We arrived at our hotel as lunch was being served. I had diced tomatoes,
cucumbers and cold slaw and went back for cooked cabbage, all heavily
sprinkled with garlic, which I had purchased at the market. Later, for
dessert, I had pineapples and two baby bananas.
Yahya, who had left us at the hotel while he went to meetings, never
returned that day. So, I spent the day in my room writing and watching
the one channel on the TV in English. It included a soccer game and
highlights of other games; a video in traditional garb and scenery and
language in which were various dances. There were cartoons, news reports,
and interviews. At 8pm I went for dinner. After dinner, Yahya returned.
We, Yahya, Sharon, Deng and I, conversed for a couple of hours. Deng
did most of the talking. We shared our experiences, knowledge, analyses
and persons we knew. Our primary focus was Africa; the history of Arab,
Europeans domination, exploitation, slavery and colonization. Deng believes
that South Sudan could become the center of Africa, the reclamation
of its identity and past glory.
Deng and Yahya drafted a letter to President Kiir under Sharon’s
signature requesting a meeting with the President tomorrow, Friday,
December 7th. Also, Deng mentioned a forum tomorrow on human rights.
He invited us to attend.
The last act for the day was to talk to my wife, Dr. Karen. Everything
was alright at home. She gave me a report on the various activities,
which included the Elombe Brath tribute, Human Rights Day program held
at the UN sponsored by (National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry
Concerned About Darfur (NRLAA) and NRLAA’s anniversary program.
The church’s operations were doing well. I was pleased with the
report. I am firm in the conviction that paradoxically, true leadership
is always working to make itself dispensable. Or another way of saying
it is, the strength of an organization lies in it capacity to function
optimally when the leader is not present. If an organization is completely
depended upon its leaders or if its effectiveness is minimized or removed
when the leader is no longer around, then the organization is really
a personality cult.
It was 12:30am when I put down my pencil and made ready for bed. As
sleep crept over my eyes, I thanked God for all things. I was filled
with gratitude. I thought some more about the conversation I’d
had with Deng and Yahya, especially their vision of a new Africa. I
pondered the role that I could play. I wondered if this is where God
was bringing me through years of preparation. Central to the mission
to which I was called has always been working and struggling for a new
Africa or an Africa that would reclaim its glory of yesteryear. I always
believe that people of African Ancestry in the United States of America’s
wellbeing and/or progress is inextricably bound to Africa. I believe
it is what our great leaders of the past and present believed. In their
vision of a better world, there was always a relationship to Africa.
That I am here in Africa in the center of major, far-reaching developments,
conferring with leaders who are major players in the Africa drama is
an experience and opportunity that come to a relatively few.
I am a Christian, as the Bible defines it, meaning, I believe in Jesus
Christ as the anointed one. Here is my creed:
I believe in God the Father, maker of all things, who is no respecter
of person, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten son, who was uniquely
anointed to manifest God and to redeem humanity.
I believe that Jesus was essentially African in origin. While Abraham,
the father was located in Asia, still hundreds of years in Egypt, Northern
Africa (and Canaan) in which obvious assimilation of religion, philosophy,
medicine, art, architecture, engineering, etc. occurred, what was passed
on to Jesus was Africaness – and while there was an assimilation
of many other cultures, i.e., Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Syrian,
Greek, Roman, it still remains that the essential foundation of Jesus
was African. Moreover, even these assimilated cultures had come under
the influence of Africa.
I believe that in his redemptive work Jesus identified with and focused
His ministry primarily towards the poor, sick, powerless and rejected.
I believe He employed different methods in His redemptive work.
I believe His very person and work (and also His servants in every age)
produced an inevitable conflict with societal rulers. Jesus’ redeeming
work creates a new person, who in turn constitutes a new society whose
interest, value, morals; mores are/were in direct conflict with systems
and rulers of this world.
I believe that God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit,
call, fill, and send human beings of every nationality, gender, class,
and age to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ.
I believe that Jesus will come again, as He promised. While it is not
absolutely clear what this means, I believe that when Jesus returns,
there will be a dramatic, supernatural break into history, and at that
point a new heaven and new earth will begin in which peace and righteousness
I believe that scientific discovery, space exploration and political
and economic revolutions are all part of the divine plan in which God
through Jesus Christ is at work moving all things toward His consummation.
Now, let me be crystal clear that while I believe I have the truth,
this does not mean others do not have it too. They may call it by a
different name. While I am firm and clear about what I believe, I do
not believe nor do I practice imposing my belief on others. I am always
eager to share my faith. But the Bible does not teach that I should
forcibly impose my faith on others. I accept all religious persuasions.
I am a member of interracial, interfaith organizations. I do believe,
however, that all ideas – religious, political, economical, philosophical,
etc., that promises to make the world better, should be freely and gladly
shared with the human family. And all people in all places should have
the right to accept or reject any idea without threats or retaliation
in any form. I fell off to sleep with praise and gratitude.
To be continued...
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday Night Community
Forums. All Forums are held at the House of the Lord Church from 7pm
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 @
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord
Church @ (718) 596-1991.