Browse Month: October 2018

Lip It or Live It?

In a recent BBC article entitled “Letter from Africa: Kenya unveils biblical strategy to tackle corruption”, the writer states: “Corruption is eating us up alive, with new scandals emerging day after day…The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the country’s official body for fighting corruption, appears overwhelmed by the scale of the problem…Indeed the problem appears to be getting worse…The figure for those who paid bribes to receive government services has risen to 62%, up from 46% just two years ago…So running out of ideas for tackling this menace, the anti-corruption commission has turned to a new weapon – the Bible.”

The writer goes on to ask the question: “What about non-christians?…I personally have nothing against the Bible. I read it regularly and I know of quite a few characters in there who were deeply corrupt, starting with Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Christ who betrayed him for a fee only to take his own life later. But there are a few questions that I and fellow Kenyans would like the good bishop to bear in mind. Many of the top leaders who have been accused of, or charged with, corruption are church-going, Bible readers. Is there another version of the holy book that the bishop could recommend to them?”

If corruption is to be tackled head on in any country around the world, we are going to have to move beyond just lip service. Just saying you read the Bible and/or attend church is not going to cut it.

In ancient Israel, the prophet Jeremiah was lamenting about the nation’s corruption. They had “turned their backs to God and not their faces”, immorality mattered little to her, and truth had perished. Than Jeremiah used these piercing words to describe Israel: “You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.” (Jeremiah 12:2b)

If integrity is to grip a nation, it must move beyond lip service and become a matter of the heart. Integrity is a lifestyle that cannot be forced on you, it must start within the heart and work its way from the inside out!

This past September, while training a group of leaders from across Nairobi, Bill and I were privileged to have a brief meeting with Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the leader of the Ethics and Anti-Anti-Corruption Commission of Kenya. We presented him with a copy of our CLI manual.

The Six Pillars of Integrity taught in the manual are biblically based, differentiating between characters who lived a lifestyle of integrity no matter the cost, and others whose corrupt leadership led to their downfall.

As part of the CLI process, the manual is a strategic component of our cohort experience (integrity groups of ten people). We firmly believe that information applied on a regular basis, will lead to genuine and lasting transformation.

If we are going to use the Bible to fight corruption, we must not just “lip it” we must live it!

Note: To read the full BBC article, click on this link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45863819?fbclid=IwAR3zaDf2UPrzG-EHSyHLnpuMr_yPQfUyaVMRrHvfJlQc12btUhxPmwV2OLo

Until next time…

Don

Enflammés, pas retraités

L’expression « Il n’y a pas de mots » a été une déclaration récurrente depuis la naissance de Bâtir un pont entre la Chine et l’Afrique (BCA), il y a sept ans.

Aujourd’hui, j’écris ce blog depuis notre Centre culturel Bridge dans l’Afrique. MJ et moi savourons l’occasion de passer une semaine avec notre plus récent ajout à la famille du BCA.

Vendredi dernier, nous avons pris R et J à l’aéroport et les avons amenés à ce qui sera leur foyer d’accueil pour les deux prochains mois.

Comment un employé du gouvernement à la retraite et son épouse, qui donnent bénévolement de leur temps pour établir des relations avec les Chinois au Canada, ont-ils été « enflammés » pour passer deux mois à bâtir des liens relationnels avec des Chinois vivant en Afrique? Une partie de la réponse réside dans des amis, des petits groupes et une église qu’ils fréquentent tous.

Des amis de longue date de MJ et moi ont commencé à fréquenter une église dans leur communauté et ont décidé de se joindre à un petit groupe au sein de l’église qui se réunit le dimanche soir. Ils ont rencontré R et J et ont réalisé qu’ils avaient le potentiel de répondre à un besoin temporaire du Centre culturel Bridge. Nous sommes présentement à la recherche d’un couple qui viendra sur une base permanente pour tisser des liens avec plus de cent mille Chinois qui vivent et travaillent dans cette partie de l’Afrique. Entre-temps, R et J sont venus temporairement continuer de bâtir un lien relationnel en utilisant l’enseignement de l’anglais comme langue seconde et d’autres initiatives comme des rencontres pour jouer au ping-pong.

