David Anderson flees Kenya

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David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:45 am

All is not going well for the delightful fundamentalist Pastor David Anderson. Apparently he's been forced to flee Kenya following a dispute with one of hs co-religion pastors. See http://www.premierchristianity.com/Past ... missionary

Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke.

Edit: apparently he's back in the UK.
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:21 am

Unfortunately most of the story is behind a pay wall (I suspect no earlier blog post exists on this subject as he was still in Kenya at the time though maybe he will blog now?).
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:13 am

a_haworthroberts wrote:Unfortunately most of the story is behind a pay wall (I suspect no earlier blog post exists on this subject as he was still in Kenya at the time though maybe he will blog now?).


You can get a free monthly subscription which gives access to the web site and the full article (which is what I did).

His blog, More than Words, fails to make any mention of what happended although he still regularly posts to it. He fled Kenya last year.

As far as I can make out from Google searches, Anderson is now an itinerant preacher in the UK. He is based at a church in St Neots, a part of the world where he originates from, IIRC, but has recently preached at churches in Banbury and Hailsham (Sussex).

One wonders what the employment opportunities are for an Oxbridge kook who has screwed up on the only two jobs he has ever had (three if you include Truth in Science). I'd like to be able to say I have some sympathy for him as he now has five kids to support, but I can't.
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:16 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:You can get a free monthly subscription which gives access to the web site and the full article (which is what I did).[/qhote]They want a postal address, and I don't want them knocking on my door, thanks very much!
I'd like to be able to say I have some sympathy for him as he now has five kids to support, but I can't.
Six, according to that article: maybe they had a load of unsold nappies they needed to use up!
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby Roger Stanyard » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:05 am

Brian Jordan wrote:
Roger Stanyard wrote:You can get a free monthly subscription which gives access to the web site and the full article (which is what I did).[/qhote]They want a postal address, and I don't want them knocking on my door, thanks very much!
I'd like to be able to say I have some sympathy for him as he now has five kids to support, but I can't.
Six, according to that article: maybe they had a load of unsold nappies they needed to use up!


What would be really interesting to know are the precise circumstances which resulted in death threats against his family.
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby Roger Stanyard » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:09 am

a_haworthroberts wrote:Unfortunately most of the story is behind a pay wall (I suspect no earlier blog post exists on this subject as he was still in Kenya at the time though maybe he will blog now?).



Full article:

‘I received death threats as a missionary'

In 2008 David Anderson, his wife, Liz and their young family moved to Eldoret, Kenya, in order to lead a church plant. Never did David Anderson and his family expect that six years after moving to Kenya they would face death threats from David's co-pastor, forcing them to flee the country. ‘We can believe that God was using our time in Kenya as training for something else,’ says Baptist missionary David Anderson.

In 2008, after spending a year in Nairobi, the Andersons and their three children (they have since had three more) moved to Eldoret, the fastest-growing town in Kenya and home to the Kalenjin tribe. ‘Development is going on at breakneck speed but you can still find people driving their cattle down pretty much any street in the town,’ says David. The family were not under the direction of any specific missionary organisation but were linked with Grace Baptist Mission, and received some financial support from UK churches, friends and family. David also did some ‘tentmaking work’ ‐ building, repairing and hosting websites ‐ to provide some income.
Western influence

The Andersons began work in a small church, mainly attended by families who lived in one-room shacks. It was launched together with a local man in his 30s, Abraham, who had previously received training from a nearby Baptist college. Church meetings were held under a tree in a field.

"We wanted to plant a church among the local people which didn’t rely on western manpower or finances"

David explains how his was an unusual approach to church. ‘Most of the folk there would be living on less than £1 a day.

Yet, almost all the church plants that we became familiar with in Kenya were very middleclass in style.

Our burden was to try and plant a church among the local people in a way that they could carry on, and that didn’t rely upon a continual supply of Western manpower or finances. The job of a missionary is to make yourself redundant: to equip people to rely upon God’s provision and look for their own local solutions and ways of doing church that makes sense to them.’

David also wanted to build the church leadership and administration in the Eldoret plant in way that was inclusive for local people, who were mostly poor and ill-educated.
Prosperity problems

Abraham, who David was training on the job as his co-pastor, was the only survivor from a family of 11 children, whose father died young. While working alongside David, he also worked part-time as a builder, but struggled to bring in sufficient funds to feed his family.

