Archive for the ‘Francophone University of International Development’ Category

THERE IS HOPE

A new year deserves celebration because it presents a fresh existential page with a backdrop of a message of hope. At the mention of a blank page, our thoughts fly to the Private Protestant Primary School of Soulédé in the Mayo Tsanaga division, Far North Cameroon. In that school, we discovered the inkwell, the blotting paper, and the old fashion fountain pen for the first time in March 1977. We were then in third grade. We came from Mokolo following our father’s transfer as a pioneer of the Soulédé agricultural post. Before this unforgettable experience, we only used chalk, pencil, and ballpoint pen to write. The first encounter with the fountain pen was a real obstacle course. The hardest part was to draw enough ink from the inkwell to soak the nib’s tip immersed in the indelible liquid without dirtying the page of the notebook. And, when by mistake, there was an extra drop of ink that stained the sheet; it was immediately necessary to use the paper blotter to limit the damage. The first few weeks were not easy. Fortunately, we had an exceptionally kind and patient teacher: Mr. KOENE Oumarou Joseph. In this context, we welcomed a new notebook page with thrilling joy each time we turned an old one with one or more stains. It was a golden opportunity to do better than on the previous page.

The example above illustrates the alternation of existential seasons in the life of a human being. If some years are delightful, others are less so; and none is perfect. Looking back on the past year, each person will find cause for joy, satisfaction, and praise. But she will also realize that other events were difficult, dark, regrettable, and painful. Therefore, should one sink into lamentations and discouragement, especially when comparing oneself to others who seem to have been more successful in life? It would be the worst mistake. Time spent, whether happy or unhappy, will never return. Hence, it is not wise to cling to it at the risk of blackening the new page of the notebook of life that the new year offers before even starting it. It is better to draw the necessary lessons and use them to go from progress to progress. Because as the Guinean mathematician Mouctar KEITA so aptly noted, “Every day is an opportunity to improve by correcting your imperfections.” This statement also applies to the New Year.

Whatever the previous year’s pains, losses, and failures, it is advisable to take life with philosophy. The Latin saying goes: “Dum spiro spero” (while I breathe, I hope). A failure can be the foundation of a resounding success in the future if one carefully examines the root causes and draws from it the necessary instructions to correct course where necessary. The fact that an investment does not yet bear the expected fruits should never lead to depression because when one is closer to the goal, discouragement knocks with more vivacity on the soul’s door. A bad harvest in the Sahelian zone has consequences that last at least a year, but the peasants do not give up fieldwork for this because they realize that the next season can be plentiful.

Along the same lines, the loss of a loved one should make the grieving person recognize that no matter how much their tears and lamentations, the missing person will never return to them again. When faced with this harsh reality, wisdom dictates to rise from mourning and joyfully serve those still alive, as King David once did (2 Samuel 12:13-22). It is, paradoxically, the best way to honor the dead. Moreover, disappointment should in no way lead to a negative view of all others because human beings are not the same on the one hand. On the other hand, faulty people can repent and change their behavior. The best wealth of a human being is life. We can hope, triumph, improve, and succeed as long as we live. The words of Romans 12:12 seem to be an excellent summary of this brief reflection: “Rejoice in hope. Be patient in affliction. Persevere in prayer. »

Happy new year under the benevolent gaze of the divine Master of life and time because there is hope!

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

FOR A SUBSTANTIAL BUSINESS, IT TAKES SIGNIFICANT MEANS

Malagasy Proverb

“Kojeja bi-löha tsy lanin’akôho boty.” (Ohabolana malagasy)

“Criquet à grosse tête ne peut être mangé par un poussin chétif.” (Proverbe malgache)

“A weak chick cannot eat a bigheaded grasshopper.”  (Malagasy proverb)

Meaning: For a substantial business, it takes significant means

Proverb source: Fulgence FANONY Öhabölaňa betsimisaraka (2011) p.46

Commentary in light of the Bible

Madagascar is a country that deserves more attention than other African countries. It is an extensive reservoir of under-tapped wisdom. The Malagasy have known not to sacrifice their linguistic values ​​on the altar of modernity. Language is the horse of culture. We then understand the cultural richness of the big island, which is manifested, among other things, by the density of its proverbs.

The one that caught our attention here relates to a fact that, at first glance, may seem trivial. It’s no surprise that a chick has trouble eating a grasshopper. As a keen observer, the Malagasy sage only draws a lesson from it for more complex social situations. When you have an important business, whatever the field, you must use substantial resources. It assumes that one did serious evaluation work beforehand to avoid embarking on a futile adventure. But, when the gain is considerable, we will not skimp on financial, material, or human resources.

