Issue 6: Africa

Matt Basinger

Small Steps – Sustainable Development One Light Bulb at a Time

Like many African countries, São Tomé e Principe (STP) is struggling to stand on her own after being raped by colonization. “Discovered” by Portuguese navigators in the late 1400’s, STP quickly became Africa’s top sugar exporter in the 1500’s due to the colonized slave labor. Sugar cultivation eventually waned, but fortunately for the Portuguese plantation […]

Abby Wong

Who is Jesus Christ for us today?

We huddled around a solitary candle, the only source of light in the dingy room. Betty, our hostess, knelt on the floor while we all sat on make-shift stools and chairs. Her children’s voices could be heard from the street and front yard as they played in the dying evening light, clearly remaining outdoors to […]

Gerald West

Structural Sin: A South African Perspective

Introduction “Give a man a fish,” the saying goes, “and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will always eat.” The problem with this saying, we in South Africa have discovered, is that even when you teach a man to fish, there are still signs that say, “NO FISHING.” […]

April Folkertsma

Seeking the Kingdom: A Christmas Reflection

In the year 2005 our world was no stranger to deep tragedy. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tropical storms, war, and the AIDS pandemic devastated countries resulting in loss of life and livelihood. The ones who were already vulnerable were made more so because of such unexplainable acts of God. Children who already lived in poverty lost […]

Bruce Wilkinson, Chris Keller

Interview with Bruce Wilkinson – R.A.P.I.D.S., Zambia

TOJ: What is your take on the G8 conference this past summer? Was it successful? What are some positive results of the conference and what are your critiques of the conference? BW: Yeah, well in general I believe it was a positive outcome. Two things that we need to keep in mind, anytime you get […]

Becky Crook, Nathaniel Calhoun, Sean Blaschke, Tuuli Saarela

AIDS Awareness Campaign: Stories from Africa

The AIDS Awareness Campaign (AAC) is a team of three American journalists, writers and photographers who began an eight-month overland journey through the heart of Africa in July 2005 to examine the impact of HIV/AIDS in rural and urban communities. Through the stories of the African people whom they meet along the way, Sean Blaschke, […]

Gwinyai Muzorewa

Some Thoughts on African Liberation: From Independence to True Liberation – PART II

Aspects of African Liberation Political Liberation: reflection on being true to ourselves The term “liberation” tends to be used very loosely, these days, but it can also mean something specific and be crucial and relevant to our everyday life. In this regard, I have chosen to discuss political liberation in my own country of Zimbabwe […]

Gwinyai Muzorewa

Some Thoughts on African Liberation: From Independence to True Liberation – PART I

New values for African nations will liberate the African people from various forms of poverty, lawlessness, dictatorships, dehumanization, diseases, and a distortion of cultural identity. However, such values must evolve naturally and independently of external pressures because they must arise from the needs of the African peoples themselves. Most of us have learned the lesson […]

Justin Holcomb

Southern Sudanese Chaplains: Human Rights and The Embodiment of Peace

“Sudan is a disaster area for human rights. We must turn the eyes of the world upon the atrocities in the Sudan.”[1] “The human rights situation in Sudan is not marketable to the American people.”[2] “Everyone has the right to thought, conscience and religion…No one shall be held in slavery or servitude and the slave […]

Faith Wambura Ngunjiri

Spirituality and Leadership in Action: Women Leaders Fighting HIV/AIDS in Kenya

Women the world over have been under-represented in leadership be it in educational administration, business and industry, and political arenas (Bass, 1990; Uraizee, 2000; Weiss, 1999). This phenomenon is often described in terms of a glass ceiling: one that women can see through but cannot go past due to cultural, organizational and other systemic discriminations […]

Jim Churchill-Dicks

From These Stones

From These Stones I A woman, alone, sits at her piano, alone on her seventy-fifth birthday. Her daughter will drive through the sandy-banked streets of Coronado Shores, to help her mother into the car, and drive to the ocean-side restaurant where her long-gone family is waiting. But for now, the woman sits alone with her […]

Richard Osler

At Victoria Falls

“you are part of the river and will return to the river” Lynn Martin Water never looks so beautiful as when it plunges breaks over the long-drop and falls out of itself into droplets mist rain long strings of loud music crescendo all falling back into the river whole and unbroken again But the beauty […]

Eric Williams

Reflections on HIV/AIDS in a Southern African Border Post: HIV/AIDS in Namibia

Departure The coolness of the early morning greeted me as I set off for the northeastern part of Namibia. Cruising at 12,000 feet, the unpressurized cabin filled with the muffled sound of its dual engines. The vast and desolate landscape sped by beneath us as the rising sun ushered in the new day. My destination […]

Jason Killingsworth

Best Music of 2005

Ranking albums is fun and maddening and dicey and way too subjective. It’s also strangely satisfying. No matter how thoroughly you’ve scoured the year’s release calendars, you inevitably miss something that absolutely, inarguably belongs in there somewhere. So you slot it into the list and resume your insufferable tweaking once more. This year was a […]

Msia Kibona-Clark - Amnesty International

Violence Against Women and Girls in Northern Uganda

I have been known to shed my share of tears over stories of human suffering, to ache for the voiceless victims whose eyes stare out at me from the pages of human interest stories. The story of the forgotten women and girl-children of Northern Uganda is therefore one that is close to my heart. As […]

Rob Smith - Agathos

The AIDS Crisis in Africa – Who Cares?

