Tag Archives: guest post

Notes from a volcanic eruption in Iceland

Guest post by Bob White on the Holuhraun Eruption, Iceland, September 2014.  Cross-posted from the Science and Belief blog.

Robert (Bob) White, FRS is Professor of Geophysics at Cambridge University and Director of The Faraday Institute. He has recently published a book on Natural Disasters called Who is to Blame?
Nature, Disasters and Acts of God, (Oxford: Lion Hudson), 207 pp. ISBN 978-0-85721-4737

Picture: Einar Rafnsson/RUV. Click for source.

We arrived at the eruption site around midnight on 1st September 2014. We were fortunate to be there because it is in a 10,000 square kilometre exclusion zone in the interior of Iceland due to the danger of volcanic gases, floods and ash plumes. As scientists monitoring earthquakes caused by the eruption my team and I were part of just a handful of people allowed in. We stood in the middle of a black volcanic desert 3,000 feet high. The darkness of the night was uninterrupted by any human lights. And we knew there was no-one else within at least 100 kilometres of us in any direction. Continue reading

Care of Creation Kenya makes an impact…

What exactly does an organization like Care of Creation Kenya (sister organization to Care of Creation Inc. which I direct) do, and whatever it is, does it make a difference?  Here’s a blog post from the Alliance for Religions and Conservation in the UK, reporting on the experience of a woman in Tanzania who took experienced one of CCK’s training programs in Nairobi.  Does it make a difference?  Judge for yourself:

A surprise phone call from Tanzania

By Susie Weldon, July 23, 2013:

ARC’s Susie Weldon on a visit to farming projects in Uganda

I was heading home from work near Bath, UK, the other day when I got the best call I’d had for weeks. I didn’t recognise the number but I knew it was from Africa. The voice on the line was Judith Atamba, a minister with the Methodist Church in Tanzania.

The last time I’d spoken to Judith was 14 months earlier, after she’d made the two-day trek from her post near Lake Victoria in Tanzania to attend a workshop I’d organised in Kenya on Farming God’s Way.

And now here she was on my mobile phone, her voice full of enthusiasm. “I want to tell you I’ve been going everywhere preaching about Farming God’s Way,” she shouted down the crackly line. “I tell everyone about it – and now I have managed to get a good piece of land to set up demonstration farms.” …

[Read the rest of the post on the ARC website here.]

Climate Change and Creation Care as seen from the Congo

Spring 2013 class

At Care of Creation we were recently contacted by a Christian University in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  A group of students there was looking to publish a jointly-written report on environment and climate change as they experience it.   The following article, written by students from Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo/Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC), highlights some recent creation care activities in the surrounding communities.  DRC is a nation wearied by war, severe poverty, governmental ineptitude, and endemic corruption.  It is in this context that the activities described in the report reveal something of the character of UCBC–an institution whose vision is to “raise up indigenous, Christian leaders to transform their communities and the nation of DRC.”  Read, ponder – and pray.  And let us know if you would like to help in some way.  (This article is cross-posted on the main Care of Creation website. The authors are Adeito Masika Tahirana, Annie Mboligihe, Baraka Kambale Alex, Nadine Kavira Vitya, and Patrick Masomeko Mikajo.)

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the majority of the population is rural and lives dependent on the forest and subsistence farming. DRC’s Congo Basin rainforest is sometimes referred to as the  “second lung of the earth” because of its size, second only to the Amazon basin. However, through the growing lumber industry, people who live in this vast rainforest area often seek to supplement their livelihood by clearing forest trees to sell timber and produce charcoal for cooking. As the population grows rapidly, this activity has direct impacts on climate and the health of the land as the rainforest shrinks to make way for farmland and the lumber industry.

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The Making of a ‘Call to Action’

This is a front-line report from the recent Jamaica Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel which I was privileged to lead. I didn’t have a lot of time for reflection during the Consultation, and am still somewhat overwhelmed with detail relating to the event.  However, Lowell Bliss has been reporting his experience regularly through the Eden Vigil Newsletter.  [Contact Lowell if you want to subscribe.]  Here is his most recent, describing the experience of coming up with a Consultation Call to Action.  [The document being described is still under review, but should be released publicly on Monday, November 12.  Watch for it in this space.]
“Buddy, you don’t know half the story!”

I didn’t say these words, but I was thinking them, as I acknowledged another consultant’s gracious encouragement that people were praying for our Statement Committee.  If only he knew about the hundreds of you who were so faithfully praying, even after internet communication had been cut from my side in Jamaica.

My heart is full of joy, but I’m feeling the rigor in my body even as I write these words.  The picture above is taken from the communion service on the final evening.  It depicts how exhausted I was by this point, but it also shows Chris (Canada) passing the wine to Cassien (Burundi).: “This is the blood of Christ shed for you.” Chris had received it from the hands of Terry (First Nations Canada) who had received it from Darceuil (Trinidad and Tobago) who had received it from me (U.S.) who had received it from Robert (U.K.) who had received from Kuki (India). . . .  It was a thrilling experience of the Body of Christ.

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Creation Care, Sri Lanka style

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.

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Wangari Maathai proposes an Easter Monday celebration

Guest post: Lowell Bliss of Eden Vigil

“Wangari Maathai–Nobel laureate, founder of the Green Belt Movement, and sister-in-Christ Jesus–passed away on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the age of 71.  We at Eden Vigil wish her the joy of her resurrection.”

Ed has asked that I post this latest issue of the Environmental Missions Prayer Digest, something I’m happy to do.  But first let me forward a story from Ed himself.  On Sept. 28, Ed wrote:

Wangari was a good friend of Care of Creation Kenya. . . . She did attend a 2006 God and Creation conference – funny story there:  She had been invited and finally showed up on the last day of the conference.  They had to give her platform time which turned out to be right before my presentation, which was to be the closing talk of the conference.  Well, she took the entire slot (45 minutes) which meant that by the time I got up to talk, it was already past lunchtime…  wouldn’t have worked in the US, but these were Africans – so I just pretended there was no clock in the room and took my entire time as well (and then some, as I recall!).  I had the honor of a future-Nobelist telling me after that she ‘enjoyed my talk very much.’ Of course, at that time we had no idea that she would be winning the Nobel.

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