This proverb is reminiscent of the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl in Matthew 13:44-46:

« 44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field. A man discovers it: he hides it again, goes away, overflowing with joy, sells everything he owns, and buys this field.45 This is what the kingdom of heaven still looks like: a merchant is looking for beautiful pearls. 46 When he has found one of great value, he goes and sells everything he has and buys this precious pearl. »

These two proverbs refer to the same reality. In both cases, a person finds an asset of great value beyond his assets. She decides to sell all her possessions to acquire what is more precious. The phrase « the kingdom of heaven is like… » introduces these parables and clearly outlines their parameters. We are here in a spiritual context. Faced with eternal life with all its values ​​and blessings, the ephemeral goods of this world are no match. Of course, the purpose of this proverb is not to teach that eternal salvation is linked to the dispossession of material wealth but to stick only to that which is spiritual. It is instead a question of priority, of the ability to overcome the pitfalls on the way to the kingdom of God. Other biblical texts, like Matthew 5:29-30 or 6:33, Rom. 8:18, Phil. 3:7-8 can shed some light on this. It is appropriate to sacrifice goods or privileges when they constitute an obstacle to the glorious riches of the kingdom of heaven.

If the context naturally lends itself to a spiritual interpretation, the principle that emerges from this pericope is also valid in other areas of social life. For example, Africa is being shaken badly now by corporate groups, organizations, and movements that make no secret of their purpose to sow terror or destabilize regions, nations, or a large group of countries. Someone who carefully considers the strike forces of the terrorist groups and the means at their disposal is entitled to wonder whether the national and international communities are investing the necessary ressources. In addition, extreme poverty rages on the African continent and fuels insecurity.

No country in the world, however small, is to be neglected; but seeing the more than a hundred billion of euros invested in Ukraine (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1303432/total-bilateral-aid-to-ukraine) compared to what is injected into a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo , or the countries of the Sahel, to name a few, there is reason to be doubtful.

The future of the world will not happen without the African continent. By the year 2100, Africa will be the most populous continent. Its resources are infinitely more significant than what is communicated by geologists or economists. The proof is that no year passes without discovering new deposits of mining, gas, or oil resources on the continent. The Chinese, who have been very active there in recent years, quickly understood this, even if it is not always in the interest of Africa. President Joe Biden’s recent meeting with African Heads of State is a good start. However, a more mature, holistic strategy involving African leaders is needed.

A collegial action will make it possible to realize, for example, that it is vital to carry out strategic activities at the local, national, continental, and international levels and to mobilize resources far more significant than those announced. Indeed, a ready-made solution outside the continent imposed on African leaders with unilateral conditions will never achieve the desired objectives. However, the continent’s human and mineral resources are so crucial that investing today to build stronger and more peaceful nations will generate infinitely more wealth for both nationals and the international community in the medium and long term. Only how many ears hear the advice of Malagasy friends? How many strategists still consider the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

CHRISTMAS: ONE FESTIVAL, TWO KEY CONCEPTS

Today is a special day for Christianity. Many non-Christians have also adopted Christmas out of solidarity or for personal convenience. It, therefore, seems appropriate to us to stimulate reflection on the deep meaning of this festival and its impact on humanity in the light of Luke 2:13-14: « Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, « Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. » (NIV)

These words follow the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and his solemn announcement to the shepherds who tended their flocks in the vicinity of Bethlehem. It was at night. The timing could not be better to announce the birth of the Light of the world. However, the symbol does not stop there because the choice of shepherds seems highly disconcerting. Indeed, the shepherds did not have a good reputation at that time. People perceived them as dirty, dishonest, and unreliable. They were, therefore, on the margins of society. But curiously, it is on them and not on the political authorities, the religious leaders, or the business men and women that the choice of God falls to have the scoop of this announcement as exceptional as it is. But what is the deep meaning of this divine strategy?

The hermeneutical key seems to reside in the two fundamental concepts: « glory » and « peace ». Although the original text is in Greek, the terms dóxa (glory) and eirênê (peace) naturally refer to Hebrew realities because the first listeners were Jews. Thus, the glory does not only translate the external beauty and the excellence of the divine nature. It also reflects the Hebrew term kavod, which means « glory, honor, respect, distinction, and importance. » Thus, beyond the aesthetic dimension, the divine majesty is so immense that its weight is terrifying. As a result, human norms and conventions crumble like a house of cards before divine glory, giving shepherds the same value in the eyes of God as any other individual in society. The reasoning is simple: everybody is welcome since even marginalized people are now valued. Christmas is good news for everyone, without any discrimination. What about the second concept?

