AFRICANS HAVE IT RIGHT

* Thanks for Tim Stafford's article on the hope he found in Kenya ["Finding Hope in Africa," July 17]. I have just returned from northern Tanzania, on the other side of Mount Kiliminjaro from Nairobi, and I can confirm that the many Masai and Chaga Christians and their pastors with whom I visited as a guest of the Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, had hope. But there was more. There was laughter and singing and joy in the face of hunger, poverty, and almost nonexistent medical care.

How can this be when we in America with, as Stafford pointed out, all the blessings of the comparatively very rich seem to have such little hope, such little joy? Why is there no more laughing and singing among us? The question was answered by Johnson Lyimo, pastor of the kia Lutheran Parish not far from Moshi, when he told me, "In my country, the people have nothing, so we depend upon God for everything. He is with us every day caring for the people. In your country, the people have everything, so they think that they don't need God." Johnson has it exactly right.

- Rev. Dwayne J. Westermann

College Evangelical Lutheran Church

Salem, Va.

I am fearful of Stafford's use of the word love, Christian love, for hope.

Love is many things. There is the love that endures all things, without murmuring and complaint. It accepts both the changeable and the unchangeable as the fates of God. But there is also the love that hurts to correct, pains to solve, struggles to improve the lot of all people, Christian and non-Christian alike. This is what I am looking for from the enormous believing church in Africa.

Show me the Christians of Africa who lay down their lives to bring about family planning, so that every ...

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