Posted by Claude Nikondeha on February 13, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Egypt Erupts into Jubilation!
Cairo Celebrates!
Egypt is Free!

These are a small sampling of the headlines tonight, the eve of Egyptian victory against the oppressive rule of Mubarak. Today, all day, we celebrated the crack and crumble of an empire. I watched the celebrations in Cairo and had to catch my breath - it is so deeply compelling to see true joy explode like fireworks.

I sat captivated... because this is what liberation looks like. This is what true jubilee looks like... And what does it feels like? Spontaneous dancing in the streets that days ago were stained with blood and alight with molotov cocktails. Grieving turned into cheering. Flags of freedom waving wildly, like confetti, because joy could not be contained or restrained tonight. When people experience true liberation from the weight of oppression - this is what it looks like. I can feel the vibrations all the way across the sea!

When justice breaks in, when jubilee is made manifest in the face of the empire, there is one response from those freed - exuberant explosions of unfettered joy. It is what I see coming out of Tahrir Square in Egypt, and I am mesmerized.

Tonight I turned on the news (again) and had my children sit and watch. I explained, in simple terms, what the celebration was about. "Mama, it looks like a freedom party" my son observed. Indeed, it is a freedom party tonight. And I wanted my children to see what jubilee looks like so that it would whet their appetite and ignite their imaginations for justice and jubilee in the years to come. I wanted them to see that empires do fall, that darkness does collapse and wild goodness does break out and break the hold of tyrants. I wanted them to witness, with their own eyes, that mountains (like Mubarak) can be moved. Jubilee is possible - see!

Some are expressing a good measure of caution about what comes tomorrow. There is fear about who might emerge from the shadows, who will manipulate or exploit the situation, who might hijack democratic longing. There is always fear. But I am choosing to join the celebration tonight, to participate in that freedom party in Cairo from my couch. I am deciding to delve into jubilee - because it does not come around as often as we hunger for it. I want to inhale deeply, to be intoxicated with jubilation...

We often live in the past - grieving what was and curious about what the shattered status quo and shaken stability will mean. We can live in the future, jumping to the worries and legitimate concerns and challenges of tomorrow. But there is something sacred about today, and living in the present moment. There is a call to be attentive to this moment and honor it. I want to experience this jubilation while it is present. That is my choice.

What does the day after jubilee look like? I don't really know. Tomorrow will show me. It will be my opportunity to respond to that moment with discernment. I am not so naive as to think the freedom party gives way to an easy democracy of my liking tomorrow. Deep change is messy, complicated and precarious. Anything can happen in the days ahead. I will be prayerful and hopeful that justice will, in each day or most days, prevail in Egypt.

Tomorrow has enough worries of its own. But for tonight - I choose jubilee.

And then Amahoro arrived in Zimbabwe...

Posted by Claude Nikondeha on November 09, 2010 at 7:38 AM

Zim CC group

Amahoro traveled to Zimbabwe for the first time to begin a conversation with emerging and innovative leaders in Harare.  There was a wonderful group of leaders who engaged in spirited conversation around the Story of God, from Creation to Restoration!  Nyasha, an Amahoro friend and alumni, hosted us in her country and made Amahoro right at home.  

Zim CC Nyasha

Nyasha brought a wonderful collection of friends together.  She also knew how to gather the women... This was the best turn out for women in the Amahoro conversation this season!  What life they bring to the table.  These women are shaping Zimbabwe, and it was amazing to see them shape the conversation we had about the Gospel in on the ground in their community!

Zim CC ladies

Our time in Zimbabwe was a perfect crescendo to the City Conversation this Fall.  We were learning and dreaming together... and planning our next time together to carry on the conversation about Christ in our city!  Amazing...


Amahoro Conversations moves to Mozambique!

Posted by Claude Nikondeha on October 30, 2010 at 7:36 AM

Moz CC Francois
The Amahoro Conversation is happening in Mozambique right now!  Francois Rauch, long-time Amahoro friend, drove in from 'the bush' to host this time of connection and conversation.  He has gathered a great group of new friends and Claude is already enjoying hearing their stories and discussing the Story of God together.  On the first night they covered creation and the cycles of crisis... tomorrow will be redemption and restoration!

Moz CC

Claude is so energized among these new friends.  He is really enjoying the time together so far.  It is equally wonderful to be with Francois in his home country after all these years.  Claude and Francois met in Uganda at the first Amahoro Gathering in 2007, and Francois has been with us each year since.  But to finally be on his soil, meet his wife and be with his friends just deepens the friendship between them.  It is such a blessing to travel to be together and expand not only the conversation, but the circle of friends!