Here too, it would be aberrant to see in peace mentioned in this text the notion of absence of war and conflict conferred by the etymological meaning of this term in Greek. Instead, this word is deeply rooted in the Jewish cultural and religious context. Thus, « peace » refers to the Hebrew term shalom. It confers the idea of harmony in all dimensions of the human condition. It is harmony with God, with oneself, with one’s fellow beings, with one’s activities, and with one’s environment. In short, it is holistic well-being. At Christmas, God announces to humanity the solution to the multidimensional imbalance caused by the fall in the Garden of Eden. Through Christ, God is interested in spiritual, physical, psychological, social, economic, environmental, and integral welfare of His creatures. It is also under this holistic paradigm that the Lord Jesus placed his ministry through reading the passage from the book of Isaiah, which relates to it in detail (cf. Luke 4:16-19 and Isaiah 61:1 -2 [old Greek version]). Thus, the shepherds have become agents of integral transformation. They promptly assumed this responsibility, spreading the good news in their immediate surroundings (cf. Luke 2:16-20). We then understand that if the outcast can be catalysts for holistic peace, those with a more honorable social position can do it more.

Therefore, this profound message has a broader scope than a superficial reading of the text! The fact that the text is available today, even translated into multiple languages and within reach of the contemporary public, challenges us all. To celebrate Christmas in the spirit of the biblical story is to go beyond the peripheral, material, commercial or worldly dimensions to live the values it contains. As former US President John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) so aptly said, « Christmas is not a day or a season; it’s a state of mind. »  Beyond Christmas’s lively and temporal character, human beings may draw from the depth of their relationship with the Creator of the universe and everything within it to be an instrument of peace in all its dimensions. In so doing, the world would be a better place to live. May it please the Lord to grant us the courage, wisdom, strength, and perseverance to be ambassadors of shalom, in words and deeds, in a world plagued by hostile forces and violence in its many forms!

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

Christmas 2022

NOËL: UNE FÊTE, DEUX CONCEPTS CLÉS

Aujourd’hui est un grand jour pour la chrétienté et pour ceux et celles qui, sans pratiquer le christianisme, ont adopté Noël par solidarité ou pour convenances personnelles. Aussi nous semble-t-il opportun de stimuler la réflexion sur le sens profond de cette fête et son impact pour l’humanité à la lumière de Luc 2 :13-14.

Il est écrit dans la péricope susmentionnée : “Et tout à coup apparut, aux côtés de l’ange, une multitude d’anges de l’armée céleste qui chantaient les louanges de Dieu: Gloire à Dieu au plus haut des cieux! Et paix sur la terre aux hommes qu’il aime.”  (BDS) Ces paroles font suite à la naissance du Seigneur Jésus-Christ et à son annonce solennelle aux bergers qui gardaient leurs troupeaux dans les parages de Bethléem. C’était dans la nuit. Le moment ne pouvait pas être mieux choisi pour annoncer la naissance de la Lumière du monde. Mais le symbole ne s’arrête pas là, car le choix des bergers semble hautement déconcertant. En effet, les bergers n’avaient pas bonne presse à cette époque-là. Ils étaient perçus comme des personnes sales, malhonnêtes et peu fiables. Ils étaient donc en marge de la société.  Mais, curieusement, c’est sur eux et non sur les autorités politiques, les religieux ou les hommes et les femmes d’affaires que le choix de Dieu se porte pour avoir la primeur de cette annonce aussi extraordinaire qu’exceptionnelle. Mais, quel est le sens profond de cette démarche divine ?

La clé herméneutique semble se trouver dans les deux concepts clés de la louange angélique : la gloire et la paix. Quoique le texte original soit en grec, les termes  dóxa (gloire) et eirênê (paix) renvoient naturellement à des réalités hébraïques du fait que les premiers auditeurs étaient juifs. Ainsi, la gloire ne traduit pas seulement la beauté externe et l’excellence de la nature divine. Elle reflète aussi le mot hébreu kavod qui signifie « gloire, honneur, respect, distinction, et importance ». Ainsi, au-delà de la dimension esthétique, la majesté divine est si immense qu’elle pèse d’un poids terrifiant. Du coup, les normes et conventions humaines s’écroulent comme des châteaux de cartes devant la gloire divine, ce qui donne aux bergers la même valeur aux yeux de Dieu que n’importe quel autre individu dans la société. Le raisonnement est simple : si les personnes marginalisées par leurs semblables sont valorisées par Dieu lui-même, nul n’est dorénavant exclu. Noël est manifestement une bonne nouvelle pour tous, sans discrimination aucune. Qu’en est-il du second concept ?

