THERE are three people this week that need to be counselled, educated or investigated:
One is a 74-year old American lady resident of a United States village called Hooper, in Fremont, Nebraska; the other a Ugandan Pastor called Jimmy Mwanga of a Church called ‘Glory Rescue’ in Luuka, Busoga; and the third an online journalist called Tammy Real-McKeighan, also in Hooper.
The three caught my attention because of an online story about how “Donna Kriete is putting faith and art together for a cause,” as the first sentence read, before telling us how this lady was selling artwork to fund the church activities of Pastor Mwanga.
I am a Christian myself, and have watched the new types of churches grow and multiply over the years so I am not at all surprised by the activities of Pastor Mwanga and Donna Kriete. In fact, her monies and those of others like her could count well towards our foreign exchange inflows as a country.
I also can’t hold anything against Pastor Mwanga for finding a way to earn a living or even grow his church using these funds.
From the story online and a reading of his Facebook page, this Pastor is doing God’s work. The online story says, for instance, that: “Mwanga…was told in a dream to start a church in an area where Muslims lived and a place where witchcraft is practiced.”
This is the type of stuff that some Christians like to read.
But what we don’t like to read, and where my hackles were raised, was when Donna Kriete said: “When you go to Uganda, it’s like you’re stepping into Bible times,” adding that ‘there is no electricity where Mwanga now has two churches.’
Mind you, this Ms. Kriete came to Uganda in 2014 – the same year that the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics published this 57-page report on Luuka District (alone). In this report, available online so that characters like the journalist who half-assed that story could do some fact-checking, UBOS reports that 20% of Ugandans in Luuka use electricity for lighting.
Not only that, looking through the Facebook page of Pastor Mwanga’s Glory Rescue Ministry you can see lots of microphones and loudspeakers being put to use. Using firewood, perhaps, like in Bible times?
Those simple observations made me wonder what type of Bible Ms. Kriete reads in Nebraska that made her feel like being in Uganda is like “stepping into Bible times”.
Did this woman come to Uganda on a donkey or via an aeroplane that landed at Entebbe International Airport? Is she FROM the Bible times herself and did she undergo some deja vu when she got here?
It wasn’t confusing reading that simplistically drafted article, it was annoying. Moreso because it wasn’t written up as a casual blog post by Ms. Kriete the philanthropic artist whose childhood dream, the story says, was to be a missionary in Africa. It was a report by a journalist!
Reading the article you find it obvious that it is targeting either dim-witted people who can’t use google or dim-witted people who still believe that Africa is a jungle teeming with savages in need of civilisation.
The journalist, Ms. Tammy Real-McKeighan, seems to genuinely quote Kriete without sarcasm saying: “(Mwanga) is interested in bringing the good news to people who’ve never heard it.”
In Luuka? 28 kilometres from Iganga on the highway? 118 kilometres from Kampala?
At the point where they were talking about children having asthma and malaria, I felt that someone should make an internet for people such as Kriete and Real-McKeighan and their readers in America so that the likes of me, myself and I never get to read such things again.
At Mwanga’s Church, “Kriete met a girl named Spae who had asthma and couldn’t attend school until she was healed.”
And the journalist, Ms. Real-McKeighan, actually wrote: ‘Some might wonder why miracles occur there.’ and then published Kriete’s considered opinion that: “I think they’re desperate. They don’t have the money or the medical technology that we have here. And they just believe God and heal them and many are healed.”
Putting aside your incredulous look and the feeling that someone should be slapped in the face, wouldn’t that suggest that venturing into technology and medicine being so difficult it might be better for there to be more desperate people in the world so we just pursue vast miracle healing of diseases?
How are the authorities in the United States not arresting Kriete for something? Are they off duty because of the government shutdown?
Counselled – so they get proper legal advice; Educated – so their minds are opened to the realities of 2019 in the real world; or investigated for outright fraud because nobody can be so stupid as to fly an aeroplane into a country and drive a vehicle along tarmac roads for 200kms then say it’s ‘Bible times’.