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Talking Africa with Nicholas Kristof, Sam Bretzmann and Richard McKenzie

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Suddenly Africa is on the front pages of every American newspaper, specifically Algeria and Mali.

Few American reporters have spent as much time in Africa or reporting on African issues as the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof.  He will join me at the start of Friday’s program, and the transcript will be posted below.

After I talk with Kristof, I’ll be joined in studio by Sam Bretzmann, the 25-year old executive director of Fikisha.org, an organization he helped found four years ago after a school study trip with students from Concordia University.  Fikisha.org provides scholarships of a few hundred dollars years to the street kids of the Kawangware slum in Nairobi that puts those children into boarding school while connecting them with a local church in the city thus dramatically changing the arc of their lives.

And after Bretzmann, I’ll be joined by one of the savviest economists in the land, Richard McKenzie, who is just about to launch an enormous MOOC (“Microeconomics for Managers”), who can add just a bit of economic theory to the discussion of how best to help a continent.

The problems of Africa are so immense –from the consequences of the AIDS epidemic to the rise of radical Islamist terror in the north and now increasingly in the middle part of the continent– that there is a danger of simply throwing up hands and declaring there is nothing to be done.

In fact there are incredible opportunities to change the course of a continent. and a lot of very smart people like Kristof and McKenzie have answers and enormous numbers of people with good hearts and great skills are stepping up to make it happen.  Take a moment to read through the transcripts of these talks when they are posted here later today:

 

HH: This very first hour, I’m devoting to Africa. And I’m devoting it to Africa, because no one talks much about Africa. And as far as I can see and tell, the crux of that continent’s troubles is going to be our crux pretty soon. The person I reached out to today to talk to about this is Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times columnist/reporter extraordinaire. You can read often him talking about many other subjects besides Africa. But at least annually, he is over there. Nicholas Kristoff, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show and thanks for joining me.  

NK: Sure, I’m delighted to be with you, Hugh.

HH: Tell us a little bit, I’ll be joined at the bottom of the hour by a young college graduate in Southern California, who having gone off on a trip with his college, is now throwing in and doing, spending his life trying to help the kids in the slums of Nairobi. You go back and forth, and I know you take young people with you. What is it about this continent that A) captures the imagination of so many young Americans, and B) is so screwed up right now.

NK: Well, you know, I guess there are a couple of things. I mean, one is that in some ways, Africa is really, and we don’t think of it this way, but is really the boom continent of the moment, that its growth rate is actually faster than most of the rest of the world, and I think six of the ten fastest growing countries in the world right now are actually in Africa. And especially at a time with Europe is suffering, and North America is, there are some places in Africa that really have this kind of excitement of development. Now the other part of the picture is the exact opposite, that the places where the suffering is the greatest in the world, where one can make the most difference because there are kids who aren’t even going to elementary school, let alone to college, that’s also Africa. The places where the stakes are the greatest, you know, south Sudan, where a girl is more likely to end up dying in childbirth than to become literate. And so I think that people are drawn both by the extraordinary needs and by this, you know, what is a much more recent phenomenon, this sense of buzz and excitement in some parts of the continent.

HH: Now there’s also the backdrop that prompted this, which is a civil war in Mali…

NK: Right.

HH: …where you have Islamists of the most radical variety wreaking havoc, Libya falling apart, and now the Algerian hostage crisis. And Americans are looking up and saying, they saw a map in the New York Times yesterday if they looked, of the area of al Qaeda in the Maghreb, and they say what is going on here. So from your perspective of going back and forth often, what is going on there?

NK: Well, that whole swathe of North Africa, not the very top, but the Sahel countries right, kind of right in the middle there, are in a mess, all the way across the continent, from Mauritania through Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Sudan. And the local al Qaeda affiliates, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, kind of walked into it. I mean, I must say that they got some outside help. I think that there were several factors going on there. One was we, the U.S. in, I think we undertook a counterterrorism approach that in some cases ended up supporting some kind of unpleasant thugs in the area like the dictator in Mauritania that led people to turn against him and us, and to support al Qaeda. And then they were kidnapping Europeans, and got huge ransoms from Europe. And that helped finance their operations.

HH: So how deeply embedded, and is this going to be sort of Afghanistan franchised, and we’re looking at decades, if not centuries, of sort of new conflict that will be the replication of Afghanistan?

