Journal of the People’s Pastor
“Writing the History I’ve Lived, Living The History I Write!”
“Deliverance for Darfur Sunday”
During his visit to the refugee camp at Al Salaam in North Darfur, the Secretary General, his Excellency Ban Ki-moon, is quoted saying, “I was so shocked and humbled… I was shocked at the poverty and hardship all these tens of thousands of people were undergoing. I really wanted to give them even a small sign of hope. I really urge the international community to help them return to their homes and land, give them a sense of security and bring peace as soon as possible. We must bring enduring peace, durable peace and security here.” I felt the same as the Secretary General, only deeper, when I visited Gaga, a refugee camp in Chad, Central Africa.
According to the United Nations, The suffering in Darfur, Sudan has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Reliable accounts consider it a campaign of genocide, which, since its beginnings in 2003, has resulted in over 200,000 to 400,000 deaths, an estimated 2.5 million persons have been displaced and hundred of thousands are refugees in foreign countries. Others have suffered rape, maiming, enslavement, destruction of and confiscation of properties. This conflict is blight on the human landscape and its horrors will continue until there is outside intervention.
Our visit to the refugee camp made the above description painfully real. With the images and experience before me, I have been motivated to do all that I can to assist the people of Darfur. When the Secretary General said, “I really wanted to give them even a small sign of hope.” It reminded me that that was precisely how I felt, which motivated us to give the people t-shirts, which we had brought with us from the United States. We promised them that we would return with more supplies. In addition, Mr. Ki-moon promised to step up efforts to end the conflict, which started in 2003, when the people of Darfur commenced rebelling against the El Bashir government. In addition, Mr. Ki-moon urged the world to be more sympathetic to the millions whose lives have been uprooted.
The Associated Press reported on September 5th that Mr. Ki-moon trip comes at a time when the United Nation and the African Union are pressing to deploy a 26,000–strong, joint peacekeeping force in Darfur and restart peace negotiations between the government and splintered rebel groups. The UN Security Council, in July, unanimously approved the peacekeeping mission, which if fully deployed, would be the world’s largest operation of its kind, to help end four years of violence in the vast western Sudan deserts.
The force is expected to be made up mostly of peacekeepers from Africa, with backup from Asian troops.
Moreover, the Secretary General is convening a meeting of all regional leaders in the conflict. The meeting will take place in New York on September 21, 2007. Significantly, when we were in Chad we encouraged the leadership to attend a conference in New York that we would sponsor. They all agreed to do so. We were never able to raise the money to implement the plan.
It is critically important that the Darfurian leadership be united. There are two factors that make it urgent:
The Sudanese Government will use fragmentation of leadership as a reason not to concede to Darfurian demands and not even attend meetings to negotiate.
The longer there is a delay in negotiating an agreeable package, it is likely that more groups or organizations will arise, making it difficult to unite.
On Sunday, September 9, starting at 5pm, we will have another fundraiser. This one is sponsored by Religious leaders. It will be held at The Bibleway Church Worldwide, located at 261 Rochester Avenue, corner of Lincoln Place in Brooklyn, New York, where Apostle Huie Rogers is Pastor and National Prelate.
Specifically, the fundraiser is to defray the cost of shipment from Newark, New Jersey to the refugee camp in Chad. In two months from, May 31, 2007 to July 31, 2007, we were able to accumulate 700 boxes of supplies, mostly books and body wear, weighing 1800 lbs, filling a 40ft container. It was an extraordinary demonstration of concern and generosity. It was primary a grassroots effort. The cost of the shipment is around $23,000.
Mr. Yayha, a Darfurian and member of our organization, was sent to guarantee the shipment would reach its destination. He reported that the shipment had arrived in Dauala, Cameroon. After a seven day process, it will travel to N’djamena the capital of Chad and then to the refugee camp. We plan to join the shipment when it arrives in N’djamena and be present when it enters the refugee camp.
The “Deliverance for Darfur Sunday” is the brainchild of Apostle Rogers. As I was making personal calls to my colleagues, all of whom responded generously, when I approached Apostle Rogers, he suggested a religious service. He said, “It will give people a chance to participate and it will be within our worship experience, and therefore putting God first.” I readily agreed.
We commenced calling our colleagues. Bishops Nathaniel Townsley and Timothy Wright, among others, agreed to provide the music. Bishop Townsley appeared at our 1st fundraiser on May 31, 2007 and raised $1,000 at his Convocation.
Again, I appeal to you to participate in helping us address one of the severest crises in the world today. Your participation will give you immense satisfaction and a testimony you can pass on to generations yet unborn
If you do not have money, you can give time, skills, transportation, writing, bookkeeping, computer or suggest any other way you think you can be helpful.
Join us in a Fundraiser to Support the People of Darfur, Sunday, September 9, 2007, 5pm at the Bibleway Church Worldwide, pastored by Apostle Huie Rogers, located at 261 Rochester Avenue in Brooklyn. The Bibleway Church, The National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry Concerned About Darfur, The House of the Lord Church and The Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance sponsor the Fundraiser.
Hold the date for The National Religious Leaders Concerned About Darfur, Inc., 1st Anniversary Celebration. This Celebration will take place on Thursday, October 18, 2007 from 6pm to 8pm at the House of the Lord Church, located at 415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
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.
BCAT Program every 2nd and 4th Sunday @ 2p.m.
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord Church @ (718) 596-1991.