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The Poisonwood Bible: Song of the Three Children November 24, 2006

Posted by bairdnicole in Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
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Has this book changed your view of Africa?  How?  Why?

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1. bethany3boys - December 18, 2006

I still don’t really know a lot about the history of Africa but this book sure put questions in my head about Africa and our involvment there both politically and through missions. I think I always assumed most of it would be a difficult place to live in and very different from our culture here. I think this book like others we have read have opened another window to the world and has helped me to view it in a more compassionate way.

2. heather - December 27, 2006

Alright, I thought that this week of Christmas Break I was going to get a chance to get online and leave some well-thought-out comments, but it just isn’t going to happen! And since the new book starts next week, I figured I’d better just go ahead and leave my final comments, whether well-thought-out or not! I realized that since I read the last third of this book in the car without underlining/marking/noting passages, it makes it alot harder to go back and find things several weeks later!!!!

As Bethany stated, this book has made me think about the “other” side. A local jeweler kept running commercials this Christmas talking about the diamonds he’d brought back from Antwerp, Belgium, and I couldn’t help but of this book every time I saw the commercial. It makes those diamonds seem somehow “tainted.” Who knows how different Congo would be now had she not been colonized as she was. Her resources were exploited while her people were neglected. Foreign powers (including the USA) intervened, but with selfish motives. It’s easy to wonder “what if”, and yet history is full of stories of colonizing and conquering. It seems to be the way of mankind: conquer or be conquered. Even if European countires hadn’t raced to colonize Africa in the 19th century, the inter-ethnic conflicts would still exist. Corrupt leaders would still exist. Conflict and corruption are not unique to Africa or to a colonialism–they exist everywhere and they are a direct result of our sinful, human condition.

Like Bethany, I’m not well-versed in the history of Africa. I knew there were some shady things happening during her colonization, but I really was unaware of the role our government played. When you look at it through the eyes of Africa, it seems like a really awful thing. The West’s condoning of Mobutu’s regime makes us partly responsible for the chaos in Congo now.

This book gave me a deep sense of compassion for the “every man” in Africa, especially the women and children. I would not last a day in their shoes. I am way too dependent on creature-comforts. Unlike the characters in this book, who all turn away from the Truth, I know that the answer for Congo and for every nation and every people is repentance and faith in Christ. Reading this book (and being disgusted by Nathan Price!) makes me want to pray all the more for the country of Congo and for those spreading the gospel there. I use a book called “Operation World” with my kids in homeschooling, and I pulled it out and looked up the country of Congo. I love this book because it gives very specific ways you can pray for a country and its people. I plan to use it to pray more specifically for Congo.


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