NK: I don’t think it’s going to be another Afghanistan, if only because nobody has the stomach to go send a lot of outside troops there. But are some of these countries going to be pretty messy for quite a while? I think so. It doesn’t, I don’t think that the number of al Qaeda fighters there isn’t so great, and that al Qaeda affiliate, they don’t really have a huge hatred of America. I mean, these days, they have a growing hatred for France because of the French military intervention.

HH: Of course.

NK: But in general, they’re not, they’re really more about ruling in a really brutal and thuggish and backward way in their own area more than about going after outsiders. I must say, you know, one of the things that really strikes me is that you, as outsiders, there’s not an awful lot we can do, but education, I think, is the single best solvent for those kind of attitudes. And one of the things that frustrates me when I travel in this area is you see Saudi Arabian-financed Wahhabi madrasas in this area that are getting more students because they’re free, because they’re subsidized, and it’s been an investment by radical Islamists that has worked. It’s a way of creating that kind of radical Islam there, and we don’t really counter that with, much with education of a more conventional kind. And I just think education is the best investment in the medium and long term that we can do in that region.

HH: It’s interesting, at the bottom of the hour, this young man is coming in from Fikisha, and that’s what they do for between $1,000 and $1,200 bucks a year, you can put a Kenyan street kid into year-round boarding school. It’s almost insanely cheap to get someone. But the slum in which he works, the Kawangware slum is where Islam and Christianity are kind of shoulder and cheek against each other. And I kind of look at that line that’s going across Africa now, Nicholas Kristoff, that begins over in Nigeria, and ends up over in Nairobi. And to the north, Islam is expanding, and to the south, Christianity has its traditional role. Is that going to be the sort of dividing line for the next hundred years for the conflict of civilizations that Huntington would refer to?

NK: You know, I’m, I have trouble predicting the next ten years.

HH: Ha. How about ten weeks?

NK: So I’m not sure I want to…but there’s no, I mean, you’re right that there is a real conflict all across that band, and it’s partly religious. In general, those more in the south tend to be Christian, those more in the north are more likely to be Muslim. And it also tends to be, have a racial and ethnic element that those further south tend to be darker skinned, and those further north tend to be lighter skinned. And there tend to be ethnic divisions as well. And those are very real, and they run all the way through from Mauritania all the way east through, you know, say, to Somalia and Kenya.

HH: Now many times have you been there?

NK: Oh, I couldn’t count. I mean, I went for the first time as a university student, hitchhiked across West Africa, and I’ve been back so many times.

HH: What year did you graduate college?

NK: 1981.

HH: Okay, so you’re three years younger than I am, and so you went there and did the Oxford thing, and then you went to Africa and roamed around, and you’ve been back all these different times. Did you ever imagine falling in love with Africa when you were an undergrad, or as a high school kid?

NK: No, I really didn’t. And in fact, I mean, I was kind of awed by it, but I was also really kind of shaken by the poverty. And you know, I think one advantage of this perspective, the long time that I’ve been going, also enables me to see the progress, which I think is something that a lot of Americans don’t see. You know, when I first went there, the thing that really shook me the most was seeing the blind beggars in every city that you would go to. These would be people in their, say, in their 40s who had river blindness, or a trachoma. And they would walk around being led by a child or a grandchild, because they couldn’t do anything else. And these days, trachoma is, it still exists, but it’s much, much, less common.

HH: You’ve written about that, yeah, how it’s been amazingly eradicated.

NK: And river blindness, the same. And so there’s still huge problems, and Mali is an example of that. But has there been progress? Huge progress.

HH: Now what do you think of the, like, our friend, Rick Warren. I know he’s your friend and my friend.

NK: Yeah.

HH: They take a lot of people, and he and his wife spend a lot of time there. And my college friend…and my church just sent six people down to Soweto, and they came back on fire to help Africa. Is this good for Africa, that America, it’s called missionary tourism in some places, and in other places like Bretzmann, they go and they go and they go and they go, and like you, you go and you go and you go. Is it a good thing?

NK: Yeah, I’m a huge believer in it, and there are critics who say this is poverty tourism or missionary tourism. And I likewise have had people who say look, does it really make sense for me to spend a couple thousand dollars flying there back and forth, rather than just writing a check for that amount? But I think when one goes, if you do it in not sort of an arrogant way, but you really learn and listen, then you become a lifelong advocate for the people in these places. You have a deeper understanding of what’s going on, and I think that that is going to result in wiser policies on our part, and really a lifelong commitment.

