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All articles in category Eastern Africa

An open door in Tanzania
May 2011
Tanzania

An open door in Tanzania

An open door in Tanzania I left for Tanzania on 15 February 2011 and returned to UK on 11 March. It takes three days to travel to and from Mbeya, so that left me 19 full days for ministry. During those days, the Lord opened the door for me to preach eight times on the radio and 25 times in churches, and spend six whole days at Utungule Bible College. There was also opportunity to lead morning devotions at two other Bible colleges.    Another part of my work was distributing books to pastors and Bible college lecturers and students. Banner of Truth, Evangelical Press and...

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World Mission – Broadcasting hope to Somalia
February 2011
Ethiopia

World Mission – Broadcasting hope to Somalia

Broadcasting hope to Somalia   Somali, like many Ethiopian languages, descends from the ancient Cushite tongue. It is the native tongue in southeastern Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, in large ethnic communities in Kenya and Yemen, and among millions of refugees beyond – about 15 million speakers, in all.      The wonderful message of the loving Saviour who gave all to save hopeless sinners is unknown to most Somalis. MERF’s Somali gospel radio programmes are a lifeline in very troubled times.      These troubles are the result of a long history of conflict. Somali families have suffered for decades from armed tribal conflict, especially since the fall...

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World Mission – Somalia’s agony
February 2011
Somalia

World Mission – Somalia’s agony

Somalia’s agony   The Christian minority suffers grievously in Somalia, and many have been killed for their faith. The country is highly unstable and racked by violence. Lack of an effective government in most of the country has led to famine, war and relentless brutality.      The growing influence of extremely conservative forms of Islam enables Islamist militias to thrive. These groups impose a strict interpretation of Islam on the communities under their control and are seeking to establish an Islamic state under the rule of sharia law.      Somalia is almost 100 per cent Muslim; Christians account for a tiny proportion of the population,...

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World Mission – The Somali people
February 2011
Somalia

World Mission – The Somali people

The Somali people   There are probably between eight and nine million Somalis in Somalia and Somaliland, while many others live in the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.      Somali refugees are found in the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf, Western Europe, North America and New Zealand. Some Somalis are semi-nomadic pastoralists, who take care of their camels, cattle, goats and sheep. Others are urbanised.      Ever since the beginning of this century, the Somali people have continuously extended their territory. Today, they are settled all around the Horn of Africa.      Somalis are Muslims who, along with their expansion, also spread Islam. About...

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World Mission – My faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah
February 2011
Somalia

World Mission – My faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah

My faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah   I was born to a very religious Somali family, in a small village in western Somalia. I am a Somali. I grew up in Mogadishu where I worked and finished high school. My father was a well-known religious leader and also a well-respected tribal leader. He memorised the entire Qur’an in Arabic, even though he could not speak Arabic very well. The Qur’an is roughly the size of the Christian New Testament.      My father trained Muslim religious teachers for the propagation of Islam. In his pursuit of spreading Islam he enjoyed the moral and material support...

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With Moravians in Tanzania
July 2010
Tanzania

With Moravians in Tanzania

With Moravians in Tanzania   Some time ago I met a student from Tanzania studying here in the UK. His name is Willey Mwasile. He is a member of the Moravian denomination. When he returned to Tanzania he was appointed principal of Utungule Bible College.      He invited me to spend a couple of weeks teaching theology in the Mbeya region (South-West Province of Tanzania). Tanzania has a population of about 45 million people. The number of Christians ranges from 50-70 per cent. There have been no official statistics for many years. The country is very poor with the average wage being between one to...

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March 2010
Eritrea

Eritrea’s persecuting government

Eritrea’s persecuting government     When Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, it was widely hoped that the nation would become an example of good governance for the whole of Africa. Sadly, Eritrea is now regarded as one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world.   Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa. Its area is roughly that of England and Wales, comprising a dry, temperate plateau and hot, desert lowland along the Red Sea coastline. After 60 years of colonial rule by Italy and then Britain, in 1951 Eritrea became part of a federation with Ethiopia.      Ten years...

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March 2010
Eritrea

Petitioning for freedom in Eritrea

Petitioning for freedom in Eritrea Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the patron of Release International, recently presented a petition to the Eritrean Embassy and No.10 Downing Street calling for religious freedom for Eritrean Christians imprisoned and tortured for their faith.      Tens of thousands signed the petition, after a major campaign by Release which included publication of the book Song of the nightingale. This is a first-person account by gospel singer Helen Berhane, who was incarcerated in a shipping container and brutally beaten by the Eritrean authorities.      The petition was handed in by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who resigned his post as Bishop of Rochester to speak...

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A faithful church
March 2010
Eritrea

A faithful church

A faithful church The Evangelical and Reformed communities in Eritrea are under much oppression and persecution, but continue to seek to be faithful to the Lord in their walk, witness and worship.      Most are Tigrinya-speaking, originating from nominal Christian backgrounds. These live in the highlands. A smaller group are Arabic-speaking and based in the predominantly Muslim areas along the coast.      The past five years have been difficult for the church in the capital, Asmara. Many members have been in prison, and those not in prison are doing some sort of forced labour. None get enough to eat. Eight members of the congregation have...

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Thousands of miles, to receive Jesus!
December 2009
Zimbabwe

Thousands of miles, to receive Jesus!

Thousands of miles, to receive Jesus!   I was born in Zimbabwe of devout Roman Catholic parents and attended Catholic schools. I was baptised and confirmed at an early age and started serving mass while at primary school.   Church attendance was compulsory during my primary and secondary school years. However, it was just a formality really. Immediately after completing ‘O’ levels, I joined the Zimbabwe Republic Police, who became my employers for the next 22 years. During this time I stopped thinking about God.      I was a young lad working for the first time in a newly independent country, in a job that...

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Agape Children’s Village, Uganda
September 2009
Uganda

Agape Children’s Village, Uganda

Agape Children’s Village, Uganda   Uganda has been hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has the world’s highest concentration of AIDS orphans. With a population of 30.9 million, one in every eighteen Ugandans is an AIDS orphan. In 2002 there were 1.7 million AIDS orphans, out of a total of 2.4 million Ugandan orphans.   The orphan problem is coped with in different ways. There are child-headed homes where both parents have died and a child in its late teens acts as parent. Such teenagers, already traumatised through seeing their parents die, face onerous tasks like fetching water, growing food and tending sick siblings....

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Missionary Spotlight – Pokot update
April 2009
Kenya

Missionary Spotlight – Pokot update

Pokot update   I visited the Pokot churches in Kenya again in October 2008. It was encouraging to see continuing spiritual growth, manifested in their desire for us to preach the gospel in areas not previously visited.      The first such area was Apur, reached only after an hour’s hot walk from the road. Here about 40 adults, as well as many children, were gathered. In Pokot, it is traditional to kill an animal before a person who has killed another is allowed back into his home. This gives a golden opportunity to explain the significance of Christ’s death  as the perfect sacrifice for our...

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