Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Why Africans Should be at the Forefront of ACU108

Crowd funding is brilliant, let’s just start with that. For those who are new to the idea it is just as the term says, it is a financing plan that comes from the little that can be contributed from the average citizen. In theory it allows for less of a reliance on big donors and backers and allows the users to contribute and build what they need for themselves. To say the least Africa should have latched onto this idea a long time ago but that is a story for another day. I am here to talk ACU108.

ACU108 is a Crowd Funding campaign run by the African Christian University (ACU) this week, 14th – 18th December. It is meant to provide the finances for the building of the campus to the new university. All the information to this is readily given on this website, do check it out especially after you read this. The need for the financing is there and so the campaign has been set up to get the necessary finances. To put it another way the call has been made and now the answer must be given. The trouble is as Africans we tend to view financial support as something that should be done by someone else, preferably someone who is not part of the situation.

In order for this to change two things must be noticed and taken to heart. The first is that the project is ours. This has been mentioned several times and like all good messages it must be said over and over till the cows come home and then played till the cows go to sleep and then played the next day again. ACU is ours, it is going to be on home soil, providing education for our own people. Who else should look after it? The second thing to take to heart is that support comes from what you can give, whether in cash or in kind. There is a mentality that we do not have enough to give so we shouldn’t or we don’t but this, in the pattern of all living tissue, must die. God has given us all something with which we can help other people, not just ACU but our neighbours, it is on us to find what that is and give it.

And this is where the idea of crowd funding works its magic. We don’t need to kill off 20% of the required amount ourselves, what we need to do is find what we can give and help out the cause. The trouble is we end up seeing campaigns such as ACU108 as a plea to “other people” for aid. It’s not just that. It is the opportunity for us to give what we have, no matter how small and the combination of it all amounts to something much larger than we could give individually. And ACU knows this, in fact they are calling for help in whatever form we can give it, each as he is able but we must look on the project as our own and not just something that is happening across the road.

If we see it as our own we will care enough to see it progress. We will find ways in which we can provide support to it in whatever way we can. Not everyone has the financial capability to help out but once again it is on us to find the way in which we can help out and lend a hand there. As Africans we need to wake up and see the good work that is going on in our back yard and take a hold of it as our own. Seek to see it take root and thrive on home soil not just because it will benefit us but because it will benefit our neighbours. Programs like ACU108 are a chance for us to take of ourselves what we can, to embrace the qualities that we want to see in ourselves and make that first step towards a goal much larger than ourselves.

It is very possible that all the necessary funding for a campaign like ACU108 to come from elsewhere and not from us but if you think about it, how is that any different from what has been happening for decades on the continent. The biggest motivation for us to change this lies in the second letter of the acronym, Christian. The Christian mind-set that is propagated in the bible is one that is different from that of our human nature. One that causes us to see the world as more than just me and mine but looks to our neighbour and shows love. Looks to our community and shows love. Looks to our country and shows love. And yes, you guessed it, looks to the world and shows love. As much as we might think of our position, be it personally or as a continent as not having much to give, God has given us something with which we can give.

It is this transforming mind-set that should enable us as Africans, even more so as Christians in Africa to see this project as our own. To give of what we can to such a campaign because that is what we are called to do. The University is ours, it will be of service to us and ours and so it must be on us to rise up and give of what we can to the campaign. And as the University rises and grows our working with it will be of great service to those around us and even to ourselves. After all that is the brilliance of a crowd funder; your little plus my little makes enough to get the job done.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A History of Civilisation; Yeah... Ofcourse it is

Today I attended my first lecture in History of Civilization, which I was supposed to take in first year but I would have rather shot myself, figuratively at least, than sit through that. Unfortunately I could not avoid it any longer so I walked into the class after my Italian class had ended, that was an event on its own but alas that's a story for another day. I walk in and take my seat in the third quarter, which is the ideal location, too far for the lecturer to read my face when I lose interest but not near the guys who have no interest in being there. A man walks in twenty minutes before the class is scheduled to start and walks slowly past where I was so I say hi; what can I say, I'm nice. He says hi and walks to he front, turns out that the man is the lecturer.

