Tribal Shunning, but God’s Grace

Fulanki (Frank) was a gem who was the result of church ministry on one of the smaller islands in southern Lake Victoria. He came to know the Lord through the witness of the African pastor there and through the influence of the church primary school which he attended. He was quick to learn, excelled in primary and middle school education and was selected to go for Teacher Training. Afterwards, he was assigned to teach in the school on the station where we were located. His children played with ours since we basically lived next to each other.
The people on the island he came from were of a tribe other than those on the mainland. By nature they seemed to be argumentative, brash and very loud-spoken and voiced their opinions freely. In fact, if you didn’t know this characteristic, you would think they were always about ready to come to blows.
Because of this and because of other long-standing cultural animosities, they were not very highly regarded. In fact, there were a number of derogatory ethnic jokes among the Sukuma people about those “baKara”. “They were shysters; they were quick to take advantage of you; they were uncouth; they just weren’t fit for “respectable” society”.
In any case, Frank came with a very humble spirit. His coolness and acceptance of others set him apart as “not fitting in” with the notion of what people from Ukara were supposed to be like. His steadfastness in spiritualthings brought him into leadership in the local church. Even after he was transferred to teach in other schools, he always found ways to minister in and through the nearest church.
After he retired from teaching, he found the means to attend and graduate from the Nassa Theological College and began a ministry of teaching Bible classes in his area secondary schools. He continues to have a real concern for the spiritual needs of young people and has sought to establish a Christian secondary school out in the Sengerema area. Lately, physical infirmities have slowed him down but the concern and witness remain. Praise God for the “embers from the fire” which continue to burn brightly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *