Save The People of Darfur!

Journal of the People’s Pastor

“Writing The History I’ve Lived, Living The History I Write!”


Darfur Diary: Part XIV – My Journey To Chad, Central Africa
Easter In N’djamena

Sunday, April 1, 2007 (Part B)

There is another point that needs to be made. The Colonel that escorted us was a plain, ordinary, everyday kind of man. The Colonel, and all the Darfurians and Chadians I met, exhibited the same humble decorum. Here was a Colonel, an anti-terrorist regional director, assistant to the President, chauffeuring me around to buy sneakers and actually doing the bargaining.

As we were about to go to the reception (the Indian friend of Yahya, Mr. J, had invited us to a reception) while waiting at the pool, having one last conversation with Mohammad, an official car came into the courtyard. The kind of car that had passed us on the highway. By the greeting Yahya gave to the driver and especially the passenger, I knew this was a high-ranking official.

After the handshakes and embraces, smiles and verbal exchanges, they were introduced to me. Mr. G was the President’s protocol officer (I never got the driver’s name). It was this protocol officer that had been trying to reach Yahya from the first day we arrived. He knew our departure time. He had come to bring special greetings from the President. The President was in Niger. He regretted he was not able to see me when we were in N’djamena. At that time he was in Abeche. When we were in Abeche, he was in N’djamena. The next time I am in the country, he will be sure to see me. Significantly, with a touch of warmth, he addressed me as father. I was more than pleased. It is not every day a President of a country sends an assistant to give greetings and regrets. I thanked the protocol officer. I sent gifts to the President, which included, a special historic memo book containing pictures and statements relating to Darfur; another book, No Monopoly On Suffering; two DVDs – one capturing some of the activities of NRLAA and another DVD depicting our churches history and involvement and my bio.

While we were waiting for our driver sent by Mr. J and before the protocol officer arrived, I am not sure what stimulated it, Yahya talked more about himself than ever before. He said there were eight (8) children in his family. His oldest brother had been killed or assassinated by the Sudanese government. His other two (2) brothers were with the family, one was an economist and the other a linguist. He had four (4) sisters. His family possessed a large farm, employing over 300 workers with huge farming equipment. One of his brothers had begun to sell the equipment. He Okayed it, but told him not to sell the land. His father is old now, over 80 years old and can’t take care of the farm anymore. The Sudanese government has prevented the sell of the equipment from the farm. So it’s a bad situation.

Never before had I seen Yahya so sad and troubled. His small eyes, which sit in his dark round face, seemed to be seeing what he was talking about and more. I didn’t know how to respond. I practice saying nothing when I don’t have anything to say. In times of great grief or staggering lost or tragedy, there are no words to express one’s feeling. I am too fearful of saying something trite or flippant or stupid. I certainly don’t want to be like Job’s friends who came to console him in his misery. They sat quietly with him for three (3) days and nights, they never said a word. Finally, they did speak; they said all the wrong things. In exasperation, Job scolded them, “Miserable comforters are you all! Would to God that you would have kept quite!”

I asked could he go back to Sudan. “Yes, but I don’t know what will happen. They have promised to kill me. They have asked me to come back.” He continued, “I met with the Sudanese government when they were in New York some months ago. They invited me to come back home. I said, Okay, if you release the prisoners.” Here, Yahya named some of them. They were his friends. The Sudanese rejected the offer.

Now, I felt I understood him better. His knowledge of so many things, the assurance and confidence he exhibited as he took care of business. He always seemed to be in charge. Here in Chad, to some extent in the USA, he has a wide range of contacts and associations. Everybody knows him and responds to him. He has a sharp mind, a swiftness to grasp the core meaning of things. He is always thinking ahead with exceptional planning and organizing ability. It was all so clear now.

To be continued…

Upcoming Events

Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday Night Community Forums. All Forums are held at the House of the Lord Church from 7pm to 9pm. ALL FORUMS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED FOR THE MONTH OF JULY AND AUGUST.

Join Operation Life Line if you need assistance or know someone who needs assistance with their mortgages as it relates to foreclosures, predatory lending and/or subprime lending.

Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum Focus on Africa the 2nd Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.
Our Annual Freedom Walk will take place on Saturday, August 16, 2008
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @ HYPERLINK ""

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