Dr. Jim Harries has been associated with our church since 1991 when he arrived at the University of East Anglia to do a postgraduate course at the School of Development studies. He had gone to Zambia in 1988 to teach agriculture. He did this for three years, but soon became aware that Western agricultural and economic methods, together with Western religious dualism which sharply distinguishes between the sacred and secular, were failing to graft onto the African rural backdrop. At first he found this difficult to fathom as he was unfamiliar with the culture and language. Determined to make sense of what he was observing, Jim made it his business to learn as much as he could about African languages, first in Zambia, then from 1993 in Kenya. He discovered that there were fundamental cultural reasons why Western methods, Western wealth and above all Western languages are inappropriate to African settings. Over a period of time he developed the ideas behind Vulnerable Mission, a mission model which restricts itself to the use of local resources and local language and avoids importing Western cultural products into the missionary context.
Currently Jim serves in Kenya training African pastors in theology but within the parameters of Vulnerable Mission. More about Vulnerable Mission can be found on the Website of the Alliance for Vulnerable Mission here http://www.vulnerablemission.org/
Jim’s personal mission news can be found here http://www.jim-mission.org.uk/