Its not that when you take a ‘short-cut’ route you will reach your destination faster. Sometimes what may feel a shorter route can be elongated by circumstances. For instance, from experience as everyone want to take the shortcut route, there would be a lot of delays as people stop to greet each other where a story on asking how one is ends up in four to five additional stories.
Perhaps it is only in London UK, I not know of any city where shortcut routes work efficiently using the underground train systems. There it seems people have got it all to be fast as normally you would not see people stopping to greet each other. Usually if one was generous a wave is the norm however deep you know each other or the relationship.
In some parts of the world like my parents’ home village, one can not just pass another without greeting them. Even houses that are nearer a route one is taking are shouted at in greetings, just in case there is someone inside not seen yet and they may feel offended if not greeted. So it is that good manners means shouting a greeting at every sight of another person or merely shouting in anticipation the greetings in places where other people unseen may likely be. Even on approaching a farm land without any house, one has to shout a greeting in case there is someone invisible bent down tilling the soil. Such is the norm which makes London in UK seem a weird place.
The quotes this week are a continuation of our last week’s focal book. The extracts from which, will make you realise that when you get hold of it and read the whole, will make you more enlightened on what we have come to call living especially Christian life and its meaning. I am sure the selected quotations as extracts from the book will teach you one or two lessons, read and enjoy:
OUR CHILDREN NEED ROOTS AND WINGS by Dr Harvey Collins Kwiyani
“Every story of migration in the Bible has a sub-story of second-generation migrants within its narrative. Abraham’s migration made Isaac an immigrant too, just as Isaac’s migrations made Jacob another immigrant. Of course, to say the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is to recognise a God of three generations of migrants. This is what migration does – it affects the migrants and their children. Every migration — and mass migration like the one we see with Africans today — produces a transnational generation of children who belong in multiple cultures and align with more than one national identity.”
“African Christianity is becoming increasingly important in Europe. Nevertheless, I wonder if it will actually survive the first- and second-generation migrants who brought it from Africa. Our children are leaving the church as soon as they can. Will they be able to disciple their own children in the faith? Will their children be interested in the faith in this context of massive secularism? Bearing in mind that many of the first-generation African migrants were already Christians before they came to Europe, and that they have, so far, found it a huge challenge to disciple their children in the diaspora, it seems too optimistic to think that African churches will beat the odds to stay strong and relevant beyond the first-generation. To sustain their churches in Europe, and for African churches to stay beyond the first and second generations, Africans will have to evangelise and disciple not just fellow African migrants but also the second- and third-generation African migrants and many Europeans, too.”
“Partners who took care of the children at home back in Africa—usually women—get a chance to go to work in Britain, earn some money and become more independent (which has led to quite a few marital breakdowns). Many men have to learn take care of children, cook, wash dishes and tidy up—chores that were left to women and children or maids in Africa. The authority commanded over the children by the parents back home seems to dissipate once in Europe as parents can no longer use some forms of discipline to keep their children on the right path. Overall, African migrants find that in British culture the balance of power in the family shifts towards the children (and the women). Both women’s and children’s rights suddenly become more pronounced as men’s authority becomes displaced.”
“Indeed, that second-generation African immigrants are not staying in their parents’ churches should not surprise us. The parents’ churches are shaped for a different kind of audience existing in a different time and space. When the younger generation attend, many of them say that they feel like they have entered foreign country. The cultural expressions of the parents’ churches generally look and feel African, (or to be specific, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Ethiopian, etc). In their defence, that is all that the parents know. In most cases, the parents are only trying to preserve their African culture in a strange land. They find a great deal of security in this.”
Dr Harvey Collins Kwiyani originated from Malawi some years ago. He stayed for several years in the USA before relocating to the UK. He teaches theology, missiology, and leadership courses at several places in the USA, Europe and Africa but is currently based at Liverpool Hope University as Senior Lecturer where he teaches African Theology.
He founded and continues to be the general editor of African Missiology. He is also author of several books including such titles as, ‘Sent Forth: African Missionary Work in the West’, ‘Mission-shaped Church in a Multi-cultural World’, and the book, ‘Our Children Need Roots and Wings.’