David wanted to train Abraham himself, rather than send him away to a Bible college. ‘When one of these poorer folk attends a Western-style church leadership course, they usually can’t make head or tail of it…it’s as if they have to learn how to be a middle-class person at the same time as learning how to use their gifts.

‘From what I’ve seen of other missionaries, a training-on-the-job approach helps protect immature leaders from the temptation that they fall [in]to when they are taken to a Western set-up and see what looks like a lot of money being thrown around. That’s also connected to the “prosperity gospel” problem: a belief in Kenyan Christianity is that Christ offers the same as their traditional religions did ‐ to protect them from disease, bring blessing and a good life. The elements of sin, atonement and forgiveness, and the heart of the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross are stripped away.’ This “prosperity gospel” message, David explains, is further absorbed by local pastors watching American preachers on Satellite television.
Resenting the wealth gap

‘I wish I could work out what Abraham’s thinking was at the time, and why things panned out as they did,’ says David. ‘He had a lot of pressures in his family. His mother sold his inheritance a couple of years ago, in collusion with two of his cousins who forged signatures on the documents. So he lost his bit of family land. As a result, and needing to fund his children’s education, Abraham started to have more financial problems. We helped the church and local people with money…but the aim was not to build ourselves a large missionary enterprise in which we were central.’

The Andersons tried to give money away locally with some strings attached. ‘We said, “Come and do a day’s work and we’ll pay off that debt”, or “Let’s discuss how you can pay off the debt you’ve got bit by bit, and how you can avoid getting into that situation in the future.” But Abraham started to resent the wealth gap between us. His position at the end was that half of our income should go to him because he was doing the same work that we were.’
Increasing threats

Abraham became angry; his demands for money from the Andersons escalated. ‘I think he had some kind of breakdown. We had seen this building up in him over the period of about a year, but he never wanted to talk about any of his troubles,’ David says. David last saw Abraham at a Sunday church meeting, where Abraham was ‘out of control and threatening’

"An anonymous text told the Andersons to choose between their money or their children’s lives"

‘It’s not a very nice memory of him because he was a good fellow until last year,’ David says. Later in the day, a mutual acquaintance conveyed further threats from Abraham, prompting the Andersons to pack what belongings they could, and leave immediately for Nairobi. An anonymous text message from an unknown number came later (which the Anderson’s presumed had come from a contact of Abraham’s), telling the couple that they must choose between their money or their children’s lives. After a few weeks of deliberation, the Andersons decided to return to the UK.

House of cards Reflecting on his experience of mission in Kenya, David says, ‘It was eye-opening to see just how much of the Christian activity is just being propped up by a stream of foreign money. It isn’t really being driven forward by the Spirit working in the local people, or equipping them to take over from missionaries. Too many times you felt that a ministry was something like a house of cards. If you take the missionary out from the bottom row it’s going to fall down.

‘To get the Kenyans to see spiritual issues and not just their earthly advancement was just as hard as it is in the UK. That’s really masked by the apparent enthusiasm of people to come to your church meetings, especially if you’re a visitor to the area, and if it looks like you’ve got some resources around you. The level of greed was quite something.’

Despite their experiences, the Andersons’ sense of call to work abroad hasn’t dissipated. In time, they hope to go onto the mission field again. ‘We feel at peace about how it all went wrong. The teaching given in Kenya wasn’t wasted. God’s word never goes out in vain,’ David says. But he does urge UK Christians to pray for their missionaries. ‘Most of all it’s a spiritual battle. Prayer is what gives the weak missionary the strength to do what he needs each day.’
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:28 am

Thanks Ashley, quite interesting.
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby jon_12091 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:10 pm

Interesting, I think it's an issue that US fundamentalism doesn't tend to come directly to these shores, but that it does turn through the lense of African and African influenced churches - particularly the Pentecostal/charismatics. R4 Beyond Belief did a program on faith and charities and perhaps the interesting segment was an interview with a Ugandan man who had been involved with US faith-based charities.
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Re: David Anderson flees Kenya

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:19 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:Thanks Ashley, quite interesting.


The thanks are due to Roger not me (I couldn't be bothered to pay to read the full story, but I see that the post of 1 Sept has been expanded)!
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