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Heritage and Inheritance

How does my heritage determine my inheritance?  Tracing our heritage sometimes becomes challenging. Here are five stories that can help us to think more about inheritance.

Story 1: Heritage Without Inheritance

Robinah my wife and I were in Ndola, Zambia for two weeks. Amazingly we could hear some words very familiar to our heart language, with exact (or close to) the same meaning. The Bantu movement from the south towards the Great Lakes in the East Africa region had an impact on the current dialects. How does that determine our inheritance in Zambia? In our case we have absolutely no inheritance here as we find ourselves in a different place God designed for our time in human history.

Story 2: Protecting an Inheritance

While in the suburbs of the Ndola City, we noted that several homesteads ensured there is a wall fence and razor wires erected around the property even when the main house is not yet built. For several reasons this can be justified, and the intentions rightly set to protect the interest of both their inheritance and heritage. My heart was led to ponder about how readily my heart is shielded for the everyday battle against the devil who is a liar to protect my spiritual inheritance. 

Story 3: The Bride Price

During the months of October and November 2023, we conducted a Situational Assessment in the Rhino Camp refugee settlement in Uganda.  This will help inform World Renew responses in the future to address the pertinent needs. The sensitive survey tool among others was employed to generate conversations among participants in a free space. This revealed that women shoulder most of the productive and reproductive household chores. 

Despite the efforts invested, women are not entitled to any inheritance where they are married or where they come from. The justification expressed was that families contribute towards the bride price. The deal is negotiated so it must yield the results to restore what was given out upon receiving the bride. Cultural beliefs hold that a payment made to acquire this new family member is justified and rewarded by work done by the woman. Hence the expectation to do all the household and farming chores.

Despite the health challenges and quality of life experienced by women, this society has deeply embraced this cultural slavery. Where is the women’s heritage and inheritance in the unjust male dominated world? In a fallen world, each community has its vices that bite hard and affect the quality of life. 

Story 4: Male Inheritance

How often do we justify lies resulting in domestic violence, negative cultural beliefs, and entitlements hence overburdening others with our own responsibilities? The consequence to these vices is far devastating to the current and future generations. For instance, a greater population of the rural women in the Ugandan society do not have a choice of when to have a baby. Husbands are often not content with the number of children until they have a male child to believe their inheritance is secure.

Story 5: Our Christian Inheritance

Where does our heritage stem from to determine our inheritance? Isaiah 9 reminds us that: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” 

This inheritance should spur on our action to address the dividing walls of ethnicity, social and cultural injustices, political divides, and suppression of human rights. This should be our mandate primarily for Christians to enhance Christ’s mission and purpose. 

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