Title: A Date With Jesus
Author: Martha Mbugguss
Price: Ksh 380 (about US$4.75)
Publisher: Creative Publishing Company
Reviewer: J L OGOVA
God drives cars, directs one to go for graduate studies, pays school fees and does college assignments on matatus. Incredible, isn’t it?
These are some of the experiences author Martha Mbugguss presents in A date with Jesus, the story of her dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ despite her initial and cynical resistance towards Him. In a simple but profoundly expressive style, she takes the reader through what appears to be an exciting journey in the Kingdom of God. Right from the outset she admits to having been resistant to Christianity before she fell in love with it with all her heart, soul and mind. Since February 26,1986, her Christian life has been like one long honeymoon with Jesus Christ.
Divided into fourteen chapters, A date with Jesus is a biographical account of Mbugguss’s life. It is unclear whether to classify it as it a sermon, a testimony or teaching, or all rolled into one. Although it is being written 12 years into her Christian walk, the book is effused with enthusiasm that is typical of a newly converted Christian eager to share one’s faith to any one who cares. Mbugguss challenges, teaches, teases, and entertains the reader through a humorous style of writing.
She talks of her encounter with Eastern Mysticism and the lessons she learnt, neither condemning nor praising adherents of Eastern Mysticism. Well written in simple English that is easy to read and understand, A date with Jesus is inspiring for anyone going through hard times. Although the Swahili say “Macho ya chura hayamzuii ng’ombe kunyua maji” (the eyes of a frog in water do not prevent a cow from drinking it), they nevertheless may bother it. And so it is with this book whose cover illustration appears surreal. One also may wonder whether the manuscript was ever proofread before being printed into a book. While some words are misspelt or used in the wrong contexts, others are omitted. For instance the word ‘who’ is missing from “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” (Romans 10:11).
‘Jehovah Jireh’ is not the same as ‘Jehovah Jaireh’ and ‘raging waters’ cannot be synonymous with ‘ranging waters’ just as ‘Baals’ cannot be ‘Bails’. One wonders where Mbugguss gets the word ‘gossiper’ that she uses on page 91: “The gossiper continues to miss out on” A sentence like this-“I befriended some studio men who used to work for Jishinde Ushide at the village shopping center who taught me the processes photographs”-robs this book of its authority and questions how an editor could have let such oversights to slip through unless he was in haste just to see the book in print. The binding of the book is also poor as it easily breaks, loosening pages to fly off.