Amahoro City Conversations happening NOW!

Posted by Claude Nikondeha on October 26, 2010 at 8:43 PM


Cape Town CC Rene
Today we had a wonderful surprise at the Amahoro Cape Town City Conversation - we were joined by Rene Padilla, a theological force from Latin America.  Rene and his daughter, Ruth, joined our Amahoro friends for a morning of sharing about the challenges of the gospel imperatives in our local context.  He brought both tenderness, tenure and a theological tenacity to the table.  What an unexpected but welcomed blessing!  Claude Nikondeha, founder of Amahoro Africa, and Rene August, Amahoro Africa board member and friend, hosted the conversation in the majestic Cape Town.

Cape Town CC group
What a great group of friends gathered together for conversation!  Some friends have been with us for years, and brought a rich patina that weathered friendships offer.  Others were new friends, contributing fresh stories and new energy to the gathering.  Together, they brought a rich texture to the conversation among friends, rooted in Christ and compelled by His love for His world.

Other Amahoro City Conversations are happening...

Maputo, Mozambique on October 29-31; Harare, Zimbabwe on November 2-4; and Kumasi, Ghana on November 9-11.  We look forward to meeting many more friends over the next few weeks as we travel to be together and converse together in the name of Jesus, who sends us into His world with extravagant love!

Let's keep the conversation going on the African continent and abroad!


Amahoro, friends!

Amahoro's first Theological Intensive!

Posted by Claude Nikondeha on July 12, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Ent group 

This past week Amahoro hosted our first Theological Intensive in Entebbe, Uganda.  Our theologian in residence was Emmanuel Katongole, a Ugandan priest, Duke University professor of theology and pilgrim on the path of Christ.  He broke open the gospels and led us in conversation and reflection on the Bethany passages where we encountered Jesus, Lazarus, Martha, Mary and the disciples.  

Ent 1 

We looked at these texts from Bethany as a lens by which to see Africa.  We asked questions about identity, about the invisible ones in our society, about waste and extravagance, and what must die so that we can practice resurrection in our communities.  We discussed the image of the village - a place many have been eager to abandon in favor of the city and its promise of prosperity.  But is Jesus calling us back to the village, the simplicity, the relational orientation and story-telling that happens there, the abandoned ones that need to be reclaimed?  

Ent 2 

Twenty of us gathered from Congo, South Africa, Burundi, Kenya, America and Uganda to ponder these these things together at Bethany House, Emmanuel's guest home alongside Lake Victoria.  We sat close and listened, questioned, felt the press of challenge and the release of joy.  We each contributed to the conversation.  As Joy said, we came to eat food we did not prepare.  But we each had a hand in preparing the feast we'd all share together.  

Ent 3 

While our focus was on times around the texts of Bethany, we also had times together where we worshipped, laughed, prayed and enjoyed the blessing of being reunited.  As we investigated the texts from Mark, Luke and John, we also opened our own lives to deeper exploration and greater sharing with one another.

Ent 4 

One afternoon Emmanuel led us in a walk to the nearby Botanical Gardens.  As we sat together, he taught out of the gospel story of Jesus' baptism, a story of identity.  As Marius said, it was a great time of 'shady tree theology' as we learned under the tree, feeling the cool of the shade and tickle of the grass.

Ent 5 

How perfect to listen to the story of John by the Jordan River as we sat on the edge of Lake Victoria, listening to the gentle lapping of the water on the shore, as those surrounding John would have been hearing as they experienced the mystery of baptism.  We felt connected to the story in a very real, sensory way!  The waters of baptism and what they symbolize felt so tangible, touching all our senses as our hearts and minds were stirred to consider who we are and why baptism matters.

Our time together was rich beyond words.  What a gift to have three days together with such a great thinker and follower of Jesus!  To have Emmanuel provoke our minds, stir our imaginations and bless our learning was a needed time of renewal for many of us coming from various corners of Africa.  This space for thinking deeply was like a well, giving us water for the journey ahead.  While we often experience restlessness in our communities, ministries and the various intersections of our lives, we were reminded that there is a giftedness there as well.  We can experience the 'far more' that Jesus offers to us as we follow Him and practice resurrection in our communities!

Thank you to Emmanuel for setting such a lavish table for us at Bethany!  Thank you to all the friends who traveled to be part of the conversation, and to our Ugandan friends who so generously hosted us in their country.  What a blessed time of theological reflection... Amahoro's first.








Claude Nikondeha

Claude Nikondeha

Claude is a speaker who networks innovative African leaders and thinkers. He is an activist for the poor.

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