David, my husband, shared this with me. I love it!
In his book Afraid No More, Norm Wright relates a fascinating custom of the Babemba tribe in Southern Africa.
Each person who acts irresponsibly or unjustly is taken alone to the center of the village. Everyone stops work and gathers in a large circle around the accused. Then everyone in the tribe—regardless of age—speaks to the individual, recounting aloud the good things he or she has done. All the positive incidents in a person’s life, plus strengths and kindnesses, are recalled with accuracy and detail. Not one word about the irresponsible or antisocial behavior is shared. Sometimes the ceremony lasts for several days and ends with the offender being welcomed back into the tribe.
How often the words are spoken, “I can’t think of one good thing to say about him/her.” In fact, in some individuals’ lives, nothing good is ever said to them or about them. Think about what happens when a whole village, children and all, takes days to speak goodness to someone. Now that will change a person, or a family, or a village, or a culture. We have much to learn.
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.