I have spent a lot of time over the last few days reading about Rwanda as we are planning a Study Mission for some of the Lapid Leaders. This study mission is meant to broaden the perspectives of the Lapid Leaders and help them build a Pan-African mindset. One of the things that has struck me as I have researched Rwanda, is that so much of the history of Rwanda is written through the perspective of non-locals. This is an issue that is prevalent across Africa, many of the African stories are written by foreigners and in the process so much of our history gets lost. A couple of weeks ago we were discussing colonization with a friend who has been spending time creating a documentary on the untold stories of the colonial period. I was surprised by the amount of new information that I got from this individual, turns out my history lessons in high school left out a lot of pertinent details.
At Lapid Leaders, we believe in the power of writing down our stories. We encourage Lapid Leaders to build leadership skills through reflection and writing. Writing is a powerful tool, I will share three reasons why it is so important to us: We get to preserve history, we replicate impact and in the end it is an act of obedience.
Too much of the African history has been lost because we have not prioritized maintaining a record of our stories. The power of written stories has been underestimated for too long. The result is that we have lost a lot of the African story. I am always amazed by the extent to which the Americans have gone to record their founding history, the American Revolutionary war among others. Every American child spends a lot of time reading this history and in process building a sense of ownership to their continent. The pride that Americans have over their country is developed primarily through the power of written stories that are handed down to various generations.
This is the power of written stories. We get to preserve history. We get to hear about the struggle for independence from an African’s perspective. We get to hear of the journey towards democracy from an African perspective. We get to hear the story of African rising from other Africans.
Writing is portable and permanent. It makes your thinking visible. Even writing ideas down preserves them so that you can reflect upon them later.
As Lapid Leaders we have committed to write down our journey, from the lessons, the victories, the process of building this vision. This is one of the driving factors behind creating this section of the blog. We will preserve our history here and in any other spaces that we can afford to utilize.
One of the best evidence of the power of written stories is the Christian movement. God inspired many people to write down the various events of the time, and the result is that many people are believers today because of this written word. Over 2000 years later, many are still beneficiaries of this written word. Imagine if the writers of Word of God did not preserve these events for us?
When Lapid Leaders started, I committed to write down the journey and lessons as I did not find many records of the journey of local start-ups. As I talked to many start-ups, I realised we face the same victories and challenges but we do not document the lessons and process for future generation. My personal belief is that my process should help someone else. I therefore committed to make time to write down the processes God was taking me through (financial, spiritual, personal and even professional). My personal blog here contains these records. I believe this replicates the impact of the journey God takes me through, others learn and feed from it.
An act of obedience
The last reason I write is that it is in obedience to an instruction from God. One of my favorite verses is Habakkuk 2:2. “Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the message to others. This vision is for a future time, it describes the end and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.’
God’s instruction to Habakkuk is clear. Write my answer plainly on tablets, but that’s not all, it needs to be so plain that a runner can carry the message to others. When you think about it, that is the whole bible really; it is a book of plain messages written down and carried to others. I believe writing down God’s instructions activates them into action, some versions of the bible paraphrases the second part of this verse into, ‘though it tallies, wait for it for it will surely come to pass’. This I believe is the power of a written answer / vision.
God’s instruction to us when we started Lapid and is still the instruction we live by was, ‘Write my answer plainly on tablets so that a runner can carry the correct message to others’. So we are writers. We write and write and write some more of everything God deposits in us.
Everyone is a write. I encourage every vision bearer to become a writer. Write the beginning, the process, the lessons, the journey the vision down. Preserve it, multiply it and most importantly you will be living in obedience of the instruction to write it down.