I won't get into a discussion of the other students because the lecturer was more intriguing. One of the first assumptions about a man who lectures on history is that he would be an atheist so when the man said he was an atheist I wasn't exactly shocked. It made him a little more interesting. He mentioned how history tends to be written by the winners but in our class we would try to look at all bits of information and question everything, within reason and time frame of course. I was in. He also mentioned how he would like us to be involved in the discussion which for me; a combative Christian was like Christmas coming early. Lastly he mentioned how he would not give us notes until after the exemption exam. I add this because in my entire time at CIU he gave the best reason for this. He said "you writing the exemption is you trying to prove to the university that you know the contents of this course and don't need to attend it, so why should I give you notes when you, those who will write the exemption exam, claim to know the contents of the course." To say the least I was impressed.

Then came the bones of contention and this my one reader, in the immortal words of Agent Smith "brings us to why we are here". I will explain the issues first then my issues with the issues next. So firstly he mentioned how human or hominidae life began in Africa. Evolution and climate change necessitated the need 'for some' to migrate from one area to another till completely evolved humans were all over the globe. He also mentioned how survival of the fittest meant weaker genes got eliminated, giving the example of zebras with genes that caused them to be slower eventually died out because they were, surprise surprise slower. Lastly he mentioned that tribes and early beings could not be referred to as Civilisation because they did not have all the things that encompass life and living e.g art, alphabet, culture, style, etc.

Issue one: Life begun in Africa + Migration 
Firstly I completely agree with the idea that history is defined by the victors/winners. And this little fact is a major part of why I disagree with this first bit. The reason for the migration was that those creatures that had begun to evolve went in search of better and more. This is a major paraphrase but the principle remains true. This kind of thinking subconsciously sends the message that those who remained were not as good or evolved, i.e Africans. If history is written by the victors, which we know it is, then history is there to benefit those who would wish to plunder "the shackled continent". After all those that remained were lesser than they that moved on in search of more and better but I will come to this more in issue three

Issue two: Weaker genes or traits dying out
What is the determinant for weaker? Or better? Is it about desirability on our part or ability to survive in harsh conditions. It can't be the former because desirability depends on trends and styles that change ergo it must be the latter. I disagree with the latter by virtue of the fact that animals that could be characterized as weaker still exist. They, for all intents and purposes, could have and should died out millennia ago. Sloths still exist. Sheep still exist. Goats still exist. Chickens still exist. SHEEP STILL EXIST. If any creature should have died out because of survival of the fittest it would be sheep. These are creatures with a male population a lot less than female which means those that actually put up a fight are less. You can't tell me that we evolved to realize the value of domesticating sheep before pretty much every canivore within a 5km radius of the sheep population wiped them out. Keep in mind the assumption is we took millennia to get that civilized. 

Issue three: Early man cannot be counted as Civilisation because they lacked certain elements to their life and living
This is just flat out insulting to Africans. The view of one people group as primitive has been a plague of the historians since the beginning of the field of study, especially since there are few historians who are natively African. Historians in the "orthodox" sense if the word. Our art, music, heritage and culture have been seen, and in a lot of areas are still seen, as primitive. This is mainly because of a failure to understand African people from an African perspective but the thing is that throughout history we have been the losers. Therefore Africa and Africans cannot help but be seen for the majority of their history as uncivilized simple because they are poorly understood. Even a lot who claim to understand end up sounding condescending. History paints Africa badly because we to a large extent have been on the losing end of world history, the his cannot be reversed or refuted. The trouble is the history of origins is excluded from this debacle and this is a huge travesty.

