Stories from the Horn #133

July 6, 2021

Book Updates

Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus and here is the audiobook, if you prefer that option for listening. Here is one audiobook reviewer:

“I loved this book for its honesty. A real antidote to narrow minds and mean spirits. Progressive Christians will love this book, some other Christians may not, but I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of their faith, who wants to broaden their horizons and gain an understanding of people who might be our neighbours anywhere in the world in order to help us love with greater empathy and understanding and to see ourselves with greater humility. Beautifully read. Thank you.”

Stronger than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa

If you read Pillars and would like to know more about what sent my family out of Somalia and into Djibouti, check out the biography Stronger than Death. Personally, I think her story is far more incredible than mine!

I talked with the Persuasion Podcast last week about the value of authentic relationships.

US Catholic highlighted Pillars as a book to read in July.

The Profile: Premier Christian Radio podcast interview

Essay in Christian Today: We miss so much if we think of Jesus as a white European

Thank you to everyone who has left a review for these books!


Stories from the Horn

Two news stories feel significantly big recently. One is personal, Djibouti becoming the first country to mandate the Covid vaccine for all people leaving or entering. The second is the devastating news out of Ethiopia about massacres in Tigray, including the murder of three MSF workers, and the looming famine.

MSF staff murdered in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. What is happening in Tigray is extremely dire and will have serious and widespread repercussions around the region. You can listen to this episode of The Daily and this of The Horn for more.

Famine looms in Tigray

Djibouti becomes the first country to mandate Covid vaccinations for everyone leaving or entering the country over 25 years old. This is causing no small amount of consternation and confusion as the details are worked out and the mandate went into effect immediately.

The Gravedigger’s wife film preview is out. Filmed in Djibouti. It looks pretty good!

Women and youth programs help people through Covid in Djibouti

Kenya’s trade delegation in Djibouti talks khat

Radisson Hotels to open in Djibouti. Maybe they will be a step up from the Sheraton? About a month ago I ordered “spring rolls”. Said it in three languages and showed it on the menu to my server. I got freezer-fried chicken nuggets.

It is Independence season in the Horn:

1. Somaliland on 26th June (British Protectorate)

2. Djibouti on 27th June (French Protectorate)

3. Somalia on 1st July (Italian Protectorate)

Treasure in the belly of a whale in Yemen

Child marriage and Covid in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region

Somalia and Ethiopia trade fish for khat

Will Kenya expel refugees?

In the FIFA Arab World Cup, Lebanon defeats Djibouti 1-0

DP World opens a modern terminal at the Berbera port in Somaliland

As many as 300 people may have drowned in a capsizing off the coast of Yemen


What I’m Reading

(keep in mind that I read books I disagree with, books that challenge, books that entertain, books that push me, books I adore. I read a lot about faith. You might not like all these books. I don’t like all the books I read. That’s good for us.)

Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, by Dane Ortlund

After Doubt: How to Question Your Faith Without Losing it, by A.J. Swoboda

Truth and Tools: A Practical Guide to Living in Your Faith, by Vanessa Luu

Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life, by Beth Moore

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, by Jeffrey Sachs

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, by William Easterly

(these last two books are for a class on globalization and development)

Kindle Deals

On Writing, by Stephen King

Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport


Have a wonderful week,

Rachel