– –    –  – 

HH: Nicholas Kristoff, when we went to break, I was asking you about development strategies. I don’t know if you know Thomas P.M. Barnett. He spent a lot of time on the program.

NK: Sure.

HH: And he believes in development in a box. You know, build roads, put in electricity, and let the economy develop. A lot of Americans, like my next guest, Bretzmann, go over and they work, and they put a few thousand dollars in, or help a few people. What’s your opinion of what the priority ought to be for American dollars, both governmental and private, if people are moved to try and help a continent that I think is going to be the pivot of the conflict between not just Islam and Christianity, but resource conflicts?

NK: You know, there’s no silver bullet, and I think we’ve learned that at various points, there’s been a fashion of oh, we need to do this, or we need to do that. I think that at the end of the day, you need to generate economic growth. And that is the most important way to chip away at poverty, rather than the outside help is always going to be useful, but it’s not going to really transform poverty that way indigenous, local economic growth will. And so you need sound economic policies. I mean, maybe the U.S. policy toward Africa that has made the most difference in people’s lives is something we don’t even think of as a foreign aid program, and it’s not exactly, and nobody knows about it, it’s called AGOA, it’s African Growth Opportunity Act, which is a program to give trade benefits to African exports to America.

HH: Huh, I’ve never heard of that ever.

NK: Nobody knows about it, and yet it’s created a large amount of jobs in Africa, and jobs are crucial for fighting poverty. But you know, having said that, it’s hard to develop a modern economy if people aren’t educated. And that lack of education created instability. It created this kind of mess we see in Mali now. And when you educate a girl, that has just a powerful effect. It lets her participate in the economy. An educated girl is going to have fewer children. And one of the real problems they have had is overpopulation. And so education, you know, I mean, it’s something that my wife and I have been supporting, because we just see the far reaching impact of education.

HH: Now if you could take ten minutes with the President, or with John Boehner or with any leader, and say look, we can’t do everything, here’s where our focus ought to be in Africa, this country, this effort. I know you’re going to say education, but where? Do you start at the bottom of the continent where the infrastructure is perhaps most developed? Or do you go and try to save Kenya, at which apparently Kenya is on a tipping point right now, elections are coming up. What would you do?

NK: I’d say that you start at the bottom of where the needs are greatest, and with primary school, and that you don’t work on elite education, but you work on kind of mass education. There’s some evidence that America’s rise as an economy a hundred years ago was really attributable to the fact that we were in contrast to Europe, which had great elite education, you know, they had a small portion of people who got a superb education. In the U.S., we had almost everybody getting kind of a so-so education. We were the first country then in the 20th Century to really popularize high schools, and to create broader colleges. And I think that is the strategy that really matters, to get universal literacy or something close to that, to get girls going to school as well as boys.

HH: But which is the strategic country into which one would pour their efforts and their resources in that regard?

NK: Well, I mean, I think that some of these countries that are kind of wobbling, like those in the Sahal countries, including Mali. I would certainly put resources into those places. It is incredibly cheap to send a child to school for one more year. It’s a matter of typically buying a school uniform…

HH: Right.

NK: The building, you know, isn’t going to have electricity, and you don’t even need to have a building. In some cases, you can just send it, you can have classes in the mosque. But you need to have a teacher of some kind, and that it is so cheap, and the benefits are so considerable, that the President, Obama, in his 2008 campaign, he talked about how he was going to have a global education fund, a $2 billion dollar global education fund working with other countries. And I think that that is a terrific idea. But there hasn’t been really any mention of it since.

HH: Let’s close with the last couple of minutes, Nicholas Kristoff, talking about Mali, because all of a sudden, it came up in the debate, and Mitt Romney brought it up and said there’s a problem here, and it kind of got washed away. Now, we have French jets and special forces, and Algerian crises, and Americans being butchered. What is the deal in Mali? What should Americans know as sort of a base bit of information to take away from it?

NK: Well, you have a really lousy government in Mali that created this vacuum. There had been kind of a weak democratic government, and the military staged a coup and overthrew it. And that created the basis for, I mean, Northern Mali was already kind of going its own way. But then that created the basis for radicals to seize towns in the north. And in Mali and in other places, you’ve also had narcotics trafficking. At one point, there was just an amazing situation where a huge Boeing jet that had been used to traffic drugs landed on a northern Mali airstrip and then got stuck in the sand. And the traffickers just had to leave the plane behind. And that, I mean, it’s not just, Mali’s getting the attention right now, but there’s really no difference between northern Mali and eastern Mauritania, other countries nearby, Niger, Burkina Faso are really troubled as well.

