Saturday, January 31, 2009

African Nations Must not look to Obama for their Salvation

Reflecting recently on the ongoing civil feuds within several African nations at present, the seemingly endless fighting that begs for long-term solutions so that peace and the enduring spirit of the citizens can prevail, I have not lost any conviction that this peace lies solely within the peoples of these countries seeking God's will for their nation. African countries (such as Kenya) cannot continue to look to America as their Redeemer, especially so now with President Barack ("bless" in Arabic) Obama and what he has no doubt done for the black mindset in all the African diaspora.  The inauguration was a very moving and well-done event, for sure, but Obama will not be different than any other U.S. President in the area of seeking first the interests of America in foreign policy.

These thoughts (and they are by no means mine alone) have led me to remember the beginning of Steven Curtis Chapman's song Heaven in the Real World, where you hear a pastor saying over the din of news reports of violence and death:
"I feel demoralized by the decay I see around me...our hope is not in who governs us, what laws are passed, or what great things we do as a nation--our hope is in reality of Christ Jesus entering the hearts and minds of people."

When I read such articles as "Africa: Obama's Three Objectives for the Continent" and the more recent "Africa: Obama Inauguration Sparks Celebrations in Washington" (, I get wary about underdeveloped countries still very much infiltrated with corrupt officials at the top placing hopes for change in their own countries because of a minority like Obama making it to the most powerful/influential office in the world.  I am excited to see what new policies he carries forth onto the international scene, esp. in helping bring an end to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, but know that he will be no foreign nation's Savior [not even for his father's land of Kenya].  For a true Savior not only saves from the immediate trouble, but has future plans of joy and glory already in place.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Many Thanks/Siyabonga Khakhulu for our Engagement Reception at BPC, Bellingham!

Thandeka and I were overwhelmed with the loving support we received in abundance last night at our engagement reception. More than that, the evidence that God's glory was at the centre of it all. Held at my home church, Birchwood Presbyterian (, it was far more than we had expected. Much family and friends rallied together in the effort to keep it at a minimal cost, while still maintaining a high-class feel.

LEFT: Thandi and my everloving sister (as she always signs off herself in the numerous cards she has given me over the years), Kristin, showing off their near matching dresses before the big event. I am so blessed to have both of these strong women of God in my life.

We especially want to thank Steve and Julie Clarke for teaming up to make it a very entertaining and beautiful night, along with Steve Moore for providing centre piece arrangements and classy ID cards for each delectable dessert dish (which my church family generously provided in great variety).

From Janice Bethman helping to string up lights at the last-minute and the Kettmans making the coffee happen to late-comers happily putting up more tables and my Uncle Clifford coming all the way from Maryland to single-handedly clean up ALL the dishes, it was a night of African and American cultures fusing to the glory of God. And I believe that to the core of my heart. Not to mention the fact that I looked very 'smart' (as African English speakers commonly say it). I owe that to my brother-in-law, Jamey (from Team Blakely), giving me a pin-stripe suit right beforehand to make sure I at least looked like I knew what I was doing.

We realize many of you that support us could not make it, but we still cherish your prayers for our new life together as one, to be a witness to the nations of what God had in mind when he created the family. The challenges that are inherent in cross-cultural marriages gives that much more room for the Lord Jesus to shine through in what we cannot do on our own strength, and we are praying the traditional wedding will really honor Thandeka's family and give glory to the Lover of all cultures.

We really look forward to keeping in good communication with all of you, and pray the Lord's blessing (not what you think is 'blessings') in this new year to the glory of Our Father!