We have been discussing in our training Worldview.  What is worldview?  Our worldview is the lens through which we view the world we live in.  Our worldview has already been defined for us by our experiences and our culture.

Last week we spent three days focusing on an African World View.  It was such an enlightening three days…..I had no idea!  Had Kari and I come to Uganda without spending these 5 months training at New Hope Uganda, our hearts would have had the right intentions, but our minds would not have been in the right place.   Unless worldview issues are addressed you cannot help someone. You have to find out what is behind their fears, before you can get to the root of the problem. We are so very happy to be spending these months learning and absorbing everything we can from our time at New Hope.

To most of the African culture everything is viewed as spiritual, nothing just happens, there is a spirit behind everything.  There are also many gods; god of rain, god of success, god of war, god of childbirth and the list goes on and on. There is a God, and he is the “Big Man” but He is distant, however the spirits are very active.  If an owl cries at night it means someone close to you is finished, they are going to die. If a tree has a unique or odd shape, it needs to be worshiped because it is a spirit. Much of the African culture believes there is no true beginning or ending. The dead are not truly dead, when they die they become more powerful, I said like Obi-Won-Kenobi, but oddly enough none of the Ugandans laughed.  When someone dies they can control the living, the living are required to provide gifts at the burial and believe the spirit of the deceased is watching.  So you better provide a good gift.

We also spent a great deal of time discussing the power that witch doctors play within the culture.   The spirits work through the witch doctors as a medium.  In order for the witch doctor to commune with the spirits you have to bring gift, you never come empty handed to the witch doctor.  You must reconcile yourself with the spirits through he witch doctors. People must be loyal to the spirits and the witch doctor.  In order to show loyalty you must bring sacrifices. The level of sacrifice starts small and can escalate all the way to human blood, even their own children are offered as sacrifices.  The fear is so deep rooted that you do not question the witch doctor.  If what you wanted to not come to fruition, then the problem is with you, not the witch doctor.  The witch doctor is never wrong and is never to be questioned.

The most shocking part of all of this was the fact that is still affects a large number of the culture who deem themselves believers.   The spirit world still has a firm grip on their lives and the fear controls them. “What you fear will control you and what you fear will be your god” – Uncle Jonnes

We know that our God does not want us to be divided between His world and the spirit world.  He wants all of us, period.  You cannot have a firm foundation in the Gospel is you still have fears of the spirit world.  

Our training is so enlightening and will only serve to make us better workers for His Kingdom and for His Glory.  I hope that by the end of our training we will be able to get to the root of the problem with the people we are serving and to be able to share the Gospel.   

This mystery of Worldview is not unraveled, but it has brought to my attention the “lens” in which I have been viewing the world through. 
Matthew OrtegaComment