HH: Should the President do whatever it takes to help France in keeping these Islamists away from dominating?

NK: I think we should help France. I mean, I certainly don’t think we should send ground troops, but France, I think France was right to intervene to try to bomb the al Qaeda affiliates there, to support an African military. And I think that we should be supporting them, helping them with intelligence, this kind of thing, that we have a lot at stake as well. And we kind of left them holding the bag.

HH: And last question, a minute left, you’ve done this tremendous thing of taking a college kid with you. How many years have you been doing this?

NK: 2006 was the first time.

HH: Well, it’s really a remarkable thing. Are you doing it again? And have you picked your intern to go with you yet?

NK: I am going to do it again, and the contest entry just closed, and now we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of applications. And we’ll have to figure out, I’ll pick somebody, and then I’ll have to figure out where exactly in Africa to take the person. And I’m kind of thinking maybe Mali.

HH: You don’t know where you’re going when they applied?

NK: No. No, we don’t. We kind of look for where is newsy. And boy, Mali is looking pretty newsy.

HH: Well, Nicholas Kristoff, are you writing a book about Africa ever?

NK: I’m not going to write a book about Africa as such, but in our last book, Half The Sky, which was focused on…

HH: Women

NK: …the need to empower women, right, there’s an awful lot of Africa in there.

HH: Nicholas Kristoff, Happy New Year, thank you for joining me, look forward to talking to you often in 2013.

End of interview.

   

HH: Some people just don’t sit back and read the news like I do. Some people actually do things. And one of those people sitting in the studio with me, quite coincidentally, I did not realize it would come together to have Kristoff on at the same time as Sam Bretzmann. Sam Bretzmann is a friend of mine. I know him from Young Life activities in Southern California. He’s originally from Wisconsin and escaped Milwaukee, brought his Green Bay Packers sad disability with him, to Concordia College out down in Southern California, and has been active in Young Life circles for a few years, a young man. How old are you, Sam? 

SB: 25.

HH: Got to get closer to the microphone. 25 years old. What year did you graduate from Concordia?

SB: 2010.

HH: And what year did you found Fikisha?

SB: Fikisha was started in 2009.

HH: All right, Fikisha is www.fikisha.org. It serves the street children of Nairobi. How people how, and how it came to be, Sam.

SB: I was in Kenya in 2009. We were with a group from Concordia. The first day that we got there, we were visiting a church. The church wanted us to help build a shower, and so we started to do that, and really just got in the way. I feel like they felt bad for us, and just kind of wanted to give us something to do, but the work was contracted out. So instead of doing that, we ended up hanging out with kids that were on the streets and that were coming to the church, because they had a special church service just for the youth there. We got to know some of the kids and wanted to be able to help out, so we started by putting one little boy, Isaac, back in school.

HH: And how much does it cost to put a kid in school who’s on the street in Nairobi?

SB: For our program, it costs $1,200 dollars. That covers all of his school fees, all of his food, all of his housing, plus medical coverage for an entire year.

HH: And so you and a couple of other people from Concordia College, at the ripe, old age of 21, decide you’re going to help some existing efforts in the churches there to bring American money, and some American love, and some American concern. How many kids are you helping take care of now for five years later?

SB: Right now, we have 36 kids in school, and then we also have program days where we get about, probably 40 more kids a week that we work with.

HH: And so the first thing is, I was just talking with Nicholas Kristoff about the disaster sweeping over the continent. I know you will say because Jesus tells you to do it, but why in the world try and do one kid at a time ministry in the middle of the Nairobi slums?

SB: That kind of is just in the core of who we were. I mean, we have staff and mentors that are in Kenya who are Kenyans, and they used to be living on the streets. They came from the same background that the kids we work with are coming out of right now. And it was because there are people at the church who invested into them. And as we got to know them, and hear their story, it just kind of moved us into wanting to help them to continue to do what they had started already.

HH: Now this is very not Lutheran. I know my Lutheran friends are going to be mad at me, like Carl Catlin, my painting friend from down in Fallbrook. And you know, Carl, he’s a Steelers fan, and he doesn’t do missions. He’s like me. He just doesn’t want to leave the country. And then I think of Justice Barry Anderson, great lawyer in Minnesota, and a great Lutheran, and I think of Chuck Manske, who started Concordia College. These are very square, I mean, these are square, square people. And for you to say oh, I’m just going to start a ministry with my pals in Nairobi, it just doesn’t seem Lutheran to me. So how outside of the box is this for your experience?

