Journal of the People’s Pastor

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

DARFUR DIARY

PART IX: DARFUR DIARY – MY JOURNEY TO JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN


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 will flourish.

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...

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.

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 @ www.holnj.org.

For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord Church @ (718) 596-1991.