There are definite solutions to this. The main one for me would be scrapping such a line of thought completely but that's not what I'm here for, and it's a losing battle. I'm just talking about my day in class with a lecturer who I found very interesting and the thoughts the class provoked. Shame I might never see the man again because I have every intention of passing Friday's exemption exam. But if I do not, look forward to or dread more from my conversations with the very interesting Mr Nesip

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Before the Morning

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Because the pain that you've been feeling
Can't compare to the joy that's coming
Hang on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Because the pain that you've been feeling
Is just the dark... Before the morning

These are the words of the chorus of before the morning by Josh Wilson. It's one of those songs for me that I like for a period of time then forget it exists just to rediscover it a couple years later and it makes so much sense again. I was scrolling through my list of albums to find a song to listen to the other when I came across this song in Josh Wilson's self-titled album. And it brought back so many fond memories of 2009 but it did more than that; it made me realize that I was really optimistic for the future. Not in a Bob Marley "Every little thing's gonna be alright" kind of way or a singing on your balcony to the backing of birds kind of way, cow that might be a bit awkward, right?! I was optimistic in full understanding, as far as that can go, of the future struggles.

Let me break down a few of the problems before I break down why I'm optimistic. I am Zambian and have every intention of living and working in my home country for the foreseeable future. However things in Zambia are not exactly rosey, the economy isn't looking good, there is an energy crisis, jobs are supposedly hard to come by. That and a couple more issues. There is also uncertainty about my own future; university is close to being over and the real world awaits with its troubles and responsibilities and I will have to face that sooner rather than later. That's a chunk of the iceberg but this isn't about the dark, it's about the morning, so let's get down to that.

Just one more bit before what I'm optimistic about. It's all well and good to be optimistic but why should one be optimistic? Why am I? I'm optimistic because I am seeing a thread that begins at my faith and ends everywhere, in all I do. I'm not sure if it's correct to say it wasn't there before but it is definitely really strong now. I am a Christian and I believe in the God who created the world in six days, rested on the seventh and sent his son to die for the sin, salvation and redemption of his people. You might say "yeah, sure thing. But what has that got to do with anything?" It has to do with EVERYTHING but this is more clear in what I am optimistic about. So let's get down to that.

I am optimistic about my working life. Not in that I think I will become the richest man in Zambia, I don't care about that. Or that I will revolutionize Zambian architecture, I kinda care about that. But it's more, I'm optimistic about my career because I see it as an opportunity to share my faith, my life and my God through my work and work ethic. We all show things about us in how we go about certain duties and tasks and I look forward to showing how my God has changed me n the way I operate. Strictly speaking that reason is 50-50 with my survival as a reason to work. But there's more

I'm optimistic about my relationships. Unfortunately in this day and age, my one reader, your mind immediately went to a romantic relationship. Two reasons why this cannot be is that I don't plan on having multiple romantic relationships and the other is if I limit myself to the one normal relationship I miss the point and importance to the life mission. I'm optimistic about my relationships because they are the other avenue through which I show the the world my faith, my life and my God. Everyone who sees me and gets to know me should see the light of God in me and I am looking forward to showing more people that. I look forward to my siblings, parents and extended family seeing it. I look forward to my employers, workmates and potential employees seeing it. And I look forward to my wife to be and children to be seeing it. BUT THERE'S MORE

I'm optimistic about my ministry. Now, now hold your horses, don't get ahead of me. I am not saying I feel a call to any sort of Pastorate but there is more to ministry than being a pastor. If I were to paraphrase I would say that I am optimistic about my serving God through the church directly. I feel there is more that I can do, I feel like the guy with the two talents and the boss is on a trip, I want to spend it and be spent with it in service of the boss. I want to run and use the energy of youth while I have it. I want to learn both from the bible and from my elders so that when the moment comes for me to pass on knowledge I will not be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal

You see my optimism stems not from an inherent belief that I will be awesome at all I do, it stems from a belief that if I serve God and glory in his service he will be glorified in my service of him. My optimism doesn't come from a belief that I have this massive set of skills that the world hasn't seen yet and will set the world on fire it comes from a belief that I am a piece of charcoal in the hands of the greatest painter of all time, who lives outside of time, and by his grace he will turn this brittle stubborn piece of charcoal into a reflection of his glory. I'm optimistic because of him because I am dust. In my final few months in North Cyprus I am optimistic because of him

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Zambian by Elections and the book of Daniel

I have said this quite a lot over the years, ‘I have a fundamental problem with people being wrong.’ That is to say I find it difficult to walk away from a discussion where I think the other person has a view of life and living that is wrong because wrong is harmful. Because of this I engage in quite a bit of political conversation, granted the number of people who indulge me on this are few and far between. However for the past couple weeks, almost months, I have found a growing number of people on my side in regards to my view on the poor leadership in Zambia. And not just by the keyboard warriors such as myself. I have seen and heard the uproar in the streets of my home country and thought ‘these people really want to see change.’

