Why Bula Matari?
Bula Matari is a term coined by the Congolese to refer to Henry Morton Stanley (Dr Livingstone I presume?). The term applied to him on witnessing how he as one of Africa’s most famous explorers navigated the rapids of the Congo River which were treacherous and rocky. He did this by navigating to points where boats would be lifted out of the water and carried for miles until past the dangerous rapids. Read about Stanley here
Stanley, despite his extraordinary feats in opening up Africa was not treated well by history. Some of this was of his own making as he was literally a mystery man who made his way as a waif out of a workhouse to become the most famous explorer in Africa as well as the Middle East and India under the guise of an American reporter. He did serve in the American Civil War on both sides so he was a unique man. He is slowly being rehabilitated as historical documents available in recent years show him as someone who was exploited by the Belgium King Leopold. History has shown Leopold to possibly be the most brutal colonist in history.
Bula Matari is also a book Leadership and Authority: Bula Matari and Life-Community Ecclesiology in Congo written by Titre Ande, a Bishop in the Church of Congo. He uses the term to describe the way the Congolese church has inherited western and colonial understanding of power which are not consistent with African culture.
Ande has a doctorate and we met in 2014 when I visited the Congo as part of my employment. I was astounded at his humility and kindness as I spent three days visiting him and understanding his diocese and the work being done. I read the book subsequently and was impressed that he was calling the Congolese Church to practice what he not only preached in his book but how he acted as Bishop in his diocese.
Why am I blogging?
My life has been rich and full. It was dramatically changed in 1976 when I was 21 years old by meeting Jesus and establishing a relationship with him. The changes which ensued affected all aspects of my life including who I would marry, my employment and how I would live. For example my focus shifted from accumulating wealth to serving the poor. Blogging will reflect many aspects of changes I have experienced and the situations I have been placed in as a result of my relationship with Jesus.
Just as Stanley fought incredible challenges to overcome the inhospitable terrain of Africa to achieve his purposes and as Titre Ande has challenged the Congolese church, I trust this blog will break modern day cultural rocks held dear by many who are challenging society and the church.