Celebrating Christmas in Delaware on the shortest days of the year. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2013 v7n2 p1222
On Friday my daughter and I had some great discount coupons for toys, and we bought toys for Michael Kazongo, who is 11; for Matthew Kazongo, who is 9, and for Maxim Kazongo, who is 5. We bought a decorated Norfolk pine, and a turkey.
On Dec 21, Saturday morning I woke at 6 to start the turkey cooking, went back to sleep and at 11 woke again to prepare sausages, potatoes, yams onions, and pile everything I could think of into my car.
I always get lost; I had not known before yesterday that south-east Pennsylvania has access to 2 different routes named Route 1. This has to be a metaphor. At least 2 ways to get the Congolese 20 released.
Not until after 6pm did I finally arrive in the house in Delaware that belongs to James Kazongo and Jeanine Kazongo.
Jeanine flew out of the house to greet me; James is in prison, the only American citizen in the Congolese 20.
Michael and Matt helped me bring in the Christmas tree and the food; the presents stayed in the car until the boys were distracted. After a lovely grace, the boys settled back to eat some of the turkey, I was delighted to see how much they enjoyed it. Feeding children is so fundamental, so primal. If they can eat, they can thrive. Amen.
I took a lot of photographs, and a video. Later on today or tomorrow, I will upload the photos and the video.
We talked about what she has done and what I have done, and new routes to follow for Jeanine, and for me.
Jeanine knows the Congolese 20 and their families are under my skin; they are in my heart and soul. We are all in prison together until they are free.
Jeanine's Christmas present to me is to follow the routes, and not get lost. She has so far. She has not put a foot, or a car wheel, wrong. She has found a part-time job that pays her phone and internet bill, so she can keep in contact. And her gas bill, so they have heat and hot water. She is getting food stamps, which pays for their food, but the Federal government reduced their value before Thanksgiving. So as the days get colder, she can buy less food. Jeanine is maintaining a household below the federal poverty level. Well below.
The boys' Christmas present to me is to read everything they can get their hands on and top their classes in school. In the end, education is the only path to freedom. Because we do not know what we do not know; and others do.
Learning positive thinking from Jeanine Kazongo, who is the wife of the American arrested with the Congolese 20 click here
made me break down is the courage and strength of Jeanine and the boys.
That they are still standing and together is miraculous.
wakes every morning praising God that she is healthy, that her boys are
healthy and have food for breakfast and lunch and are doing well at
school. And that her husband, after 312 days in Pretoria Central Prison,
They are not merely standing, but thriving. Faith in action. Never looking back, always looking forward with courage and hope. Jeanine is a warrior queen. Jeanne d'Arc without the flames.
is fluent in French and English, has a pleasant speaking voice, is
computer literate and internet. She has worked as a book keeper and
currently her only source of cash is occasional work as a certified
Jeanine and her 3 boys have not seen her
James for nearly a year, when he told her he was traveling to Africa in 2
days and would be back soon.
single mistake was to believe a Congolese man who had been recruited by
South African government officials to recruit men to train as anti-rhino
poachers. The government officials told their go-between to make sure
that the men they recruited did not tell anyone what they were doing,
where they were going, who they were talking to. Especially not their
In the United States, being scammed
of money and time is not a criminal offense for the victim. It is not
in South Africa. Let the Congolese 20 go.
Let my people go. And, as Michael and Matt and Max say: "Let our Dad go."