The celebrations in full swing

That is why I was shocked to find out that the ruling party in Zambia won the three by-elections that were held this very week. One or two of these races were not even races which makes you wonder what is really going on on the ground. Maybe the people are actually happy? Maybe there is election rigging going on? Maybe the ruling party have one heck of a sales pitch? Either way I was not impressed in the least because for all our talk in Zambia, we seem to be fine with the general direction things are headed. But this line of thought has come just after I finished reading a fantastic book on Daniel by Stuart Olyott titled ‘Dare to Stand Alone.’

Now don’t get ahead of me here, this is not me talking about any political aspirations. Neither is it me talking about taking to the streets with banners and calling for a day of mourning for the country, neither of which would be horrible ideas might I add. Instead I will concentrate on the latter part of the book as it affects my view of life and living in regards to the situation in my home country and the world at large. But a bit of background on that last sentence. Unless you have been living under a rock and sometimes not even then you know that Supreme Court of the United States legalized gay marriage. Also things have not been looking good for people in general let alone Christians in places that are within the reach of the Islamic State.

In short right now being a Christian and or having Christian values is not a popular position to be in. Now having such a view would almost automatically put you in the category of intolerance and stupidity. The latter part of the book of Daniel speaks of times when things will not be going too well for the people of God. An interesting thing is that it does not say much about God’s presence or his work while the world is going through its stages of upheaval. It paints a picture that would be grim if you are not the kind of person to finish reading and this is why it is important to read till the end.

That's how the book looks for anyone interested

The book of Daniel in its final chapters speaks of a time that is centuries ahead, a time that Daniel would not be alive for, it speaks of how that even though it seems all around is going to pieces and God may seem silent he is not silent at all. He will never leave his cause unattended. God shows Daniel that he is sovereign over all and that though it seems all things are spiraling out of control he is the one who ordained it all and nothing is out of his control. This brought so much consolation to God’s people centuries after Daniel was gone. It showed them that even though things look bad God is in control and they were able to see through hindsight how that Daniels prophecy’s for the future came to be. How that leaders who they thought would be the end of them did not wipe them out because God was with them. They had the comfort of knowing the end while they were through the trial.

Bringing this home I need to knock out a couple of things you might think I mean. Firstly, I don’t mean that God is pushing for Zambia to have a better economy and rise from the ashes. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t but without a doubt he is the one who placed the leaders where they are and they dance to his tune. Secondly, I do not mean that poor leaders will automatically start making good decisions because God has the strings. It is possible but my point is that with all that seems to be going out of hand he is in control. There is a certain level of calm that is attached to knowing that someone who loves you is in control of a situation. And thirdly, I do not mean there will be a turn around to how things were because ‘we are children of God’, it’s possible but that’s not my point. My point is that the bible through multiple examples, literally in every book, shows that God saves his people IN the fire more than he does save them FROM the fire. It is in the fire that we feel his loving embrace, it is in the fire that we know that this world isn’t all there is and that he is more, no, he is ALL that we need.

We are saved in the fire more than we are saved from the fire

I have no idea where things are going for Zambia or worse still the world, well that’s not quite true. I know that my God is going to bring all things to an end someday but the finer details in between I have no clue about. But what I do know is what God painstakingly showed Daniel. That he is in control and that he, God, will be glorified in all. I will end by phrasing it this way. I love and appreciate my father and if I know that no matter what happens around me, my father is the one in charge of the outcome then I will be able to sleep soundly at night because my father will not put me through pain and suffering just to watch me squirm in agony. It is the pain and agony of medicine and I will be better off for it.

