Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Then and Now in Kenya Colony by Willis R Hotchkiss

An  Africa map showing old names - from 1950's
 A remarkable book - Mr. Hotchkiss went to Kenya in 1895 and worked there 40 years.  His writing is vivid, interesting, and exceptionally well written. 

But in describing why he went out as a missionary I felt he wrote an entire lifetime sermon and want to share it and make it available to a new generation.

     "The sin question must be settled before we can cope with the multiplied problems of the social and economic need.
     Suppose Jesus was right when He declared,  "I am the way, the truth, and the life"  I am THE WAY, not merely  one of the many religious ways in the world, but the only way.  For, to make His meaning crystal-clear, He adds the illuminating word, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." 

     Again, "I am THE truth," not merely a truth amoung many truths.  We do not dispute the fact that the non-Christian religions contain truth, even much that is beautiful truth.  And truth the world over is from God.  But Christ does not merely teach truth, HE IS truth incarnate: He is truth personified.  And that is the reason He is forever calling men to come to Himself.  Not alone to follow Him, but first of all to obtain the life which makes the following possible.

     If He were no more than a teacher, though the greatest of all teachers, His constant use of the pronoun "I" would stamp Him as a charlatan or a fool.  But from the lips of Deity that little pronoun bridges the chasm that separates man from God and brings Him near in saving, sanctifying grace.

     "I am THE life," - not merely revelation of life, but Hi IS life, and the life is the light of men.  "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  There it is, the indisputable fact of divine revelation.  We may take it or we may leave it but we cannot evade it.  "There is none other name given under heaven amoung men whereby we must be saved."  If these words are not true, then the missionary enterprise is what a famous critic proclaimed it to be, "The dream of a dreamer who dreams that he has been dreaming."  If they are true, there is an end of argument.  No, we do not come to Africa because men are heathen and need civilization; we came because men are sinners and need a Saviour.

If you are interested in Africa at all, this book is filled with historical facts, both from the past in 1895 and present events during the time Mr. Hotchkiss worked there. 

Victoria Falls in 1990's

Another book of a missionary going to Zimbabwe  (now)   during the same time frame is "The Dust Diaries"   But this book for me lacks the inspiration as I don't see any real evidence of Christ.  However, the author is a present day relative enchanted by the man, not the Christ in the man.  But it's interesting to see that world in the early 1900's.

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