Journal of the People’s Pastor

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

DARFUR DIARY

" Part VI: Another Memorable Week in the Life of An Activist Pastor "
“37th Congressional Weekend of the Legislative Caucus”

 

My young assistant, Omar Wilks, and I, boarded Amtrak’s 5:45am train from Penn Station, New York, and arrived in Washington, D.C. at 8:45. Coming out of Union Station, the morning greeted us with warmth and radiance, I said a prayer and whispered to myself, “It’s going to be a great day, everything’s going my way.”

We were ready. My remarks were prepared with news clippings and my articles, neatly put into 25 binders. My daughter, Leah, supplied us with a suitcase in which to place the binders. Stopping by her house gave me an opportunity to say hello and also get a briefing on national, international and local politics. She is the Chief of Staff of the Democratic National Committee and recently appointed CEO of the Democratic National Convention to be held in Denver, Colorado in 2008.

The kind lady at the reception desk called us a taxi and we were on our way to the Convention Center, where the 37th Annual Legislative Conference would be held. The last time I was at a Caucus Weekend was in 1993. I was asked to offer a prayer.

On January 5, 1993, the 103rd Congress was sworn in in Washington, D.C. in the Capitol. After this first oath ceremony, the Congressional Black Caucus held special swearing-in-ceremonies for the record-setting forty African American legislators. One ceremony was held in the National Building Museum, the other at the Washington Hilton and Towers. I, and others, was invited to offer prayers for various needs. For example, the Reverend Congressman Walter Tucker of Compton, California, gave a prayer for the children of the world and youth of America. A Prayer to end the scourge of drugs and AIDS was offered by Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad of the Nation Of Islam, Washington, D.C. I was asked to offer a prayer to end the violence in the streets.

To be continued…

Dear Readers: By the time you read the above article, I will be in Chad, Central Africa, on my way back to the refugee camp in Gaga. The shipment of material goods (clothing and books) has already arrived in N’djamena, the capitol of Chad. In fact, it arrived in September. I was scheduled to meet the shipment, but because of a funeral in Augusta, Georgia and our 77th National Convocation, I had to delay my trip.

The 700 boxes, weighing 1800lbs, thanks to you, was accumulated in two months – a remarkable feat! In March of 2007, we visited the refugee camp in Chad. While there, we gave out t-shirts. We wanted to give something, however small, to express in a concrete way our concern and solidarity. We promised we would return with greater supplies. I have been informed that the people are eagerly awaiting my arrival.

I am scheduled to return to New York on the 23rd of October 2007. I ask that you remember me in your prayers.
In the meanwhile, on Thursday, October 19th, the National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry Concerned About Darfur, will be celebrating its 1st Anniversary. It will take place at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue, from 6pm to 8pm. I hope you will be able to attend. We have made significant achievements in our first year. (See “Mission Objectives and Accomplishments Statement” below) Again, thanks to you. We are looking forward to the years ahead, with your help, to make even greater accomplishments. God Bless you all.

MISSION OBJECTIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS


The mission of the organization is to educate, advocate and garner material support on behalf of the Darfurian people. To date we have:

Incorporated our organization and are working toward a 501(c)3 not for profit status;
Secured the names of the most influential religious leaders as signatories to our official statement;
Been interviewed extensively by print and electronic media;
Participated in various panels, conferences and other speaking engagements;
Circulated countless pieces of literature;
Written a number of articles related to the crises in Darfur;
Conducted numerous press conferences and issued several press releases;
Organized several prayer vigils and rallies at the United Nations and Sudan Mission; including a Father’s Day Prayer Vigil for the Fathers of Darfur;
Organized community rallies and workshops, in addition to our weekly meetings;
Engaged in civil disobedience at the Sudan Mission on two occasions;
Participated in a 150 mile Walk for Freedom from Brussels, Belgium to Hague, Netherlands to urge the (European Union) NATO to be more forthright in support for Darfur and to urge the International Criminal Court to speed up the indictment of those who are guilty of criminal behavior;
Organized a divestment campaign and have persuaded local governments to pass resolutions condemning the government in Sudan;
Traveled to Chad, Central Africa, on a 15-day fact-finding trip. Met with top government, civil and rebel leaders. We also visited the refugee camp at Gaga. We brought back rare footage of interviews with key leaders, including rebels in the bush and refugees in the refugee camp;
Organized a Material Support Drive. During the Drive, we collected 700 boxes of material support weighing over 1800lbs in a two-month period.
Traveled back to Chad, Central Africa on October 15, 2007, to deliver material support to Darfurian people living in the refugee camp in Gaga.

Upcoming Events:

Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday night forums 7pm to 9pm held at the House of the Lord Church.

The National Religious Leaders Concerned About Darfur (NRLAA) will sponsor its first Anniversary Celebration on this Thursday, October 18, 2007, from 6pm to 8pm at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum focusing on Africa the 2nd Saturday from 12pm to 2pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @ www.holnj.org.
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord Church @ (718) 596-1991.