The entire country is still reeling from the shock, loss and anguish of last week’s terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 74 people on the night of July 12 as they watched the final match of the soccer World Cup. What tragedy, bitterness and desperation leads groups like Al Shabab to such wanton violence! I am reminded of the words of Fr. Alexander Schmemann: “The world is filled with many fighters of evil, who have no vision or experience of the good for which they are fighting….” Terrorists live in their own world, where the vision and experience of evil is the only reality. They see evil everywhere, and are determined to fight it, using the only means they know: evil. Lacking any experience of the good, they have nothing to lose. That is why they cannot be defeated by ‘fighting’ which only succeeds in drawing victims in the world of terrorists. Only a vision and everyday experience of ‘goodness’ and forgiveness can interrupt the self-enclosed world of evil in which terrorists live. I am encouraged by the atmosphere of calmness in the city and the determination of Kampala residents to carry on as usual in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
In the meantime, at Bethany House, life has been ‘normal’, restful but productive. A one-day consultation with the leaders of the GLI core partners (MCC, World Vision International and ALARM) has just concluded, bringing further clarity and definition to a vision 2015 for the GLI, and to plan for the Jan 2011 Leadership Institute.
From July 6-10, I hosted the 1st Amahoro Theological Intensive here: a group of 20 leaders from East Africa, South Africa and the U.S for three full days of intense conversation under the theme “Africa Through the Lens of Bethany.” For three full days we explored together a vision, imagination and gifts of Christian leadership in Africa, shaped around the New Testament stories associated with the village of Bethany. See story and pictures!
On June 28th, I enjoyed a get together with my seminary classmates for an evening and half day of reconnecting, remembering and thanksgiving for 23 years of priestly ministry. Indeed a lot to be grateful for!
And finally, meet two new additions to the Bethany family: below, two and half month old Charlotte (named by Charlotte Awino after herself) – quite a playful young fellow – and of a much different character than the five month Grace (second picture below), whom we got last week. True to her name, she is calm and graceful.
– For the pilgrims travelling respectively from Joliet, Illinois and Kuching, Malaysia to Uganda for this year’s pilgrimage, which starts July 23.
– For Fr. Joe Kakooza my brother, for his 25th priestly anniversary celebration on Saturday July 31.