Presence is power! But you already know that. In Africa though it truely gets a fresh and new meaning. I mean I am an African by birth and by choice – but daily I truely get a fresh look at what presence really mean.
We currently have 10 great nursing student on the base – who due to their career choice truely wants to change the world NOW! I can totally understand that. I felt the same way when I got to Mozambique more than 10 years ago. I have changed. Dramatically. I learned that presence in Africa (in the bush for that matter) means to just sometimes be close to people and to listen – without changing their immediate world. And I mean ….. it seriously needs changing. But presence, visiting, making friends and converse is of more value that coming in – boom……. bang ……. ouch ……… and trying to force change.
In Africa mostly all of its problems are solved around a campfire. It’s the library of Africa. It’s where boys learn from their fathers all the hidden family secrets. How to hunt, how to continue the family traditions and ultimately how to grow up to become a man. And the girls …… their mom teaches them from a young age all the chores that a lady needs to know to become a family life changer.
To Africa – it is about visiting. Eating together. Sleeping over. Tomorrow is never a certainty. I have learned many of these lessons in Mozambique, but my brothers and sisters in Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe and South Africa taught me very valuable lessons.
I thought of sharing some of these faces and bring it closer to you. They are amazing men and women who understands the power of presence …… and I am humbled by their generosity in teaching this mazungu what life and presence is all about.
Photo: Meet Pastor Mbusa and his wife Kavira from Congo. They stay in a town called Goma in Eastern Congo. The area is well known for major conflict, war and natural disasters. A volcano erupted a time ago and killed many visitors. When I asked him about the problems in Goma is answered was calmly: “We love our people and our presence guided by God’s presence makes all the difference”. He said this with a great smile.
Photo: Meet Antony Mwenda from Kenya (studying in Uganda). He is a lawyer and a young man with a great passion. He wants to specialize in resolving conflict in Africa and a man with a great presence.
Photo: There is a lot to be learned from Sudan. As my brother quoted many times: “If me don’t make time to know each other how will we respond to each other in crisis.” The bus he used to travel to Kenya for the Amahora Conversation was shot at twice.
Claude and Kelly leading Amahoro. They have opened up a refreshing space for African leaders to converse and share their presence with the many seeking to understand Africa and its unique challenges.