mardi 9 octobre 2012

Jamaica 2012 The second March: Black River

The second march took place in the city of Black River. To do a single march showed to be, especially for us who were doing it for the first time, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually demanding and exhausting. David POTT compared us to a football team after a game except that footballers had a week to prepare for the next game while we went back the next day and sometimes the same day.

The historical event that marked our journey to
Black River was the massacre of the slaves in the English slave ship “The Zong”. By greed the captain of that ship overloaded the vessel with black slaves, 470 for a ship which was made for only about 200. During the passage 60 of them had died of starvation and lack of water others fell sick. But according to English law the captain was not compensated for slaves died from any disease or starvation in the ship. But if they fell into the sea, the captain touched an allowance on goods lost at sea. For this reason he threw overboard the died bodies, those who were sick and those starving, 133 slaves in three days, all died only one escaped. The case was brought to the insurance company in England, which refused to compensate the corrupt captain. This was the beginning of awareness in the West of the issue of the trade of black slaves. The thing has been publicly exposed, the eyes of English were opened on the cruelty of this trade and the abolitionist movement was born.

The march started on the
Farquharson Wharf near the monument to the “Zong” slaves which stood at 100 meters away and where it should end. The police officers of our escort suggested walking along the bank to the court, an impressive colonial building in front of which we made a stop, prayed and proclaimed facing the sea which had landed slaves. Then we retraced our steps, we circumvented the large church to get to the place of the Zong massacres through the market. The reactions were varied among the population. One that caught my attention by the emotional charge it contained is that of a man approaching us called out so poignantly that tears came to my eyes. He was saying: “can you give me back my culture and my name? Who am I? Where do I come from?”

As the team stood in front of the stele to make the statements, the journalist of the “Gleaner” met with the members of the team and especially with David Pott about why our approach by asking questions that the relevant public might ask. This gave us opportunity not only to respond to him but also to all those who had gathered around us. At the end of our statements and after we had expressed our apology, the people extended forgiveness and released those who were under chains and yokes. We have completed this work, tired but satisfied with our day.

lundi 24 septembre 2012

Jamaica 2012 The first March: Montego Bay

After the healing process among team members, we were ready to undertake the marches.

The first march took place in Montego Bay. It was emotional for some of us, about the third, who were experiencing this for the first time. Each March was punctuated by a specific historical event of the place we were marching in. This event had a close relationship with a tragic situation experienced by the slaves, the struggle for the emancipation of slavery or freedom from the oppression of the people after abolition. We left the docks next to a field where we were told that hundred of slaves had been buried there after some ships had arrived with survivors.

At the head of the procession was an Afro-Colombian young man, Yeison, holding a stick in his hand at the end of which was hung a serpent. This has resulted in some jeers from some passers who accused us of occultism, the serpent being for a lot the symbol of the devil. David was later to explain the relationship with our approach: this is the symbol of healing used by medical professionals and comes from the story of Moses, who had raised a brazen serpent in the desert so that when the children of Israel were bitten by the serpents of fire, they would not die when watching the serpent of brass and they are healed. Nevertheless laughter and mockery punctuated our walk. But also some people showed curious and sometimes sympathetic.

Sam Sharpe Square

We then made a stop at
Sam Sharpe Square, one of the heroes of the country, before we end the march at the Burchell Baptist Church. Sam Sharpe was an educated city slave, preacher and deacon the native Baptist Church of Montego Bay. He is at the origin of the slave revolt of 1831. He began a passive resistance claiming that slaves should not work on Christmas day. This led to a rebellion after which he was arrested and hanged December 27 1832. His action was the cause of abolition bill passed by the British Parliament in 1834 followed by the proclamation in 1838 of the abolition of slavery in British colonies.

When we arrived at the
Baptist Church, we addressed to the small number of parishioners and some onlookers who followed the procession. In turn we gave our apologies to this group, the English whom had to read a statement of apology from a representative of Spain who could not make the trip, a Scotsman, a Frenchman and two Africans. It was a memorable moment, full of emotions especially when Jamaicans came to liberate the Europeans from their chains and their yokes

vendredi 21 septembre 2012

Jamaica 2012 with the Lifeline Expedition

The mission of Lifeline Expedition has just ended. It has allowed us to realize that the issue of the consequences of slavery and colonization of black people today is still painful and requires a delicate communication about events that took place in Africa and the Americas. A newspaper columnist “The Jamaica Observer” began his paper with these words: “The inconvenient truth of the evils of the African slave trade will not go away; no more than the horrors of the Jewish holocaust will. Maybe one day, like the Jews, we will cast off the vestiges of slavery and rise confident in our identity as a great and noble race.” This shows how black people need to heal this “legacy”. But as this is a common heritage with the West, it can not be done outside of them. To me this implies that two or three parts together make this trip back in history to heal together and seal the reconciliation between the peoples affected by this painful history.

