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Catechist James Kalauma 101

Color Problem

Then there was the color problem. I wanted to hold a service on a location for the workers' families. I discovered that I had to have a pass from the Police stating how long I intended staying and what I planned to do. Security men lurked everywhere. Queues of workers lined up for a humiliating x-ray search of their persons before they could leave town. I didn't mind the humiliation for the privilege of meeting with the five native and one white congregation in town. Wherever I preached, the interpreter invariably embarrassed me by telling me that the people had said, "Your presence assures us that Christians in America care."

The Prodigal Son

On one evening, several hundred men gathered in a big tin recreation hut in town. As I preached, catechist James Kalauma, a cheerful twenty years old by my side translated. When I finished, he too gave a message in his own tongue. Everyone hung on his every word. From his action, he was retelling the story of the Prodigal Son. I was the only white man there, and hardly understood a word, but his message came through to me loud and clear. Afterwards I just had to shake his hand in appreciation and admiration. Catechist James Kalauma had, I sensed, a great future.✞

"American Christians Care"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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