A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

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Tag Archives: africa

Dabbling in money making schemes and witchcraft while pastoring. What really happened?

If you are wondering about what to pray for when it comes to the church in Africa, do pray for faithfulness to the message of the gospel. Conrad Mbewe a local pastor in Africa in his recent newsletter from Kabwata (Zambia) laments:

[This post was first run here in 2012] I came across a pamphlet today. It was given to me at the traffic lights while waiting for the lights to go green. It read as follows:

My name is Stella Mwanza from Sinda (Eastern Province). I used to read in newspapers and listen to the radio about how different people were testifying concerning Pastor Elijah and I was so impressed with his healing powers that I decided to try him as I had a lot of problems.
First, my husband was divorcing me as he accused me of having an affair with another man and even doubted our lastborn child. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and this calmed down my husband and now we’re happily married with our kids.
I introduced a friend of mine to the same pastor who had an unstable marriage because her husband was sexually weak and had a tiny manhood. She was going out with other men to satisfy her sexual desire though she loved her husband. Pastor Elijah invited the couple to his place and prayed for both of them. Now they are back in a good relationship. Thanks to Pastor Elijah. …Read More!

The missionary’s wife and the “Veggie tale”!

Marvin and Jewell were a missionary couple who were working in Uganda. (Story was first posted in Feb 2013) Every week they sent updates on their progress with evangelism in the community or the growth of the local church and new orphanage that they are setting up. Some times there were moments of deep heart ache (especially when the gospel was rejected) but nothing  lightened up my heart with a good old laugh than this particular week’s ‘veggie tale’. Apparently not every thing that is green and leafy is lettuce:

marijuana-bag-1209The Mistake –  (Jewell writing)  While at the trading center on Saturday, I saw two ladies sitting on the veranda of a little restaurant with bags of green leaves for sale.  The leaves were a lovely shade of green, and I thought I should buy some of them and take them back for our orphan children to eat.  I asked the ladies how much one bag would cost, and they replied,  “It is seven hundred shillings.”  That seemed a little high to me for greens so I went into the little restaurant and gave out some more tracts and asked the owner (who happened to be a lady that I knew quite well) how much a little bag should cost.  She said that 700 shillings was the usual price.  So I went back outside and started digging in my purse for the money.  I was going to buy 7 bags to take home so there would be enough for all of the children to enjoy.  As I was digging in my purse, the lady inside the restaurant called out, “Who are you buying that for?”  I replied that I wanted to take it back for the children at home.  “What children?” she asked. …Read More!

How can I go Geocaching with the gospel?

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

If you have ever stubbed your toe on a rock or stumbled on an innocuous stick and there after chucked the offending ‘litter’ into a bonfire or into a nearby pond then you may have missed seeing the angry face of a bamboozled geocacher the next day as he looked for his lost ‘cache’. So then, what is geocaching you ask? …Read More!

What can the church in the West learn from the church in Africa?

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This is an excerpt from a Table Talk (TT) magazine interview with an African pastor (Conrad Mbewe) of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia…

TT: What are two important lessons that Western Christians can learn from the African church?

CM: Western civilization has lost a lot of its interpersonal virtues. It has become overly individualized—if you see what I mean. Issues like hospitality, respect for authority and the elderly, being more people-conscious than time-conscious, and so on are largely lost. This has affected not only the society generally but Christians as well.

Western Christians have filled their lives with too many things (toys?) that have robbed them of eternal perspectives. Electronic gadgets, holidays, sports, recreation, and so on have almost become idols. Even church must be about having fun.

…Read More!

Missions: Praying for Africa’s Unreached

This week the focus goes to praying for missionaries all over the world. In particular we will pray that Jacob Lee a church planter and missionary with Reaching Africa’s Unreached who is battling malaria some where between Moyo and Yumbe (in Northern Uganda) will have a steady recovery. Remember him plus many more nameless missionaries who toil day and night to reach the unreached with the gospel and spend some more countless hours teaching them how to read and study the Bible for themselves.

Jacob Lee in Ugandan Village...

Jacob Lee in Ugandan Village…

I have now been fighting malaria the last 4 days with last 2 days being the worse. My definition of malaria is “flu to the 10th power”. I am starting to feel a bit better now. I am so grateful for my dear friends Kevin and Ron with SWI (Strategic World Impact) who have pushing on without me preaching the glorious gospel. …Read More!

“The man of God” personality cult has made the Charismatic movement thrive in Africa.

churchConrad Mbewe a pastor of a little church in Kabwata in Africa has written an interesting post on the growth of Charismatic movement in Africa to the point that there is now a fringe mystic personality that has replaced the local witch doctor. This personality called ‘the man of God’ has become an ‘anointed guru’ who brings deliverance, breaks generational curses and dishes out break-throughs at a local center where you have to come ready to sow a seed. Oh let me not spoil the article for you…

Many explanations have been given for the explosion of the Charismatic movement in Africa. Many have seen this as a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit. Whereas there is probably more than one reason, I want to add my own observation to this for what it is worth. In this blog post, I do not refer to the old conservative form of Pentecostalism once represented by the Assemblies of God churches. I have in mind the current extreme form that is mushrooming literally under every shrub and tree in Africa. How can one explain this phenomenon?

