DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Be the witness!

Written by: on February 13, 2015

Macy and Johnstone’s book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy, is a relevant contribution to discussion of environmental sustainability and humanity’ on going quest peace and tranquility on earth. The search for meaning has led to interesting discoveries for some, but many people are also left with a sense of fatigue about subjects like hope and the future due to global crises. I recently listened to an interview which featured a prominent atheist called Stephen Fry who puzzled about how God would allow suffering in this world. In the interview Fry poses questions towards God, “bone cancer in children, what’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery… why should I respect a mean minded God…?”[1]

Macy and Johnstone write about a similar stroy told through Jane’s care for the world, her fear and pessimism about human nature. It seems to me that the authors are seeking to address the past and present issues and inquires surrounding hopelessness, lack of empowerment and in there is the subject matter of theodicy. For instance, if God is exists and He is good, then why all the cosmological mayhem? I continue to concern myself with plausible arguments that can lead to reasonable conclusions about certain experiences of suffering. Yet amid all endeavors to understand more about life’s events, I have a story to tell about the hope I have and continue to experience ever since I became conscious about the power and presence of God in my soul. I call it the living and powerful hope! This is important to me because it is such a holistically pivotal reality of my life. God’s loving-kindness and presence in my life has made an eternal difference in my life. This is why I have hope, spiritual and physical fervor to act upon issues in life that might otherwise be limiting and hopeless. Macy and Johnstone write, “active hope is about becoming active participants in bring about what we hope for. Active hope is a practice”[2]

I am in agreement with their perspective. This is why I take seriously the need to nurture and encourage children in Uganda to purposefully pursue opportunities that will educate them on matters of contextual leadership. I believe that Uganda’s young population which is the majority, has a lot to offer in terms of their gifts, skills, intellect and talents towards a problem solving approach to certain challenges. I am involved with a group of leaders in Uganda who have experienced the impact of global issues like poverty, hunger , environmental issues and lack of access to quality education. My colleagues and I are energized by “Christ in [us] the hope of glory”[3] to do what we can to serve communities in Uganda.

For a long time, we’ve wholeheartedly embrace the call to humbly lead and cherish the wisdom from scripture to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect …”[4]

Scripture provides wonderful values that ought to guide and maintain the practice of hope namely, gentleness and respect. I feel hopeful about such values which open the tap that flows with a holistic expression of the hope in and from Christ.

 

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422579428&x-yt-cl=85114404&v=-suvkwNYSQo#t=59

[2]  Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2012),3.

[3] Colossians 1:27

[4] 1 Peter 3:15

About the Author

Michael Badriaki

5 responses to “Be the witness!”

  1. Michael…
    First of all I think you need a Seahawk in the photo … except we lost the Super Bowl, so well, maybe not! 🙂

    Thank you for your perspective and insights. This book made me wonder at the wisdom it is reflecting, the hope it cultivates (or endeavors to), but also now after reading your post I realize that in some (or is it many?) ways the “world” might be wanting the Christian representation to wake up or is God speaking through others as God has done as witnessed in Scripture many other times? Is the prophetic call coming from outside the church rather than from within it?

    What are life giving factors or practices for you right now?

    • Michael Badriaki says:

      Carol, you got me there for a while :)!!!! I thought to myself- did I betray our beloved seahawks? 🙂

      I totally agree that God is speaking through other mouth pieces and along with their encouragement, I see the need to practice life giving hope, proximity, love and mutuality which God has also given to Jesus’s followers through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Macy and Johnstone’s work is a prophetic call to the Christian church and especially an antithesis to certain evangelical circles that how adapted the attitude of letting the sleeping dogs lie.

      Thanks Carol

  2. mm Deve Persad says:

    Michael, you bring much to consider, as always. I appreciate your efforts, together with others, to enter into the reality of Ugandan young people. One of the ideas that was spoken of in the book was, compassion. Compassion is more than aid or a handout, as you well know. It is the ability to come alongside and enter into the suffering of another, understanding their position and then enabling them to find hope within it…such a difficult, but necessary task, that is only made possible through the resources Our God gives. What is the biggest obstacle you and your friends face, as you enter into the story of these young people in Uganda?

    • Michael Badriaki says:

      Deve, thanks for the comments. Some of our biggest challenges and obstacles are sin related issues at point blank rage. Issues of the heart which can be addressed through the gospel. Then we are also faced with the need to train and prepare a cadre of god fearing mentors and teaches, who will in turn equip the children in creative ways towards problem solving, creating enterprises infused with the gospel narrative that will in turn benefit them and the communities at large.

      There are many exciting elements to this ministry. In fact, we have identified some ideas which we are planning to implement that will allow us to be innovative about how to improve and contextualize education through the propagation of a gospel narrative education for children and youth. We know that financial resources will be a challenge but we are also praying and planning to raises funds for investing in the establishment of leadership academy.

      Please keep us in prayer!

  3. mm rhbaker275 says:

    Michael,
    Thanks for sharing with us the story of hope you are telling the children in Uganda. Children in developing countries like Uganda often experience suffering, hardship and injustice. It is a great blessing to give hope to these children and to all who suffer. Because you have experienced “…the living and powerful hope!” And as “it is such a holistically pivotal reality [in your] life,” you are able to practice an “Active Hope” that lifts the children and others from despair. I have always liked the metaphor of expanding a child’s horizon of possibilities as we give them hope. Of course, as you note, the authors advocate “Active hope is a practice.” We give them hope through the love of Jesus and the practice is education, health care, and training to become productive members of their family and community.

    I agree with much (most) of the concepts and practices that Macy and Johnstone advocate – perhaps I see them more clearly applicable through the lens of love and grace that is administered through God’s mercy. God knows our suffering and God reaches to reconcile each person and all of creation to God. The practice side for us, as the reconciled, is to be God’s ambassadors of hope and reconciliation. As I read your post, I am thankful for you and I pray for you and your children in Uganda.

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