+Alden Hathaway, my former bishop from my years as a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and one of the finest pastors I have ever known, has written an article in the Living Church. His article talks about the ways that our polity fights within the Anglican Communion are working at odds with our intentions regarding responding to the significant challenges facing that continent:
“For 10 years I have been going to East Africa, taking solar equipment to electrify homes and schools, orphanages, offices, hospitals, clinics, and whole villages in the rural hinterlands of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. I have 10 years of experience leading teams of American young people and African youth into the bush to install the equipment and to witness what a transformation electricity makes in the lives of people and the development of their communities.
On our first mission trip, we went to the verge of the impenetrable forest to install small solar units in two cinderblock houses the government had built for some resettled pygmies. These strange little people sang, ‘You came all the way from America to bring us the light. ‘Tukutendereza Jesu’.’
Over those years we have seen and done a lot. More than 2,000 installations have been subsidized by the charitable gifts of individuals and churches from all over America. It has been a collaboration of church, private enterprise, and government working together in local settings to make things happen and turn on the lights. With a commercial firm in Kampala, Solar Energy Uganda, we are partnering to build the first solar fabricating plant in East Africa.
But the most important fruit of these 10 years is the nearly 200 American kids, with a nearly equal number of Africans, who have caught a vision; who, in the words of our patron, First Lady Janet Museveni, have become true ‘internationalists.’ They are future leaders in this emerging global civil society we are witnessing— political, economic, spiritual.”
Bishop Hathaway goes on to discuss the ways that this witness he describes is now in jepardy. I’d quote the whole article here, but I’d be much more delighted to drive some traffic to the Living Church’s website – they need our support and are doing wonderful work at the moment being journalists in a sea of blogs.
So go read the rest here: Distractions Hinder African Outreach