I think that one reason why the Charismatic movement in Africa has been like a wild bushfire is because it has not challenged the African religious worldview but has instead adopted it. It has simply baptised it with Bible verses and Christian words that previously meant something totally different.
The African Spiritual Worldview
Let me explain what I mean. The African spiritual worldview consists of four tiers.
1. God
2. Angels and demons
3. Ancestral spirits
4. Human beings
It is because of this reality that Africans do not question the existence of God, as is the case with many people in the Western world. To an African, God is there. He is the Creator and ultimate Governor and Benefactor of the whole universe.
Rather, in our spiritual worldview, although God is there he is very far away. Between him and us as human beings lie two layers in the spirit world. One is that of angels and demons (i.e. bad angels) and the other—which is even closer to us—is that of the spirits of the departed.
So, although God is a benevolent, loving, and caring Being, unless the beings that dwell in these two layers that lie between him and us are appeased, his blessings cannot reach us. It is, therefore, important to appease the ancestral spirits and defeat the demons. Only after that will God’s blessings come upon us.
This is where in African traditional religions witchdoctors come in. …Read More!

I think the ‘Garden of Eden’ was in Uganda…

Yup, you guessed it right -I am back from Uganda! I’m back from my short trip to Uganda. Surely how did I survive the tears of the kids at the airport on the last day as we left one of the most green, leafy and exquisitely beautiful and enchanting countries in Africa? No wonder every body I went with wanted to ‘lose’ their passports and stay some more (Ha!Ha! Shauna!).

I must say (of course I am biased) that Uganda is truly the ‘pearl of Africa’ as Sir Winston Churchill once said. My trip back to Kampala was rather short and nostalgic. The kind that lingers in the recesses of your mind long after your sobering departure. It has taken me weeks to sit down and write anything about the trip but I thought it would just be better to put up a few photos at  time.

This short slideshow contains photos taken either in Kampala or Arua in Uganda.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now you know why I think the ‘Garden of Eden’ was in Uganda 😉

 

Why doesn’t Africa send out missionaries?

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Conrad Mbewe is a pastor from Africa (in his own words he lives in a country where there’s water, water, water and more water…a delightful place for a Baptist pastor) and he asks a pertinent question on African missionary endeavours.

Conrad: One experience that often refreshes my heart when I visit the USA is when I meet Christians telling me that they are sensing a call to go as missionaries to Africa or Asia and are actively praying and preparing to that end. I often ask myself the question, “Why don’t I hear this back home? Why are our own people not thinking about taking the gospel to far away lands that desperately need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ? Doesn’t God want to use Africans in missions too?”

Excerpt from A Letter from Kabwata. Continue here!

A day in the life of a missionary in rural Africa.

I have lately been searching for Reformed and conservative missionary groups in Africa more especially Uganda. On the surface Uganda just like many other third world countries struggles with many issues theological and otherwise. Christianity in Africa as they say is “a mile wide but an inch deep”. I am deeply grateful for the few laborers going into the field and faithfully preaching the gospel and discipling new believers. Today I will feature a simple letter (blog post ) written a little while ago. It is written by James Huckabee  a missionary from America to rural Western Uganda.

Greetings! I thought I’d send a brief letter and let you see the latest construction out at the Juru church. They have put the roof on the pole building, and we had our first service at the new location yesterday. Thank you to the church that sent us money for the construction. This is what your money built:

We had a great service. The morale of the church is greatly improved. I know it wasn’t terribly comfortable meeting in the old place, which had mud walls and a tarp roof (’til some lowlife stole it). It was wet in there when it rained, and hot in the sun. This new building is dry and cool. There’s always a nice breeze. …Read More!

Zimbabwe gets drenched neck deep in “a sort of gospel”.

If you stopped praying for Africa, please do not. If you stopped praying for Zimbabwe then you probably should get back to putting it back on your prayer list. There is a form of gospel that is spreading around the poverty stricken suburbs and making merchandize of the vulnerable. Yup, all in the name of Jesus:

THE young woman rocks nervously on her high heels and smiles uneasily as the prophet struts around her. She has had a hard time pinning down a man and she cannot get a job, we are told. Today, all her troubles will end.

“Many men have come and promised to marry you, but nothing happens. Is that not true?” declares the prophet.

She swoons: “Yes, man of God.”

He responds: “Listen. I was with the spirit. I’m in a vision. We are travelling. By the power of the spiritual navigator, I am turning towards a junction. Unit K. Is that not where you live?”

She weeps. “Yes, pastor.”

“I am at the door. The hand of the angel of God is on the door, so I can’t see the whole number, just the numbers 7 and 5. What is your house number?” “It is number 7715,” the woman responds.

Bull’s-eye. The church rises in a roaring mass, hands in the air. But wait: now for the big reveal.

“My sister,” the pastor says, rubbing his hands as if he were counting money, then holding her hand. “I see you counting money. Money. You will need a money-counting machine. Money, flowing to you. …Read More!