A number of statistics are thrown around when discussing HIV/AIDS and Africa. In fact, statistics are the closest encounter most have with this crisis. There are no pictures of catastrophe or mass chaos as seen in the recent tsunami crisis or hurricane Katrina devastation—only mind-numbing statistics. Over 40-million people are currently infected by HIV in […]

Mícheál Roe

A Series of Brief Reflections on Human Rights Activism and the Christian Faith

The following 14 reflections were presented at Seattle Pacific University’s Faith/Learning Forum on the 27th of October, 2005. 1. The “faithful” are called to seek peace and justice in many faith traditions outside of Christianity (e.g., see Carmody and Carmody. Peace and Justice in the Scriptures of the World Religions: Reflections on Non-Christian Scriptures. NY: […]

Marigrace Becker

Hall of Mirrors

Before we met in person, Our portrayals had already been exchanging elaborate letters. Our omniscient hostess, Media, facilitated this correspondence. “America, this is Africa; I’m sure you two have crossed paths.” Her soothing voice gently patronized, Dropping names, sharing photos as if they were reminders of common knowledge. Yes, we nod, we’ve heard of each […]

Nathan Brouwer

Rainy Season Rhythms and Bush Taxi Transcripts

Aldo Leopold, an influential ecologist and one of the first prophets of the environmental movement, wrote, “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” People sensitive to environmental issues usually find themselves in a richly textured world that is being ripped apart at every stitch […]

Nate Gowtham

Kentucky Collective Make the Album of Their Career

My Morning Jacket – Z (ATO Records) Losing two founding members is usually the funeral call for even the best bands. That said, it’s amazing what this line-up shift, an outside producer and a trip to a new studio away from the familiar setting of their farm studio has done for Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket. […]

Nate Gowtham

Quick Hits

1. Caspian – You Are the Conductor (Dopamine/Amalagate Records) – This Massachusetts Post-Rock quartet has completely taken over my brain and broken my heart with their debut E.P. Reverb drenched guitars, intricate instrumentals, and a pulverizing rhythm section create fresh, intoxicating music. Warning: you will not want to listen to anything else. Check them out […]

Becky Crook


Come walk with me along the way, that turns and winds so we can’t see the end, through bends, alluring in their folds and shadows. When the path seems to fade I’ll follow you up the mountain and over rocks since you like to go where there is no trail. And when we’re led to […]

Marigrace Becker

I, Zimbabwean

I, I am Zimbabwean. I eat salads and pizza, and do not feel full without sadza. I sing Methodist hymns and avoid all but vernacular choruses. I wear jeans but would not be caught dead wearing anything except a skirt. I drive an old car and a donkey cart. I fetch water in tins on […]

Joel Heng Hartse

Rap and the Question of Content

Kanye West Late Registration Roc-A-Fella Records and Blackalicious The Craft Anti Records I’m taking a class on teaching English writing to speakers of other languages and one thing my professor often mentions is “the question of content.” What, exactly, are appropriate subjects for students to write about and how do we decide? Teachers must be careful not to introduce […]

Jason Bortz

Film and the AIDS Pandemic

People have asked if it was difficult to take a film crew to Kenya to film a documentary dealing with the pandemic of AIDS and the seemingly ineffectual efforts of a handful of people to stem the tide of affliction and disease. Our documentary, Scratching the Surface; A Journey with HEART, deals primarily with the efforts […]

Allen D. Hertzke

The Shame of Darfur

In April 2005, a striking celebration occurred in Washington to mark the signing of a peace accord between rebel groups of southern Sudan and the Islamist regime in Khartoum, ending Africa’s longest and bloodiest civil war. In a packed room in the Longworth House Office Building, Sudanese exiles mingled with the American officials and religious […]

Marta D. Bennett

Africa’s Women: A Journey of Hope

My daughter’s Kenyan classmate is named “Good News.” A university student from the Democratic Republic of Congo is called “Faida” meaning “good fortune” or “profitable.” “Victory” teaches Sunday school at our local church, and “Grace” and “Charity” served me in government offices the other day. While world news may or may not cover the most […]

Susan Hall

Life, And More Life: An Introduction to African Women’s Theology

What moves men of genius, or rather, what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough. –Eugene Delacroix When Eugene Delacroix penned these words, he may have been thinking of the kind of genius that would move an African woman to […]

Reagan R. Demas - International Justice Mission

Injustice, Hope, and the Plight of African Women

The softest whisper carries great power. I’ll never forget the way my Grandmother used to draw me close to her, place her mouth up against my ear and whisper in her delicate voice: “Reagan, you are my very favorite.” Year after year, over and over again, the power of her whisper was transforming. That simple […]

Allan Anderson

Pentecostals and Apartheid in South Africa during Ninety Years 1908-1998

South African Pentecostalism and Political Participation After the first Dutch settlers arrived in South Africa in 1652, Protestant Christianity (with almost entirely European membership) through the Dutch Reformed Church held total monopoly until the 19th Century.[1] Today, some three-quarters of the Black population are members of many ‘Protestant’ churches, but this figure includes a majority of […]