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Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rwanda's Lingua Franca

Rwanda struggles to recover from the terrible events of more than a decade ago. The continuing disaster now plays itself out in Congo, where armies battle over control of the eastern part of the country.

I came across a couple of stories today. One tells about the decision to replace the French language with English as the primary language of international conversation. Students will be educated in English in the public schools. The primary reasons: neighboring countries and trading partners speak English, and school textbooks in English cost much less than those in French. It will take some time for a generation or two to make this transition happen. I wondered if the engagement of groups like Saddleback with their PEACE plan has had any influence on this.

The other article describes the revolutionary changes going on in gender relations in Rwanda. Women, a large majority of the population after the genocide and exodus, hold the majority of seats in the legislature. Many laws which discriminated against women are being systematically repealed and replaced. It will be fascinating to see how these changes continue and what influence a more egalitarian Rwanda may have on other African countries.

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