Note: This truth will only be relevant to us if we maintain a daily relationship with God through reading his word and prayer because we forget so easily.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Monogamy, Fidelity and the New Age

I am a huge fan of Ted Talks in general. I have found a lot of my best ideas and inspiration after I watched them. Yesterday I came across one by a lady called Esther Perel. The name of the talk interested me, it was titled “Rethinking infidelity ... a talk for anyone who has ever loved”. So this lady, is there giving her talk about cheating in a relationship. The basic questions she was looking to answer were ‘Why do people cheat?’, ‘Do happy people cheat?’, and the ever so popular ‘What next after the infidelity?’ I saw the questions and was intrigued, what does this lady have to say, I wondered. To say the least I was not impressed with the talk and this here is why. I will plug the entire talk at the end so that you, my one reader, can listen in and make your own conclusions of it.

One of the first things she said that had me gripping my seat with what would be white knuckles had God not blessed me with a little more melanin. She said something about how adultery is as old as marriage/fidelity. So… No! Just no. Marriage was instituted by God as an image if you will of the relation between Christ and the church. Saying that infidelity is as old as marriage does not just go against what the bible says about the first union between man and woman but it also goes against the overarching principle of the union of man and woman. When the first record of infidelity happened is not shown in the bible but we do know for certain is that it is not as old as the institution of marriage.

She went on to speak of how the definition of cheating has become more lax and it is now difficult to define and determine what is cheating. This is especially in light of technological advances whereby people can communicate using the internet on dating/chat sites but not actually progress to sex just yet. Yeah… No. This all comes from the assumption that the primary form of cheating/infidelity is sexual. It is not. If you view fidelity from the view of just man and woman and not take it to its root then I see why such a mistake can come about. But if marriage is an image of the relationship between Christ and his church then infidelity all of the sudden takes on new light. It now becomes about the man and the woman being one in all things. Once one of the parties switches to another for any single one of these things that is infidelity. I go as far as to say that if the man or the woman begins to rely on another group or individual for even financial aid without the knowledge or help of the spouse this too can be called infidelity. The two must rely on each other as they both rely on God, this is the principle.

Another thing she mentioned is that imagination is responsible for love and not the other person. At this point I am thinking this lady has not come across a bible or even a real relationship but that is me going too far with this. We don’t fall in love with images, we are infatuated with images. That is one of the main reasons why the church discourages relationships moving too fast to marriage. You barely know one another and you want to get married? As two people take their time to know each other one of two things happen; either the more they see the more they love or the more they see the more they realize that it was just infatuation. And this all goes back to the image of Christ and the church. The more the church sees of Christ the more they see him as the best thing that there is and they want to know more because more knowledge creates more love.

Only when we jump in without knowing the other person properly
does expectation not meet reality
Esther Perel went on to say how that relationships, I have called this marriage throughout this entire piece and will continue to do so, go sour because the individuals go in expecting their endless list of needs to be fulfilled by the other person, which they just cant. On this she is absolutely right but not for the reason she thought she is. The reality is that nothing in this world is capable of satisfying our needs, it is a side effect of the fall. Even marriage, that is a symbol of the Christ’s relationship with the church, is a poor picture of the original. The truth and this what the bible teaches is that marriage is a triangle. God at the top and man and woman on both ends of the triangle. As the two draw closer to God they draw closer to one another. It is a journey together to the one who will fulfill all their needs and wants and not just a few of their needs and wants but all of them. After all he is the only one who can.

I have to admit that this next one brought a smile to my face. She said after a long tirade of words that millions of people cannot be pathological. Which in its own sense is correct because the more accurate phrase is billions of people are pathological. Aside from one man all human beings are born completely and utterly sinful. The best Christian, if at all such a description can be given to a person, has such an awareness of the flesh and its desire for sin that he like the Apostle Paul can’t help but cry out ‘Oh what a wretched man I am!’ We are pathological because we are sinners.