Là aussi, il serait aberrant de voir en la paix mentionnée dans ce texte la notion d’absence de guerre et de conflit que confère le sens étymologique de ce terme en grec. Il faudrait plutôt comprendre ce mot dans son contexte culturel et religieux. Ainsi, le vocable « paix » renvoie plutôt au terme hébreu shalom.  Il exprime l’idée d’une harmonie dans toutes les dimensions de la condition humaine. C’est l’harmonie avec Dieu(y compris le salut éternel), avec soi-même, avec ses semblables, avec ses activités, et avec son environnement. Bref, c’est un bien-être holistique. À Noël, Dieu annonce à l’humanité la solution au déséquilibre pluridimensionnel causé par la chute dans le jardin d’Eden. À travers le Christ, Dieu ne s’intéresse pas seulement au salut de son âme, mais aussi à son épanouissement physique, psychologique, social, économique, environnemental, et à sa santé intégrale. C’est d’ailleurs sous ce paradigme totalitaire que le Seigneur Jésus plaça son ministère à travers la lecture du passage du livre d’Esaïe qui s’y rapporte avec force détails (cf. Luc 4 :16-19 et Esaïe 61 :1-2 [ancienne version grecque]). Ainsi, les bergers sont devenus agents de transformation totale. Ils ont promptement assumé cette responsabilité, en propageant la bonne nouvelle dans leur environnement immédiat (cf. Luc 2 :16-20). L’on comprend alors que si des citoyens mis au ban de la société peuvent être des catalyseurs d’une paix holistique sous la nouvelle économie du salut, ceux et celles qui ont une position sociale plus honorable peuvent le faire davantage.

Ce message combien profond a donc une portée plus vaste que ne le laisse transparaître une lecture superficielle du texte ! Le fait qu’il soit mis par écrit, conservé, traduit en de multiples langues et à la portée du public contemporain nous interpelle tous. Fêter Noël, dans l’esprit du récit biblique c’est surpasser les dimensions superficielles, matérielles, commerciales, voire mondaines, pour vivre les valeurs qu’elle renferme.  Comme l’a si bien dit l’ancien Président américain John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) “Noël n’est pas un jour ni une saison, c’est un état d’esprit.” Si, au-delà du caractère festif et temporel, chaque être humain pouvait puiser dans la profondeur de sa relation avec le Dieu Créateur de l’univers et de tout ce qu’il renferme pour être un instrument de paix dans toutes ses dimensions, le monde serait meilleur. Qu’il plaise au Seigneur de nous accorder le courage, la sagesse, la force et la persévérance nécessaires pour être des ambassadeurs et des ambassadrices du shalom, en paroles et en actes, sur une terre largement en proie aux forces négatives et à la violence sous ses multiples formes !

 

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

Noël 2022

Ngo-dokona a Bethléhem – Allons à Bethléhem – Let us go to Bethlehem

Dimèsh Noël – Chant de Noël – Christmas song

Which way for Africa? Quelle voie pour l’Afrique?

Les temps actuels sont particulièrement délicats. Le contexte macro-économique est terrifiant. Le climat politique sème davantage de confusion. Et pourtant, l’Afrique a des ressources et potentialités énormes. Filles et fils d’Afrique, ne cédons pas au défaitisme. Ne tombons pas dans le piège de la distraction. Réinventons de nouvelles voies contextuelles de développement durable indépendamment des modèles importés de l’Est ou de l’Ouest. Prions, réfléchissons, et œuvrons stratégiquement pour le bien-être de l’Afrique et du reste du monde.

Par où faut-il commencer ? Prière de suivre cette présentation du Prof. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba :    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgYQHVqlPUc

Contributions Africaines

The current times are particularly delicate. The terrifying macroeconomic context is challenging our thinking. The political climate sows further confusion. And yet, Africa has enormous resources and potential. Daughters and sons of Africa, let us not give in to defeatism. Let’s not fall into the distraction trap. Let us reinvent new paths of sustainable development that are not dependent on the East or the West. Let us pray, reflect, and work strategically for the well-being of Africa and the rest of the world. Where should you start? Please follow this presentation by Prof. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, which is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgYQHVqlPUc

Contributions Africaines.

Célestin GAIDAI * Nous louons Dieu pour nos valeurs culturelles – Célestin GAIDAI * We praise God for our cultural values

Merci Seigneur pour les valeurs culturelles Mafa. Thank You Lord for Mafa cultural values. Sosi a Bi Zhiklè a gèd di tsum nga.

