Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset.
Wow! A friend sent this link to me. I read this insightful article with deep interest. Having lived 15 of my 57 years in Africa, I have seen the same thing.
Another amazing observation:
We had friends who were missionaries, and as a child I stayed often with them; I also stayed, alone with my little brother, in a traditional rural African village. In the city we had working for us Africans who had converted and were strong believers. The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.
In talking about a secular conference about development aid in Africa, he relates a meeting with Zimbabwean aid leaders who were Christians although their development work was secular. He says,
It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work was unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity had taught. [emphasis mine]
Understanding that their is a God, he is the author of a grand story, and I have a place in that story changes the way people think. It changes they way they look you in the eye and the way they engage in owning their responsibility to address their problems under God’s divine leadership.
He concludes his article with this acknowledgement of the limitation of simply educating Africans and providing modern tools and technologies and commerce:
Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.
And I’m afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.
My friend and our Vice President for Africa Dela Adadevoh calls this perspective transformational leadership. Leading in a different way. Leading from the heart. Leading from a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Africa needs transformation. And only Christianity can provide transformation.