Divine Encounter at 35,000 feet

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I am on trip that will take me to the UK, the Middle East, and South Africa.

As Patty and I were praying before I left, she prayed specifically for divine contacts. As I settled into my seat on British Airways, I discovered that the distinguished African gentleman next to me was exactly that. He was an Anglican bishop from Uganda, on his way home after speaking at a conference in the states. A few notable highlights of the conversation were:

He believes the greatest challenge to the church in East Africa is that it “does church” meaning it is captive to the traditional and institutional and has lost its sense of missionality.

The greatest need in East Africa is leaders for the Christian movement and a means of developing them that is transformational and not just the impartation of information.

He is part of a think tank in Africa that wrestles with issues relating to the sending of Africans as missionaries but for the most part, he feels the African church, with a few exceptions, is not at this juncture. Existing models don’t work, particularly regarding the marshaling the resources necessary to accomplish the sending task.

When I asked if he was part of the Ugandan Anglican body that was accepting parishes of the American Episcopal Church which were leaving the denomination, he responded “yes,” but then politely corrected me. “These individual churches in the U.S. are not leaving the Anglican communion. It is the American Episcopal Church that has left us.”


In the course of our travel, the conversation covered a spectrum of topics, everything from Obama to the shabbiness of LAX. It was a pleasure to encounter and enjoy this godly saint at 35,000 feet.

One Response to “Divine Encounter at 35,000 feet”

  1. Charlie J Says:

    Sam,

    I love it!

    Very encouraging words from our brother in Africa. Would enjoy hearing more. Peace on you during your travels.

    Charlie

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