Merci Seigneur pour les valeurs culturelles Mafa. Nous sommes un seul peuple en dépit des diversités.

Thank You Lord for Mafa cultural values. We are diverse but one people group.

Sosi a Bi Zhiklè a gèd di tsum nga. Nga tsad tsad aman tèlè nga, nga mafahay. Nga stad ginè.

Un temps pour se former: L’Institut Universitaire de Développement International (IUDI) au service du développement intégral et durable

L’Institut Universitaire de Développement International (IUDI) porte à la connaissance du grand public qu’il offre un cursus académique riche et varié, de la licence au PhD. Il offre également des cours d’habilitation à diriger les recherches dans le cadre des études postdoctorales. Son mot d’ordre demeure : formation pour transformation. Les cours sont disponibles en français, anglais, espagnol, arabe, et bientôt en chinois (mandarin) et dans les langues africaines. Il bénéficie désormais d’un solide partenariat académique avec une vingtaine d’universités et organisations collaboratrices situées sur six continents. Les filières subséquentes sont actives : Développement International, Administration des Affaires, Sciences de l’Éducation, Études Interculturelles, Études Linguistiques, Médecine, Agroforesterie et Théologie (sciences bibliques, théologie systématique, histoire de l’Église, missiologie, théologie pratique, religion et culture, théologie holistique, musicologie et musicothérapie). Ci-dessous, nous vous proposons l’œuvre musicale de Joseph Mbock (Edéa, Cameroun), l’un des alumni du département de musique et musicothérapie de l’IUDI. Il vient d’ailleurs de faire sortir un album complet que nous vous encourageons à acheter pour le soutenir.

Pour vos inscriptions, veuillez tout simplement cliquer sur le lien suivant et remplir la fiche en ligne : https://iudi.org/application et le nouveau Directeur des Admissions, M. Célestin DELANGA, se mettra à votre service.

Cordialement,

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok, Président de l’IUDI.

The University Institute for International Development (IUDI) brings to the public’s attention that it offers rich and varied academic training, from bachelor’s to Ph.D. It also offers postdoctoral research supervision habilitation courses. His watchword remains training for transformation. Classes are available in French, English, Spanish, Arabic, and soon in Chinese (Mandarin) and African languages. It now benefits from a solid academic partnership with some twenty universities and collaborating organizations located on six continents. Following departments are active: International Development, Business Administration, Educational Sciences, Intercultural Studies, Linguistic Studies, Medicine, Agroforestry and Theology (biblical sciences, systematic theology, Church history, missiology, practical theology, religion and culture, holistic theology, musicology, and music therapy). Below, we present the musical work of Joseph Mbock (Edéa, Cameroon), one of the Department of Music and Music Therapy alumni at IUDI. He has just released a full album that we encourage people to buy to support him.

For registrations, please click on the following link and complete the online form: https://iudi.org/application, and the new Director of Admissions, Mr. Célestin DELANGA, will do diligence.
Regards,
Professor Moussa Bongoyok, President of IUDI.

LA CÔTE D’IVOIRE RÉAGIT: Excellent exemple de prise de position en faveur de la famille en contexte africain

Le REMEAF et Contributions africaines saluent la courageuse position des députés et des leaders religieux ivoiriens en faveur de la famille. Cet acte devrait inspirer les autres leaders du continent africain! Prière d’écouter l’audio ou de visualiser la vidéo ci-dessous.

REMEAF and Contributions Africaines salute the courageous position of Ivorian Members of Parliament and religious leaders in favor of the family. This act should inspire other leaders of the African continent!Please listen to the audio or view the video below

The Prayer of Habakkuk

  • In what ways COVID-19 has impacted the local economy and even spiritual life negatively?
  • What do we learn from Habakkuk in such challenging times and how do we apply these lessons to our individual and collective lives?
  • Joy must characterize the life of a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is no joy in your daily life, please watch as there is certainly a spiritual leak. Ask yourself these diagnostic questions: Am I complaining often? Do I have the tendency to blame others for almost everything? Do I talk to myself negatively? Do I dwell in my past successes or failures? Do I resist to change? Do I want to please everybody (which by way is am impossible task)? Do I doubt God’s wonderful plan for my life? Do I neglect my Bible study, church attendance, and prayer life? I am hiding to commit sin or life my life like an ungodly person without a respectful fear of God? Am I jealous? Am I envious? Am I afraid of what will happen to me given my current life circumstances? Bring these issues to the Lord in prayer and your will enjoy His peace and joy.
  • Prof. Moussa Bongoyok
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