This has been a busy five weeks that I have been back in the States since returning from Tanzania. Tomorrow I leave for Rwanda.
Writing project: the church
Since I finished revisions to ECLEA's Biblical Theology and Christianity & Islam: Theological Essentials, I believe that the subject of next importance is a work on the church, particularly the church's important missional role of engagement with the community and culture. Many people, both in the West and in East Africa, think that the entity primarily responsible for caring for human needs is the government or, at least, "others." In fact, God has given to us--the body of Christ--that privilege and responsibility as we live out the gospel. Particularly in East Africa, the church can have tremendous influence in society if it will reorient its priorities along more holistic gospel lines. I have been researching this for the past few weeks.
My plan for this trip was to spend two weeks in Rwanda and then conclude with a week in Burundi. The rules for obtaining a Burundi visa changed: instead of getting the visa at the airport or border, now one must send one's passport to the Burundi embassy in Washington, DC, and approval for the visa must come from Bujumbura (Burundi's capital). I sent my passport to the embassy as soon as I returned home to Appleton, but on Monday spoke with the embassy who advised me that approval for my visa has not yet been received. Since I am leaving Saturday morning, I had to request that they send my passport back to me. I may be able to apply for a visa at the Burundi embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. If I am unable to get the visa, I will try to do an extra training session in Rwanda and then return to Burundi probably in October.
Thank you for your prayer and financial support. God bless you, Jonathan