africa


Last night I got a rare moment to sit and watch TV.  It has been so crazy getting ready for vacation, swimming lessons, and VBS at church this week so I enjoyed a little R & R.

We don’t have cable TV so our selections are a little limited at times (which can be a good thing most times).  I was alone, since the kids were in bed and hubby was still at work, so I had the remote all to myself.  I tried a couple of show but finally ended up with a special on PBS.

The show was Traces of the Trade.  Have you heard about it or watched it?  If not, I would HIGHLY recommend it!

It is a documentary about a family who’s ancestors happened to be the largest slave trading family in U.S. History.  They traveled to parts of the world that their family had dealings with (including the North) and learned about this horrible part of our country’s history and their own inherited history.

Here is a better info from PBS directly:

http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/tracesofthetrade/about.html

I think it was a terrific film in that it was real emotions and facts.  It educated as well as challenged without condemning.  I loved some of the spiritual parts as well. 

I also need to mention that I recently saw the movie Amazing Grace which I would also recommend!!!  That was about the political fight, regarding slave trade, here at home.  Our 11 1/2 year old saw it and it was really interesting to him although he had questions which provided opportunity to talk about it.  (The song Amazing Grace was written by a former slave trader-on a boat that turned Pastor -Monk-and wrote the song based on that experience.)

After the show, and movie, I got to thinking about what it is that we (I) can do in the present regarding what has happened in the past.  Can you just say “I’m sorry”?  Do you not talk about it and hope it goes away?  Pretend the past has no affect on the future?  Learn about your families past in slave trade?

Everyone would have to discover that for themselves but the fact is we (personally and globally) may need to start by recognizing the benefits we may have derived, and still continue to derive, from it.  Our country is not balanced and would we be smart to just leave it that way?  And do we have an understanding of what the slave trade was and it’s imprint in the present and future?

The past is always a rebuke to the present.
Robert Penn Warren

History teaches everything including the future.
Lamartine

Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
Machiavelli

For me I want to know more.  I want to discover in-balances.  I would like to find out more about my families history.  I would like to give or help, organizations that equal the playing field.  I want to check my own behaviors and actions in the present.  But for now I will start with a public apology. 

I am sure I have benefited from our country’s slave trade in some way.  I know I don’t even understand what it was like and the bearings it has on all those that came from it.  I feel so mad at those that came in the name of God but do not know if I would have done differently if it was me in that time.  Would I have just turned and looked the other way?   I want to know more about the events to better understand what happened and how it relates to today because I don’t think I ever thought it mattered-it was the past.  I would like to be a part of healing  so that our corrected past blesses our future together.  Even if I didn’t benefit (although doubtful) don’t I at least have human compassion for those that suffered?  I’m sorry for the decisions in the past that have not been corrected. 

Have an “I’m Sorry” Day!

I just had to share our church service today.  We had the opportunity to have this children’s choir from Africa.  Many are orphaned due to the AIDS issue there.  It is an epidemic there as there are thousands without parents.  This ministry helps the kids with food, shelter, basic medical care, and an opportunity of an education. 

Here are some frightening statistics in South Africa:

22 million live in “third-world” conditions

Half have a primary education

1/3 suffer from malnutrition

1,500 people die every year from HIV/AIDS  -related complications

Life expectancy is expected to drop from 60 to 40 years of age in the next few years

If you are interested in learning more about the organization and what they do to help these children please go to their website at : www.horizoninternationalinc.com

We also had a Pastor speak of how we can tend to think of what we can do (the next step) after something else happens, but we really need to focus on just doing now.  He challenged us to do 5 random acts of kindness and 3 tags (emails to one specific person for prayer requests or just to tell them how special they are to you).  He also encouraged touch.  I learned so much and believe we can all be a little happier doing for others.  It feels GREAT!

Many Blessings,

 Debbie