Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Dr Susanna loves the countries and the peoples of Africa

Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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The not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman was unjust. NY District Leader, daughter of Haiti Rodneyse Bichotte click here
Rwanda click here
Congolese 20 click here
Stop and frisk click here
Nelson Mandela click here
CACCI at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York click here
The spirit is the last to go. Or maybe never goes. The music and spirit of Nigerian superstar Sonny Okosuns. click here
The Congressional Black Caucus click here
The Congolese 20 were scammed and kidnapped: most worked as security guards, one is a chef, one is the first-born son of the late President Laurent Kabila, brother to President Joseph Kabila who maintains a house in Johannesburg, South Africa. MJoTA 2013 v7n1 p0519 click here
Never stop hoping, never, ever, ever. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2016 v10n2p1215

Whatever, and however, Jesus was born 2,000 years ago; his life was a miracle. Perhaps The Miracle. His life was a miracle because he breathed in and out hope, in his speeches, his actions, his relationships to oppressed and even more oppressed humans. During the winter solstice humans all over the world have a few days off to power down and remember the message of hope.

These past 9 years, since I went off the career track, I have been privileged to witness miracles that are not spoken from pulpits, that are not told to extract coins or large notes.

The miracles from South Africa took 2 years from false arrest until release and found innocent; 20 men in the precious time when they were not locked separately, gathered together to pray every morning in a spirit of hope and love. They never gave up hope, and with such joy I greeted them in Johannesburg Airport in March, when I was in transit from Zambia for 24 hours. Blessed be the meek, for they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

Last week, one of the Congolese 20 transitioned to glory, which sadness is softened by knowing that he spent his last 2 years free. Not an easy 2 years, but he spent them free. Hallelujah. Hallelujah for their faithful lawyer and faithful Pastor Esaie who accompanied Jean-Paul to his grave.

And the ladies of GWRAZ. The hope and love they have for everyone pushes it out of everyone around them and changes us all. All refugees, initially given advice by a master of hope, Nelson Mandela. Veronica took the advice and formed a collective of equals, whose main goal is to give hope and love to anyone in and out of prison who needs it. Including me. They all showed up at the hospital in Lusaka after I broke leg bones, and were the first to send me Christmas greetings this day.

The background photograph is of Marie Claudine, who survived the Rwandan genocide and moved to New York City. Until I met the ladies of GWRAZ, I had never met anyone so joyful, and with so little reason.

Hope brings joy, because of refusal to let past evil define you. I wish you joy for the coming year, and a refusal to normalize evil.

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I want a hippopotamus for Christmas - so blessed are the givers SJ Dodgson MJoTA v6n2 p1223

I know that I will be stuck in traffic when I drive from South Jersey to New York City the weekend before Christmas. I know this because it happens every year, and I knew this year would be no different, but I thought I would be clever and drive on back roads. The problem with back roads is that they turn into main roads and the only way to get into the islands that make up New York City is through main roads with tolls. And today they were jammed.

But sitting in a warm car, listening to Christmas carols can never be all bad, especially when one of the songs is "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" and because I knew when I got to Brooklyn I would be surrounded by good people whose love for all humans is palpable.

The party was worth the trip: this was the annual Christmas party of New York City Councilmember Jumaane D Williams, a tall dread-locked young man, a son of Grenada, who in his 3 years in City Council has shown that he will do anything for his people. Get arrested, anything.

He had not been in his job 2 weeks when the catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, which resulted in the death of 10% of its population. We (CACCI) had a celebration of Martin Luther King jr planned for the Friday after the earthquake in Borough Hall in Brooklyn. The program was shelved as official and community leaders, one after the other, pleaded for help.

Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, who is a physician, described the horror in his country of birth. After the program, officials and press huddled into a room for a press conference. Councilmember Eugene had not slept in 3 days, he was being called on to talk about Haiti on one television and radio program after another, and he had no good news. As he was talking, he suddenly could not any more, and he broke down into deep grief, sobbing that so many were trapped and screaming, and they had nothing to dig themselves out other than their bare hands.

The officials did not know what to do, except for Councilmember Jumaane Williams who instantly moved over to Councilmember Eugene and hugged him. He knows what to do when his people, all people, are in trouble.

And I so enjoyed watching him tonight with a 9 year old boy whose home had been washed away by Hurricane Sandy in October, who had been taken in with his family by a prominent educator who is a daughter of Haiti.

Councilmember Jumaane Williams every year has a toy drive, and this year, as I walked into his office, saw a Christmas tree with lots of presents stacked around and beneath it. I added the few I bought, with a prayer that they will make a child happy.

And tonight, the Councilmember was standing with this little boy who selected a huge Lego set. The Councilmember checked with his staff that the gift had not been promised to someone else, came back and without a word, slid it out from under the tree and handed it to the little boy. Whose grin looked bigger than his face. Christmas with the Councilmember, truly blessed.