MJ et moi devons beaucoup à nos amis qui croient en ce que nous faisons sur le sol africain, et nous ont mis en contact avec un couple qui a mis sa retraite en veilleuse et a « rallumé » sa passion pour les Chinois en Afrique. Nous sommes reconnaissants pour une église qui a attisé la flamme et soutient dans la prière la mission de R et J pour les deux prochains mois.

Enfin, nous remercions Dieu pour les églises qui voient le potentiel et la valeur des « petits groupes ». Sans eux, R et J auraient pu entrer et sortir de l’église dimanche après dimanche sans jamais entendre parler du besoin du BCA. IL N’Y A PAS DE MOTS!!!

À la prochaine…

Don

Re-fired, Not Retired

The phrase “There are no words” has been a recurring statement ever since the Bridging China and Africa (BCA) initiative was birthed seven years ago

Today, I write this blog from our Bridge Cultural Centre in Africa. MJ and I are enjoying the opportunity of spending a week with our newest addition to the BCA family.

Last Friday, we picked up R & J at the airport and brought them to what will be their home away from home for the next two months.

How does a retired government employee and his wife, who volunteer their time building relationships with Chinese in Canada, get “re-fired” to spend two months building relational bridges with Chinese in Africa? Part of the answer lies in friends, small groups, and a church that they all attend.

Life long friends of MJ and myself started attending a church in their community and decided to join a small group within the church who meet on Sunday nights. They met R & J and began to recognise their potential to meet a temporary need that exists at the Bridge Cultural Centre. Presently, we are looking for a couple who will come on a permanent basis to build a bridge with more than one hundred thousand Chinese who live and work in this part of Africa. In the meantime, R & J have come on a temporary basis to continue to build a relational bridge using ESL (English as a Second Language) and ping pong gatherings amongst other initiatives.

MJ and I are indebted to friends who believe in what we do on African soil, and have put us in contact with a couple who put retirement on hold and “re-fired” their passion for Chinese in Africa. We are grateful for a church that has fanned the “re-firing” flame and are prayerfully supporting R & J’s mission for the next two months. 

Finally, we thank God for churches who see the power and value of “small groups”. Without them, R & J may have walked in and out of church Sunday after Sunday and never heard about BCA’s need. THERE ARE NO WORDS!!!

Until next time…

Don

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

On a recent trip to Sierra Leone, I had the privilege of meeting an eighty-five year old retired professor who actually received part of his university education in Western Canada. It is not often that you get to sit in the presence of a godly man who exudes passion and displays God’s love, as we did the day we had lunch in his home.

During our dinner table conversations, he shared with us that one of the things that keeps his passion alive is his final prayer of the day before he retires for the night. He always takes time to review his day, talk to God, and thank Him for ten blessings of the day that has just passed.

So today, on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I want to take time to make a list of ten things I am thankful for.

1) I am thankful for my wife, Marie-José, and the fact that our mutual love for each other grows with each passing day. Thanks for your love, the laughs, and the lasting memories we are making together.

2) I am thankful for our wonderful children, Stephanie, Jonathan, and his wife Julia, who love God with a passion, and have relentless work ethics in their respective careers.

3) I am thankful for a spiritual heritage that has been passed down for three generations and now MJ and I are able to carry it through to our own children.

4) I am thankful for a brother and his wife who have always been there for me. Keith and Linda, the untimely loss of Mom and Dad has only brought us that much closer over the years.

5) I am thankful for in-laws who love me as if I was one of their own. Maman and Papa, you are incredible people who have shown me familial love as if I was a son.

6) I am thankful for friends who are more like family. True friends are rare to find and MJ and I are blessed with some of the choicest!

7) I am thankful for a lifetime of ministry. I can’t think of anything that I would want to do more  than what God called me to as a sixteen year old teenager.

8) I am thankful for the privilege that MJ and I have to live on African soil. Thank you to everyone who makes us feel so welcome at our home away from home.

9) I am thankful for a full life that has allowed me to do more than I ever dreamed could be accomplished in a lifetime. There are no words!

10) I am thankful that I know my Redeemer and the fact that He loves me in spite of my imperfections.

Why don’t you take time before the Thanksgiving Weekend is over to make your own top ten list of things you are thankful for.

Until next time…

Don


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