Do you live in Bangladesh or Botswana? Tanzania or Tonga? Any other allegedly "Third World" nation? Beware of White Men who come bearing loads of money to modernize your nation. Here is how it worked in the USA.
This is amazing beyond words. It shows what an unemployed man can do with determination beyond our imaginations:
Kinshasa Congo is one of he most depressing cities in the world. I can usually find words to chatter on about anything I see, but these people, who claimed the highest of art in music midst war, poverty, poor sanitation, and in an unspeakable shanty town....... there are no words to describe this. It simply shows how one man with a dream cannot be stopped by any adversity. Also, we salute the folks from Europe who went into that fearful world to lift the bar a bit higher for these people in the Congo.
Right, he rode out of the west with his guns swinging at his side, crossed the Nile, and he called a press conference to ask the newly independent citizens to stop killing one another so they would have some people left to manage the nation.
Merv Rosell was a noted Bible speaker to youth and college students in the USA. He spoke to Youth For Christ gatherings and at Schroon Lake, as well as many Bible Conferences. His reception and the alleged results of his speaking were legend, so it was assumed that if he were to tour some African nations, He would be a great asset.
Problem: Merv Rosell knew nothing about cultural adjustment. Nevertheless; some well meaning missionaries convinced Merv to visit Ethiopia while we were there as missionaries.
Merv came with all his best sermons well memorized, and he gave it his best shot. He was the very picture of zeal, and he truly loved the college students and youth who gathered to hear him.
As is often the case, the students also absorbed the hubris as it oozed from all sides as missionaries and Merv himself talked of his great exploits in former days. So there was a mutual air of expectation in the Addis Ababa Church and Youth Center the evening of Merv Rosell's great super-rally. The house was packed and they were standing all the way out to the street. Many missionaries were there also. There had been much planning and prayer that this event would bear fruit in the Lord, and no one anticipated just how their prayers were about to be answered.
Merv was to speak in English, and Ato Lakew, a leader in the Word of Life churches in Ethiopia, and a fluent English speaker, was to interpret. This was a well used technique, and it had every possibility of working well since Ato Lakew was also a man of real depth in the Word of God.
After some rousing songs, Merv was introduced. He made very little small talk, but got right to his task of preaching his heart out. Merv announced, "Tonight, I am going to talk to you about the four ships." That was straightforward enough to Ato Lakew. He translated that at once. Then Merv gave the list of "ships"-- "Fellowship, Discipleship, Stewardship...." and there was one more "ship" which I cannot remember.
Well, Ato Lakew looked cool on the outside, but inside he was doing a fast and well controlled panic. Merv's linguistic trick of starting with "ships" (nouns) and then jumping to alliterations of the state of being "........ships" (state of being) was 100% impossible in Amheric, the language of Ethiopia. The language is 99% mechanical, and these tricks are virtually unknown. The crowd could even have been insulted, thinking Merv was making fools of them. Ethiopians are apt to take such tricks as insults.
Ato Lakew was a rare man. He was famous with us missionaries for his mastery of, not only our language English, but he had figured out our humor and idiomatic way of thinking. He understood exactly where Merv Rosell was headed. So, Ato Lakew fully realized that it was already too late to rescue the thing. If he stopped Merv Rosell and explained the thing, Merv would get all flustered and possibly lose his train of thought. And the crowd would be partially lost due to the confusion. Furthermore; Merv had preached several times in Addis Ababa, and he might not have another sermon he could resort to.
In one of those very special and supreme moments of God's Grace in fast forward mode, the Holy Spirit gave Ato Lakew a sermon. Lakew had only those periods of time in which Merv was talking to put together his own sermon, but it came out great. Lakew did preach on the four ships also-- The ship Jesus was in during the storm, the ship Jesus used to preach from, the ship Jonah took to flee from God's will, and one more I forgot. What great lessons are in those events, and Lakew was given Bible cross references along the way from his memory and the Holy Spirit's proddings.
The end of the message was a trick, for Ato Lakew had to wind down to the altar call at the same pace as Merv Rosell. God helped him, and both sermons ended with great conviction in the respective hearers. At the altar call a good number came forward to either respond to the English sermon or the Amheric sermon. Some of the missionaries who know both languages were delighted, for they got to hear two great sermons in the same evening.
Merv Rosell never knew what happened. No doubt, he counted all the responses as notches on his gun. Ato Lakew was much too humble to let Merv know the truth. And is there a moral to this story from real life?
Absolutely. The Lord knew what Merv would do, and He made sure a man of fast wit and deep knowledge of the Word of God was the interpreter. God got the victory. Do you ever wonder if you can get anything right and give a testimony or teach a Sunday School class?
Next time you doubt God's power to use you, think of Ato Lakew.
When I heard Rescue sing this song, it took me back to the Africa I knew in the 1950s through the 70s. The emphasis is on the excellance of the voices and the message, which is NOT in modern Contemporary Christian Music. CCM is all about loud instruments and vain repetition-- gotta get the rush.
Rescue is forced to have very disciplined voice control because they cannot fall back on electronically correct instruments. At times one can hear what is called "the fifth sound" found almost exclusively in barber shop singing. This fifth sound is made when all voices blend so well that is creates an external sound more sweet than the individual voices of the singers.
The following video has no photo of the singers. You can find plenty at Google video search with the words "acapella rescue brazil". You will notice that the group is mixed race. I suspect the African roots of the Black Americans is significant. But, why are all bass singers tall and skinny?
Also, Rescue is wildly popular in Brazil. I think they distilled the African and the Brazillian sound. Some of their songs are too over the edge for me, but this one is very interesting. I hope my African (the original Wogs) enjoy this one:
Benson Obua of Uganda seems to have been looking from afar. He is a very bright fellow with a Masters Degree from the University of Uganda which was earned the hard way.
His relative tribally across the lake in Kavirando, Kenya (Barak Obama of the Luo tribe-- Lately and allegedly from Hawaii) also has a law degree from Colombia University in the USA but has asked the school to lock down his file. It is possible that Benson's degree is more legitimate than Obama's.
Benson arranged for the return of exiled Olara Otunnu, who seems to be from Benson's tribe also. Otunnu's grand arrival has not brought about the joyous days from long ago when Otunnu was the pretty boy foreign minister before President Museveni walked into state house and declared himself heir to the Obote empire.
Benson explains in smooth articulate platitudes:
Watch the video over about five times, memorize it, and you should be able to talk your way out of any blunder.
One wonders if Obama needs to watch the video below so he can learn to talk without the teleprompter.
I hope to make this blog a place where virtually anything important, and some very unimportant matters of interest, are discussed.
I will limit posts to interests in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
My home long ago was in Kenya (school in Kiambu) and Tanzania (home near Mwanza), and later in Eldoret, Kenya.
I shall avoid political issues of the emotional kind, but people in politics may be featured if they have done something of note. Mostly though, I shall be looking for the little things that go unnoticed by the official media.
Controversy may be introduced, but ONLY if something constructive may come of it. I have no interest in posting issues that anger people and make them curse and piga kelele.
Please make comments or suggestions for the blog in the comment area. I am eager to pass on events and happenings which are not noticed online.
By the way, I am a mzungu with a wog heart :-) I do not intend to play tricks as to who I am.