SB: I mean, everyone has their own culture and background growing up, and there are stereotypes that come with every denomination. And I mean, I know plenty of people who, I mean, whether it’s in Africa or whether it’s in downtown Milwaukee that step out and look for ways to be loving to their neighbor. It might go against the stereotype, but…

HH: Are hot dishes served at…I’m sorry, I’m just making fun of the Lutherans. I want Catlin to be involved in Fikisha. That’s what I’m doing right now. So now I was talking to you when we came up here about when you start something like this, Africa is immense. I mean, it’s like a drop of water in the desert. What do you think you’re doing?

SB: Our hope is to help a few people in our area of town, which is called Kawangware, there are…

HH: Spell that for people who are listening.

SB: It’s Kawangware.

HH: And what’s it like?

SB: Kawangware is technically a developing slum. There are a number of major slums in Nairobi, Kibera being the most notable. Kawangware is about the fourth largest slum there.

– –   –   – 

HH: So tell me about the slum, and how you think it’s going to impact things long term.

SB: Kawangware is developing. I mean, it is not as bad off as other places. One of the, we work with a lot of families locally. We want it to be something that ultimately is entirely funded and run in country. There is development that’s happening, and providing education for not only the youth there, but working with families, jobs are being created, and it’s, there is positive benefits coming from that.

HH: So Fikisha, is it supposed to put itself out of business? Or is it, what’s it’s driving…to connect Americans to the really needy people in Nairobi?

SB: We want to encourage people to love and reach out into their own communities. We work with churches on different mission trips. The end goal of those trips is that the local outreach of both the sending and receiving countries would be strengthened, so that after I go to Kenya, that there are people in Kenya who are more equipped and prepared to go out into their own community. So the end goal is that we would no longer have to be working in Kawangware.

HH: What does, you told people about Isaac, you told me about Isaac. Tell people about Isaac.

SB: Isaac was the first boy that we put into school. We met him the first week that we were in Kenya. Every day, we would go back to where we were staying, and we’d have family time where we would talk about highs and lows of the day. Isaac was always brought up. He just stuck out to us. I couldn’t really tell you why, other than he did, and we wanted to help. So we were talking with the elders and the pastor at the church, and what’s the best way that we can help Isaac?

HH: And so now he’s in 8th grade, so he’s in four years, and how’s he doing?

SB: He’s doing fantastic. When we first met him, he was shy. He would not look at your face. I mean, he would just kind of like slowly follow you around, kind of hiding in the shadows. And now, he’s so much fun to be around. Being back there this summer, he’s joking, he’s just like talking with you, and pulling with you, and it’s…

HH: And you’ve verified the schools you send these children to, and you know they deliver a good product, and $1,200 dollars really does do it?

SB: $1,200 dollars really does do it. I have been to all of these schools that we send kids to. We have good relations with the leadership at these schools.

HH: Who runs the schools?

SB: They’re all run, they are private boarding schools in Kenya run by Kenyans that are there.

HH: And so it’s an alternative to being on the street, obviously. Now does Isaac know you’re doing this because of a person named Jesus? Is he, do they get that part?

SB: They do. Fikisha started…

HH: That’s the organization, Fikisha, I’m sorry, bad radio, www.fikisha.org.

SB: Correct. Fikisha started as some Kenyans in their 20s who wanted to reach out to street youth, and so they started a church service on Sunday mornings specifically for youth living on the streets. And it has grown to a lot of other things that we’re working with right now as far as food programs, working with family scholarships for kids, but we still have the Sunday morning church service. And the end goal of the mentors is that they would be able to walk along these kids, whether they get back to school or not, and that they would know that they’re loved, and that the mentors would be a manifestation of the love that Jesus has for them.

HH: Now you’re a Young Life guy. You did summer staff at Young Life. You do volunteering for Young Life. This sounds a lot like Young Life.

SB: There are a lot of influences that came from Young Life. I mean, Young Life hugely impacted me as I was getting out of high school and going into college, and it really kind of altered the course of where I am, and brought me out from Milwaukee out to California.

HH: And so that incarnational ministry that it’s called in theological terms, you’re doing that in Africa. A cynic driving around right now, one of my good atheist friends, is saying why don’t you just go help someone in the inner city of Santa Ana, California, which is pretty close to your college? Instead, why are you going to Africa to do this?

