Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The Global Young Peoples’ Convocation has been awesome. It hasn’t been anything flashy (although the hotel is pretty nice), but we’ve had good speakers, and the focus has really been on finding our voice as young people. Meanwhile, some random things have happened. I chipped a tooth on a peach pit yesterday. I ran into and have been hanging out with Susie Barr-Wilson, who worked at Camp in 2001.

Once again, I am being told to wait. One of the speakers preached on Acts 2, and talked about how when the Holy Spirit came to the believers in Jerusalem, it gave the people a new talkativeness, a new liveliness, and a new fearlessness. Again, I am feeling God pushing me to be bolder, braver and more vocal. But then, at the end of her message, she said, “But don’t just go and tell the church that you’re here to do this work. Wait in Jerusalem. Let the Holy Spirit come upon you and fill you with a new talkativeness, a new liveliness, and a new fearlessness.” So… where is my Jerusalem?

We have gone to several museums and visited ministries, and there has been a lot of talk about peace and justice. Today one of the speakers was giving a talk about the Biblical foundations for Social Justice and Advocacy. He paused after speaking and forgiveness and reconciliation, and announced that “Just moments ago, Saddam Hussein was hanged to death.” He commented briefly on our sadness when any member of the human race suffers. I’m so relieved that he responded that way, because I don’t believe taking a life can bring healing to the victims. When we loose sight of the humanity of one person (even one who has done as many horrible things as Hussein), we lose a piece of our humanity. We separate ourselves from the fact that we too have oppressed and hurt and abused. And we have allowed it to happen.

I read recently that the Boers in South Africa were mistreated and put down under the British colonial rule. The Boer response was an Afrikaner pride movement that led up to Apartheid. I learned today that during the Anglo-Boer War, concentration camps were used to hold Boer women and children, and many died there. (Africans were also held in camps, although not as many). Oppression begets oppression, and until we find a way to end oppression, there will always be terrorism and violence and more oppression. Why don’t people get this?

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