Journal of the People’s Pastor

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

DARFUR DIARY

Darfur Diary: Part VII – My Journey To Chad, Central Africa

“A Day of Uncertainty”



Saturday, March 24, 2007 (Part B)

What is happening in Sudan is a classic example. An Arab minority, “a ruling elite” captured power when independence came to the country. Since that time, there has never been an African president. Yet African people make up the majority. Moreover, this Arab minority has been accused of genocide against the African population.

More recently in Darfur, there maybe a debate on genocide, but there is consensus that something awful was done and is being done to the Darfurian people, who are indigenous Africans, by the Arabs. And, there is compelling evidence that the government is supporting the atrocities. Yet, there is little support from the African people, but plenty of support for the Arab minority government. And what about Muslims, especially Africans in the Diaspora, what is there response? Silence, neutrality or open support for the Arabs?

Black Muslims are confronted with almost the same challenge black Christians had. Black Christians had to denounce, condemn and struggle against white Christians who were using religion to support their economic and political interest. The challenge for black Muslims is probably greater. Black Christians had a distant, except for colonization, from the Euro American whiteness and cruelties of history to constantly remind them that they were different. But black Muslims, however, are confronted with blackness. After all some Arabs are blacker than some Africans. In addition, Arabs always argued that not only were they black, they were Muslims. And they argued that Islam was indigenous to Africa.

At the Jah Festival in South Africa, February 15-25, 2007, in one of the workshops, a learned professor said the option for Africans as related to Christianity was Africanization of Christianity or rejection of said religion. “You can’t be African and Christian,” he said. But the same options were not posed for Islam, why? Because Islam is seen as a part of Africa, not an imported product used by outsiders to exploit, control and enslave Africans, just as Christians had done.

Finally, the doors of the airline office opened. Swiftly we moved inside. “Why have you opened so late?” asked Yahya. “We didn’t know what the people would do,” answered an attractive black woman. And, an old worker sitting by the door, must have overheard our conversation, he came over and said, “Whites mess up everything. We are blamed. We have to face the anger of our people. They make us look bad.” “Yes, they are good at that,” I wanted to say. But the old man was on his way back to his post.

After an hour and a half, we emerged with confirmed airline tickets. But, it would be Friday before we could leave. I took a deep breath, whispered, “Thank God. In this God is working out a plan that will redound to great benefits to the people.” But I still wanted to be at our church’s Memorial Service in Georgia.

We returned to the hotel. We sat by the pool and calculated by car it would cost $300, about $100 less than the plane. We decided we needed to move immediately. While I made a call home, Yahya went to get the car. I made the call to my daughter, Leah, with the dramatic turn of events. I came up with an idea to use the occasion to further promote our cause. I would write a press statement raising the question why I was detained, highlighting what I had done and ask for a support rally at the airport followed by a reception at the church.

While on the phone, Leah put me on the loudspeaker system. They we were in the Board of Elders’, the highest official body in our church, meeting. I explained what had happen and how we could use the experience. They wanted to know if we had notified the US Consulate. I replied in the affirmative. They urged me to be careful and they would continue praying for me.

After I had written the statement, I went to lunch. It was the most I had eaten since my trip – fruit, salad, soup and cooked veggies. I returned to my room, took a nap and Yahya called me at 6pm. He had secured the car and driver. And, he had purchased bathing suits. I decided, I might as well relax and do some swimming, if for no other reasons, than to have a black body amidst all the whiteness. Africans needed to see their African brother enjoying himself or at least doing those things that they were told they should strive for. Yahya told me they were going to wash the car and get some gas. I wasn’t happy to hear that the car needed washing.

It was now 6:30pm; I had been in my room since 1:30pm. Leaving the room, I met Yahya. The car and driver were outside. After inspecting the car and doing a test drive, the vehicle failed the test. When cut off, it wouldn’t start. Another car was brought for inspection. It was much better. But the price was $75 a day, $25 more than the other car. We rejected it.

There was a huge party at the hotel, sponsored by the Rotary Club International and funded by Certel, the Nigerian Gas Corporation. The gathering was a fascinating mixture of Africans and European personalities and apparels.

The party was on the yard around the pool. Red-dressed young women acted as receptionist, proudly giving directions. At the entrance to the party were two tables around which set young African women in African attire. An efficacious young man dressed in a western style suite, intoxicated with his own importance, greeted us and politely but firmly told us, he would have given us complimentary tickets, but there were no seats. Since we were snubbed and could not get to eat with these elites, we went to the restaurant.

We returned to our rooms, uncertain about tomorrow. It had been like this since day one. But so far, things had gone exceptionally well. There is an excitement in uncertainties. Also, it is the opportunity to bring our faith into play. Everything was in God’s hand and everything was going to work for the good. With that thought, I retired for the night

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.

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.
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 "http://www.holnj.org" www.holnj.org.

On Sunday, June 8, 2008, Rev. Leah Daughtry, Pastor of the House of the Lord Church in Washington, DC and CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, will be the guest preacher at the 12 noons Worship Service at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue.

On June 19–20, 2008, in honor of Juneteenth, The Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance (DBNA) will host its Annual Emancipation Day Celebration. At 12noon on the 20th there will be an Unveiling & Dedication of a Plaque marking the stop on the Underground Railroad at the Old Bridge Street Church, which served as a safe house for runner away slaves. Many invited guest speakers. A Luncheon (invitation only) will follow with Dr. Adelaide Sanford as the keynote speaker. At 7pm, there will be a musical concert, free to the public, at the House of the Lord Church featuring The House of the Lord Anointed Voices, the renowned singer, Minister Lawrence Craig, Bishop Nathaniel Townsley & The Gospel Jubilee and many others. Dinner will start at 5pm (No cost with reservation). Contact Peggy Iman Washington, the Program Coordinator, @ (718) 596-1991 or (718) 797-2184.

On Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 2pm the 30th Annual Randolph Evans Memorial Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held at the House of the Lord Church. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will be the keynote speaker.

On Sunday June 29, 2008, Rev. Dawnique Daughtry-Pemberton, Pastor of the House of the Lord Church of Bergen County in Englewood, NJ will be the guest preacher at the 12 noon Worship Service at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue

NEED QUALITY CHILD CARE? – Call the Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial Daycare Center Located at 333 Second Street, (Between 4th & 5th Avenues) downtown Brooklyn, NY @ (718) 499-2066. Immediate openings in a state of the arts center.