As Christians we believe that reconciliation will necessitate the recognition of injury to this people by the descendents of those who bear the responsibility, first in the West and to some extent Africans who sold their brothers to the West, often by greed. This reconciliation necessitates then a request for forgiveness. That’s why representatives of the nations involved in this human drama symbolically made yokes and chains for a prophetic walk across the country.

These marches, under the leadership of the Christian movement of reconciliation “Lifeline Expedition”, were to tell the Jamaican people that we, African and European descendants of those who were at the origin of this drama of humanity, regret and ask for forgiveness. Only the Europeans were shackled and wore yokes. This meant: “we understand what your ancestors have endured because of us and ask forgiveness.” The Marches were done in silence and in prayers and proclamations. Our steps were occasionally punctuated by the beat of an African tam-tam, which gave a certain solemnity in the procession, and which led our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora to say later during the last debriefing that its reasoning will always reason in their ears as a reminder to their African origins. They ended in a public place by a statement of each of the representative of Europe in chains and yoke followed by a statement of one of the representative of Africa. This was to recognize the involvement of the ancestors of the countries represented in this despicable trade and its consequences. It ended with a plea for forgiveness. Then ensued discussions some of which sometimes very vivid, often poignant, but each time the pardon was granted and the visited peoples symbolically delivered European from their chains and their yokes.

The first meetings were devoted to team building. Given the psychological and spiritual stress implied by the marches, it was essential that the team is united and in solidarity. It was necessary that all team members are aware of the motivations and objectives of these marches. For that reason it was important to know each other and the best way was to introduce expressing one’s motivations, one’s process of involvement in this reconciliation project. It was for me the decisive part in my commitment to the reconciliation of people involved in the triangular trade. Our team mates, descendants of slaves moved me so much that I could do nothing else but totally embody with that “battle” for reconciliation. I discovered the suffering that inhabited my people and which I had only intellectually understood by my commitment to the struggle fro reconciliation up to now. I discovered things I did not know yet, despite all the books I had read about this crime against humanity, and I was overturned to the bottom of my gut. A sister, in particular, overturned me because of her revolt against that situation. We cried together and prayed for each other. The healing process had begun among us, members of the team. I did not expect this at all, it was extraordinary, even divine! I understood that it was necessary that this work be done before we engage in these marches.

Prayer request for September

Prayer requests will mainly concern the consequences of the mission in Jamaica. Let’s pray:

1) That the prophetic marches on Jamaica have an impact on the country’s future.
2) For the healing of psychological, mental and spiritual slavery to be effective in the hearts of Jamaicans, in short, as stated by Bob Marley, that they are freed from the slave mentality.

God bless you

vendredi 13 juillet 2012

Prayer Requests for Summer 2012

Reconciliation calls for repentance and forgiveness. Now, the word repentance is a word increasingly banned from modern language. For the over two years and nearly three, we have received the vision of a vessel of prayer and repentance for the reconciliation of peoples related to trade in black slaves. This is not an easy task! We met and still meet much opposition in this area. But we are assured that what God says, He does! We also know that He sent this message to many servants from North to South, and from East to West and one day they will join together to fulfil the will of God because the Lord wants to bless these people. Let us be instruments in His hands for this blessing!

So it is with joy that I will relay in this message, information that concerns the journey in Jamaica. In the message entitled “The Project goes on” published on this blog in July 2011, exactly a year ago, I did express my conviction that I had to join other movements which act in the same direction, and that then the doors would open. So I thought it was time to join first of all the “Life Line Expedition” movement. Again a door was open with my connection to Jacques Vigouroux, who had already participated in the various reconciliation walks with “Yokes and Chains” of this movement. This connection was made thanks to Brother David Pott, the initiator of the movement. This collaboration will be realized this year with the trip to Jamaica where Jacques and I are travelling from July 24 to August 9, 2012. I will join Jacques at Mâcon on 23rd, and then we will fly together from Lyon the following day very early in the morning to join the team in Montego Bay. We need your prayers.

Reconciliation of the people involved in the trafficking of slaves is not an easy task. Experience shows that this is a hard fight and a long haul fight. All those involved must know that this is so and they need a special spiritual strength to persevere. The expedition in Jamaica is unique in that it coincides with the celebration of Emancipation Day and the jubilee (50th anniversary) of the independence of the Country. It is a grace for us to be there at that time!