SB: We feel a burden for helping Africa. We also have, we’ve been asked that question a lot. I mean, there is a lot of need here. We don’t try to ignore that need. We’re developing programs to be working in local communities and areas in need, and just loving your neighbor here in the U.S. also.

HH: So do it all?

SB: Yeah.

HH: Now when you go to Africa, A) how well prepared were you for when you went, because you also went to Uganda, the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda.

SB: Rwanda, correct.

HH: How ready were you for what you found there?

SB: It was very eye opening. I mean, we were young and looking for an adventure.

HH: You’re still young.

SB: Yeah, we were looking for an adventure, and it was fantastic. I mean, the amount of experiences that we had, the people that we met, is, I don’t know, I would encourage everyone to go.

HH: But isn’t the…as I talked with Kristoff, who is a veteran of Africa, it’s so immense, and it’s falling apart, Sam Bretzmann. Do you run into the Muslim-Christian divide? Did you encounter that at all in Nairobi?

SB: Yeah, in Kawangware, the area that we work, there’s actually, I mean, it’s very much split. Half of it is Christian, half of it is Muslim. In that specific part of town, there are pretty good relations, and some of the youth that we work with are Muslim. And it’s just been another area that we can reach out and minister to people, and just walking alongside them, letting them know about Jesus.

HH: That’s interesting. So you are on the sort of the cutting line, the front line of where Islam and Christianity are connecting or not connecting?

SB: Correct.

HH: Is there an ominous sense to life in Nairobi these days?

SB: With the elections coming up, there is a lot of worry. In 2007, there was a lot of post-election violence and riots that had taken place. A lot of people lost their lives there. Obviously, the hope is that this can be not repeated this coming year, but there is a tenseness there.

HH: And can people help you? Can they contribute online?

SB: Absolutely. If you go to www.fikisha.org, you can donate there.

– –   –  – 

HH: I want to thank Sam Bretzmann, who’s been in studio with for this half, first half of the hour with Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times columnist, Africa advocate, and Sam Bretzmann at the other end of the age spectrum, 25

SB: 25.

HH: And totally invested in Africa through the organization www.fikisha.org, calling on all Lutherans and other well like-minded people to help him out. That means you, Carl. $10 bucks, Carl, or more. Put a kid through college, change their life. $1,200 dollars, Carl. Just sayin’, Lutherans. But people can help you, right?

SB: Yeah, absolutely. They can help us by going onto www.fikisha.org.

HH: Have I mispronounced it fifteen different ways?

SB: A little bit, but that’s alright.

HH: Fikisha.

SB: www.fikisha.org. On there, you can donate, which is hugely beneficial. If you’re interested in being more involved through your local church or congregation, wherever you are in the country, there’s a program that we have called Fikisha Advocates. You can send us an email. All the information is on the website, though.

HH: And do you help churches who aren’t connected to Africa come along and…

SB: That’s one of the goals.

HH: …safely and securely, but nevertheless authentically understand what, as Nicholas Kristoff said in the first part of the show, it really does have lasting impact on people to go.

SB: Yeah, and one of the goals is to work with churches in connecting them with churches in Africa. I mean, specifically right now, our focus is in Kenya, and talking about mission trips and thinking through the benefits and the costs of the mission trip. And personally, our goal is that both the sending and the receiving countries would be strengthened, that you would be strengthened as a local congregation, that they would be strengthened as the Kenyan congregation.

HH: So people look back and they wonder how some countries end up in utter darkness and oppressed, and it’s because at a certain point in time, someone didn’t do something. And the opportunity now for Kenya and other places is right now.

SB: Yeah, absolutely. I really agree with Nicholas on education. I mean, just getting people educated about, I mean, starting in primary, starting basically, and then working your way up, and that will lead to just, I believe, a growth in the economy and production in jobs, and just going forward from there.

HH: And the schools that the children you serve in scholarship, how would they compare to our American experience. We’ve got less than a minute, but I mean, are they pretty similar in terms of curriculum, you know, the basic three R’s, etc.?

SB: I mean, in terms of the curriculum, it’s going to be decently similar. They have a higher emphasis on language. The physical buildings are going to be different. They’re not going to look the same as a lot of our schools, but all of the, just the education and learning will be there.

HH: Well, keep working away. It’s a great work that you’re involved in. Sam Bretzmann from…

SB: Fikisha.

HH: Fikisha. People are laughing. I can’t pronounce anything. Fikisha. Concordia is very proud, and right so. www.fikisha.org.

End of interview.

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