Journal of the People’s Pastor

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

DARFUR DIARY

Darfur Diary: Part XII – My Journey To Chad, Central Africa
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Friday, March 30, 2007 (Part B)

The sun was going down. Soon darkness would intensify our problem. It was now 6:00 pm. We passed a herd of cattle, another small village, but no pavement and no town. We passed a village named Taguile and another village Tchaiwa. Huge, overloaded trucks swaggering to and fro passed us, engulfing us in a cloud of dust.

The driver seemed to be driving with abandonment. It seemed we had been riding forever. My mind wondered away for a moment to home and yesterday and plans for the future. For a moment, I forgot about the road. It was a delightful diversion. Then my mind returned to the road and still no pavement and no town.

Now we were at another security checkpoint, Bokoro and “PAVEMENT,” thank God. How wonderfully soft and smooth the ride now. Good Samaritans #2 was waiting on the side of the road. At 6:40 pm, we pulled up to the fire-fixing place. It seemed we had been on the road forever.

Bokoro is mostly market. We had stopped here coming down. It is dusty and dirty with everybody selling something. But it never looked better to me. We purchased water, guava juice and sodas while we waited for the tire to be fixed. When both tires were ready, one on the car and one spare, we were ready to hit the road again. It was now 7:15 pm. As we speeded down the highway, thinking that we would make it home, then at 8:50 pm, another flat tire. It was the right front tire. The tire that was just got fixed.

It was now 9:10 pm, when the tire was fixed with the help of a passerby trucker. We had to push the car again. At 9:51 pm, we stopped for oil and at 10:15 pm, we had another flat. The driver had hit a hole in the road. There was something strange about it. I had predicted another flat just before it happened. It was as if God was preventing my leaving Chad that night. I had already prepared psychologically for missing the flight. I had written the press statement so I was not too disappointed. I felt sorry for the people in New York who would show up at the airport anticipating my arrival. And, for loved ones whose anxiety levels would increase.

There must be something big and long ranged God had in mind that made it necessary for us to go through these changes, I mused. I remembered a line in the old song we sing in church, “Farther along…. we will understand it better bye and bye.”

We could still make it, if someone came along and let us use his spare as others had done and we go straight to the airport, and if the plane is delayed. But whatever happens; I was resigned to any eventuality. I didn’t even want to chose or express any desire, I decided to let God work out the plan.
Around 10:30 pm, Yahya and I agreed we would miss the flight. We agreed it was all so very strange. “1,2,3 flat tires, yes, but 10 or 11 who would believe such a thing,” said Yahya. I nodded and mumbled, “Yes you are right, but I have written the record, minute by minute, as the drama unfolded.”
We discussed contingency plans. There was a flight tomorrow, Saturday the 31st. Then, the next flight would be Tuesday, April 3rd. I would have to make a decision whether to leave tomorrow, Saturday or Tuesday. So, we let it rest there. We decided we would discuss it later. I thought to myself, hours ago, I was wishing for the pavement, thinking that our tires would not be damaged as they had been on the bumpy hard road. Yet, we had had two (2) flat tires already. One of the flats was the tire we had just fixed. As I finished making my journal entries, the driver came to my seat, pulled the lever, pushed the seat all the way back so now I had a bed. He motioned for me to lay back. I readily obeyed. I stretched out in the seat and so spent my third night in the car, in the vast, mysterious Continent of my fathers and mothers.

It was now 12:15 am all my companions had laid their blankets on the ground and their snoring told me they were fast asleep.

I drifted off to sleep wondering what would tomorrow bring. How would I call my family?? It was a beautiful, quite, soft evening. The air was fresh – a delightful freshness. There was a pleasing fragrance with a touch of sweetness. I felt contended. I was where God wanted me to be. A favorite scripture of my mother, which had become my favorite too, came to mind, "For we know that in all things God works for good for them that love the Lord and for them that are the called according to His purpose.”
We were only 30 miles from the airport. Had we left Abecha earlier, or if there would have been continuous driving, each brother taking a turn, and even I was prepared to drive, we might have made the flight. But it wasn’t to be, I was satisfied that God’s will was being done.

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.

On Saturday, August 2, 2008, all are invited to Join Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry in Prospect Park at the Music Pagoda (The Nethermead) from 11am to 5 pm, where he will be celebrating 50 years of practicing a holistic ministry and providing activist service to the Community. Entertain will be provided by Randy Weston, the Anointed Voices, The Cohen Brothers, Min. Lawrence Craig, Bishop Nathaniel Townsley & the Gospel Jubilee. There will be words of encouragement from the activist community, the religious community, the political arena and many, many others. The event is free. Bring your own food to cook out. Rain date will be at the House of the Lord Church, 415 Atlantic Avenue, downtown Brooklyn, NY, same day same time.

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

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.