A church stands silent, hiding in the woods, surrounded by leaning, moss-covered gravestones, as it has for almost a thousand years. I use my ever-present smartphone to snap pictures of this monument to an ancient faith that still guides my own life. As I seek to capture the mood of the place, I am struck by the juxtaposition of time frames that I am experiencing. The device in my hand, one of the latest Android devices, was only invented a few years ago, and will likely be obsolete and useless within two or three more. Everything about my life changes in a year, often even more quickly, but this place has stood for centuries and will likely be here for centuries more.
The contrast between a church a thousand years old and the smartphone that will last less than two is jarring and disturbing.
Let me explain… Continue reading
Just over five years ago, Kenyans went to the polls. As in other countries, the election results were far from clear cut – but instead of taking to the airwaves or to the courts, Kenyans took to the streets with machetes and gasoline cans. More than 1000 people were killed, the country came to a standstill for months, and thousands were displaced from their homes and farms. It’s election time again in Kenya…
S0 I’m asking you to pray for this beautiful piece of God’s creation this week, that God’s peace will descend on it. Things are different this time: While the electorate remains ethnically divided, the major ethnic groups have chosen different partners – like the second half of an evening of bridge. Where the Kikuyu and Luo were aligned last time against the Kalenjin, in this chapter it’s Kikuyu and Kalenjin against Luo and Kamba, with a fifth group, the Luhya, in a position to decide the election.
Confused? So are some Kenyans, according to an excellent write up in the New York Times today: Continue reading
The following is the text of a newsletter just sent out to friends of Care of Creation Inc. (If you are not on our e-newsletter list, please join us!)
We have some exciting news to share with you! The Lausanne Movement has appointed me as Senior Associate for Creation Care. This appointment represents a new chapter in the history of Care of Creation as an organization, and an exciting opportunity for me personally. It also represents a dramatic advance for the evangelical creation care movement.
I have recently returned from a Creation Care conference in the country of Haiti – an event that provides an exciting glimpse into one possible strategy for ‘mobilizing the church to respond to the environmental crisis’ on a nation-by-nation basis. Let me know what you think.
At Care of Creation our strategy, our goal and our dream has been to “mobilize the church” to respond to environmental challenges. More recently, we’ve grown bolder by saying that we wanted to “mobilize the worldwide church to respond to the global environmental crisis.” That’s a statement that serves well as a branding tool, but as an actual goal? Moving the entire global Christian community in any direction seems like a big stretch, even to us.
That is what makes my recent trip to the country of Haiti so interesting. I don’t need to tell you that Haiti is a country where disasters seem to happen almost on a schedule. Where the level of poverty displayed on city sidewalks can shock even seasoned travelers. And where more than one author has used the word “hopeless” to describe one of the world’s worst environmental situations.
But Haiti also has a church. The people of God are represented in this nation. And it might be that they are actually starting to wake up and to take responsibility for their own country in a way that they have not done before. It is dangerous to proclaim that a particular event is historical when it has only just occurred, particularly when that event is a conference. Can a conference actually accomplish something?
One of the highlights of my job is the opportunity to correspond with people from all over the world. If it is true that the environmental crisis pays no attention to national boundaries, it is equally true that the Spirit of God is moving his people to respond to that crisis in every corner of the world. Many of those involved in this kind of ministry are simply following their own instincts as they respond to what they see happening in their own regions. Here’s a neat story from a friend and brother I haven’t met – Damitha – about how he and his family became involved with creation care as a means of ministry. Enjoy – and if you like what you read, ‘like’ his work on Facebook (see the link at the end).
Sri Lanka is a country blessed with rich plant diversity, 4000 plant species and 800 are endemic to the country and long cultural heritage more than 2500 years combined with ancient agriculture and most of these plants were well utilized in building up healthy rural communities.
In Sri Lanka, God has blessed us with a wide variety of indigenous plant species that can be used for food, medicines, buildings, animals and birds. They are connected with ethical, cultural, spiritual and social activities recognized from earliest days of human history useful in solving global acute health problems.