Thinking Faith blogs

Delightful story from Tanzania

This is another cracker of a story. It comes from the Neema Crafts project.

Hezron's Story: Weaving

Hezron was a proud and healthy young man in his mid twenties with everything to live for – a lovely wife, two beautiful children and another on the way at any moment, when the minibus taxi he was travelling in hit an oncoming car. All thirty people who were crammed into the vehicle died, except for Hezron and a new born baby, who had to be pulled from the bodies amongst the wreckage.

Another Inspiring Story from Africa

Neema Crafts was started in October 2003 by the Diocese of Ruaha. Its purpose is to provide handicrafts training and employment for deaf and physically disabled people in Iringa region, Tanzania, and also to change negative attitudes towards people with disabilities in the local community. Local employers are invited to see how skilled the workers at Neema Crafts quickly become when given the opportunity to fulfill their potential. The high quality of their work is changing the attitude of local people towards disabled people.

How about this for forgiveness?

Imagine this scene from a recent courtroom trial in South Africa: A frail black woman stands slowly to her feet. She is about 70 years of age. Facing her from across the room are several white police officers, one of whom, Mr. van der Broek, has just been tried and found implicated in the murders of both the woman's son and her husband some years before.

Ritual Murder and the Biblical Story

In the newspapers there have been harrowing accounts of human sacrifice. A five year old Nigerian boy was smuggled into Britain and murdered in a voodoo-style 'muti' ritual killing. He was drugged with a 'black-magic' potion and sacrificed before being thrown into the Thames, where his torso washed up next to the Globe Theatre in September 2001.

Another side of the Welsh Revival

During the Welsh revival of 1904 there were many extraordinary incidents. Here is one of them.

During a revival meeting in a disused sawmill in Aberdare, a heckler began shouting – "There is no God, if there be a God strike us dead in our seats all of us three". The man was full of derision and nothing could staunch his flow. "There you are, you see nothing happens!" His scornful laughter reverberated around the building.

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Debate with Andrew Copson on Premier Christian Radio

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Polly Toynbee is the President and Richard Dawkins is the vice president.

"How should RE be taught in schools?"

The debate went extremely well. Andrew is a very affable and intelligent man. I think I disarmed him by telling some of my stories with voices. I was very encouraged to see him smiling in a very nice way. I argued that we desperately need worldview awareness plus critical thinking skills etc. In a vague way he seemed to agree.

One of my heroes has died!

In Pittsburgh in the 1950s, a black evangelical Christian Robert Lavelle set up a most unusual bank. The Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association would lend money to poor people who are not 'good risks' at the lowest possible rates of interest. This banking philosophy challenges banking orthodoxy which prefers to lend money to rich people at high rates of interest.

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