I am almost done so stay with me now. She went on to say that cheating/infidelity makes us feel alive. To some extent she is right about this because sin has a way of making us feel alive, the problem is it does not do what we think it will do. It does not scratch where the itch is and it brings no long term satisfaction so we keep going back for more. A God glorifying relationship and constantly working on that with the spouse is what God promises will be satisfying to us till we find the ultimate satisfaction in eternity with him. Sin has a way of giving us what we think we want for a short while but we eventually realize that there is no satisfaction in all that.

The end of it all is that viewing marriage in light of God being the creator of it and the Holy Spirit through the bible being our guide through it brings to a richer knowledge of him and each other. The number of hurdles we create for ourselves when we try to get the word sin out of the description of the problems we face. As she gave her talk there was so much that she was saying that the bible says is caused by the fall and resolved by salvation and sanctification. This talk must be given by a Christian from the perspective of the bible, the contents will be night and day

As promised here is the talk.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Have a Little Walk With Me

I always planned on giving you, my one reader, a little walk through North Cyprus but I either never had the opportunity to or forgot, lets work with I never had the opportunity to. This same week I had the time and the chance to walk through a large part of North Cyprus for a school project. We are making a model of The Walled City of Nicosia, which is quite something and so as we walked through trying to figure out the heights of the buildings I decided to carry you along with me. Hope you enjoy it

All good trips begin with a Durum, which at its worst is just a wrap. There's
this nice place as you enter the Kyrenia Gate that has some awesome
Durums. The guy in the pic is my group partner Auwal Saidu Awak

I'm sure you might have asked what the Kyrenia Gate is, well that's it,
or a part of it, there is a little bookshop in there but I fear
walking in, it looks like one of the places you can't leave of your free will

Walking through Lefkoşa and not seeing a betting house is like
walking through the desert and not seeing dirt, so naturally
my little walk through would not be possible without one

And that is the walled city of Nicosia, Auwal and I walked through quite a lot of
that bad boy, it was tiring but I did it for you, my one reader, I did it for you

I took this picture from the entrance to a historical Turkish Bath, which
would not be as entertaining as the beauty opposite it.Seriously,
look at that, how is that not nice?!

Zambia has stray dogs, North Cyprus has stray cats. They are everywhere!
Literally, okay not literally. The walk through would not be complete without
a shot of one or two, in this case three

Flats, clothes on the balcony, satellite dishes in excess?!
Aside from the paving and the lack of people I thought I
had walked into Kabwata, Zambia

Want to know that you are walking through Lefkoşa, narrow streets, raw
atmosphere, old buildings that seem 
abandoned, some are not,
it's ridiculous. Oh yeah and wooden louvers, it's a climate thing

This was the only way to get both me and Auwal in the same picture
so there you go. There's a shop to my left that was almost a broom closet yet
the shop owner was selling ginormous TV's

Another feature of the walled city is the combination of old and new. You can
see a new Mercedez parked in front of what would look like ruins opposite
a decent office that's next to an abandoned building

This is the Arabahmet Cultural Center. It's a little further into the walled
city than most people go so you are welcome. There are quite a few museums and
cultural centers in the walled city, wish I could show you all of them

I like this street, no two ways about it. it's the kind of street I would enjoy living
along. At the end of the street is the beginning of the buffer zone
which is the boundary between North and South Cyprus

Auwal is leaning on the wall part of The Walled City of Nicosia, it's no
great wall of China but as you saw from the map it's quite something in it's own
right. To the left of his head is the Spade head that you can see from the map

Back to life and living. The tour is gone and The Big Red Bus is come,
 time to go back. Hope you enjoyed the trip

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

An Open Letter to Elijah

Dear Elijah,
It has been quite a long time since we exchanged words let alone words on paper and this being an open letter it is not expected I will or should receive a reply but I feel the letter has to be written. As it has significance to thoughts that have been going through my head for a while and as it concern views I have expressed to more people than just you the letter just has to be an open one. You, however are probably the first person to whom I expressed these views first and because of the way you took them at the time, with much wisdom, it only make sense that you be the main recipient of this letter.

