the book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Provoked by his views and findings about Jesus, and the obvious hyped created by the devastating Fox interview he had a few days prior, I downloaded the book on my iPad and started to read.

With limited internet access available I tried to get a better understanding of who Aslan is, where he comes from, and why his obsession with Jesus; after all he claims to be a Muslim. In the opening of his book he explains how he founded Jesus at fifteen years of age and later converted to Islam due to, according to him, the more accurate way in which Islam describes God. Born in Iran and moved to the USA at age seven(7), Aslan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religions, a Masters of Theological Studies, a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, focusing in the history of religion, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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IMG_3300Heading back south I am compelled to reflect on what was to be one of the more interesting, yet unexplainable experiences ever. I am reminded of the words from a lecturer during mission training who said “when experiencing the unexpected, pause and ask why?”

For three days Christo and I were stuck in Nairobi as we were heading to Cameroon when the airport was on fire just as we arrived to catch our connecting flight. Fascinated by the experience we sad there most of the morning taking photos and making our own short video. Throughout the morning various media agencies approached as for photos, our stories, the experiences we had, and questioning as about our next steps from here. It was our moment of fame as news agencies such as BBC, CNN, KTN, Sky News, Al Jazeera, SABC and many other requested permission to interview us. My Facebook page quickly became a reference point as I posted the progress of the fire spreading through the building on regular intervals.

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