I recall not too long ago at a Kabwata Baptist Church Youth Camp coming up to you, you were the camp chief at the time if memory serves, and I was quite unhappy that for another year in a row the issue of dating and relationships was the main topic of a few seminars. I was not too pleased with that. If you can recall I was not happy with it because it seemed that year after year the same speech was being given, and I was getting tired of it. I thought that the seminar had become mundane and irrelevant because it was given to the same people, pretty much by the same people. And once again after a couple hard hits intermingled with jokes people would walk out and go do the same things that were spoken against.

In hindsight, at the time I was speaking more out of frustration and pride than any actual want or need for change and/or improvement in the system. I had nothing to replace what I wanted removed and to some extent all that was on my mind was getting the satisfaction of being right in my observation. To date I can remember how you let me finish my rant without interrupting and soon gave me some very valid reasons for the seminars to be there. I did not want to listen to the reasons at the time but they made so much sense and in light of a book I read recently I absolutely agree with you. Given that it is an open letter I will fill those who are reading in on your reasons and why I agree before getting into ‘Why I write this letter.’

The first reason was that there are new comers to the Camp who needed to hear this as they had not had the chance to hear such things before. This reason is head and shoulders above the others because a lot of times as regulars who have heard the same message we lose sight of the importance of the message to those who have not heard it before. I am sure a number of people heard it and took it to heart. There are always those people and they should not be overlooked.

The second reason was that there are always messages that should be heard over and over to make them sink in more and more. Understanding increases as we hear the same thing over and over. Eventually even continuous drops of water damage the toughest of rocks. This is another thing that in my pride I overlooked, it is very likely that had I not taken it on me to shut down mentally during the seminars I would have gotten more from them. Alas the pride of young Mwansa can only be rivalled by the headstrongness of this Mwansa but the Holy Spirit is not through with me yet.

These reasons were perfectly valid and in my pride and unwillingness to listen I threw them down and kept seeking different people to run the same points by hoping to find one who would agree and fail to beat my logic, unfortunately for me I found one or two. But you were right all along. This was a message that was and is to remain relevant because to borrow, paraphrase and use slightly out of context the words of the apostle Paul ‘where sin abounds, grace must abound all the more’. That drum must be beat on till the cows come home. Till we see fruit in the listeners and then some. Elijah you were right.

At this point I humbly submit that I was onto a little something myself, I just never knew what it was till a couple days ago. I was tempted to title this letter, Elijah you were right… but I was right too. But that would have reeked of a pompousness I am trying not to have. The thing is I think I was onto something in that to some extent the point of emphasis of a few of those seminars could have been somewhere else. I recently came across a book called Best Friends Forever which gave me a total deck reshuffle in terms of my thinking of “Dating and Relationships” and this last bit is where my suggestion comes from.

I think that whereas the having of the semesters is a good thing and will produce fruit, it would be good if a couple of seminars where put in alongside these with the aim of promoting friendship amongst the sexes. Guys can be friends with girls and relate to each other in a group without any need for things to take a romantic detour. This line of thinking is not common and not especially cultivated among a lot of young people today. Whenever such a friendship rears it’s head one party would think too much of it, romantically, or even the view of it from the outside would be that there are romantic connotations to it. I think this is wrong.

If any place needs to be the vanguard of the propagation of genuine friendship between guys and girls, should it not be the Church? Should the church not preach more of the virtue of genuine friendship between guys and girls than just preaching against dating? Don’t get me wrong, preaching against dating and it’s many flaws has to be done but what is the use of taking away a belief and not replacing it with another. Do we not leave room for the Devil to bring in more nonsense? It is possible that just like last time I do not know as much as I think I know but I am led to believe this Is something that should be looked into.

It is my hope that this may be looked into deeper than the phrase that we will use to mask the same discussion about Dating and relationships. Apologies if proud Mwansa reared his head a couple times in there. God bless,
Mwansa N Mbewe