Prayer requests for June July and August
Our prayer requests for this month and the coming month will therefore concern our mission with Life Line Expedition to
Thank you to pray:
1 – That all whom God has chosen for this mission will be able to get to Jamaica.

2 - That the Lord makes us a team well balanced that represents the issues we are dealing with.

3 – For the Body of Christ in
Jamaica to be united as one man and to have one voice in this jubilee season, to move in humility and grace in this critical season.

4 - For the protection of each team member, their families and all that belongs to them.

5 - That we will have Jamaicans on the team with us for the whole time, that the church will give us “a hand of association” during our mission there.

6 – That a Spanish person will be able to come as
Jamaica was Spanish until 1655.

7 - For white Americans to join the team since American slave ships were the most common after British ones and for white females in team.

8 – Especially for some Africans like Dayo and Antoine who hope to come. This is a particular challenge as their flight costs are very high. Finances are a big challenge for many on the team

9 – For provision and that each member of the team will be well supported in both prayer and funding.

10 – For good personal preparation in the coming days. Our mission is sensitive, controversial, and spiritually tough and we do not want to deal lightly with this issue.

11 – For healing for Clarrie Mendy (recovering from an operation) and Brenda Smilie.

12 – Some have reservations about our actions. There is probably also some fear and suspicions too.

13 – That the pres release going out this week will be well received and will generate new an appropriate level of interest and some new contacts.

14 – For the right solutions for local transportation for the team

15 That we will find the right people to receive and respond to our public apologies in particular places.

16 – A letter has gone out from us to the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who has said she would welcome an apology for slavery from
Britain. If we are meant to express our apology before her, pray that God will open her heart to that.

- That the Lord opens doors, especially for this mission, that lead us to do His will at all times and closes those intended to divert us

God bless you abundantly

lundi 7 mai 2012

Prayer Request for March April May

Reasoning that many Christians hold us over the issue of slave trade are the source of this reflection on their responsibility and the need to get involved in reconciliation efforts that some of us lead.

Why should Christians be involved in the reconciliation process in relation to the salve trade? It is not about to accuse any particular church, but we can say that the Church as the “Body of Christ” sometimes was involved in an incredible way for Christians today, in the scourge that in some extend, destroyed part of humanity. While the slave trade began between 1503 and 1510, during which the business is quite embryonic and sporadic, it is nonetheless true that it is the Catholic priest Las Casas who systematizes it from 1516. This is also the finding of a greater resilience of some blacks from Africa that allowed him to infer that the massive importation of these populations could be a salvation for the conservation of indigenous Indian population. That year, according to Lesly Pompey in his book “Spectral Analysis for the Caribbean History” on page 53, “together with the commission of the Order of St. Jerome sent by Charles V recommended the development of the practice as an alternative way to spare the natives.” Indeed, the Indians were practically decimated by both the forced labour that had compelled the West, and the diseases they had introduced in these populations. According to Jean Ziegler in his book “The Hatred of the West”, when the West invades America to colonise her, the Indian population were approximately 90 million. A hundred years later they were only 9 million.

There is no question of stigmatizing a religion, Catholic for example, some major Protestant families of Bordeaux to name a few, have distinguished themselves and have prospered from this trade. Jean Ziegler cites a few names in the same book in pages 97-98. Let’s just say that as Christians, then this inheritance is ours. May we recall that in the Bible, when God asks the Israelites to confess their sins, they also confessed sins of their fathers, in other words, of their ancestors? This is the condition that they could get through. This is what Daniel did when he discovers the books containing the words of the Lord to Jeremiah (Daniel 9). Then he enters repentance, recourse to prayer and fasting and implores the grace of God to His people. Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Thank you to pray:

- That our churches are aware of the need for them to get involved in this reconciliation process that involves repentance and forgiveness, banished from the modern vocabulary.

- For the Lifeline Expedition journey to Jamaica planned for the month of August (July 25-August 9). That the Lord provides for all of us, all the needs of this mission, financially, spiritually, morally and in terms of health.

- That many Christians are won by the passion for reconciliation and engage in these movements for the reconciliation of peoples and thus exercise the ministry of reconciliation according to 2 Corinthians 5:18.

- That the discouragement that constantly strikes at the door finds no hold on us and that our zeal for the Lord as part of this project is constantly renewed.

- That the Lord opens doors that lead us to do His will at any time and for any occasion and closes those that are intended to divert us.

- That He prevents us from any precipitation and gives us the patience to await the fulfilment of this vision that works towards an end and that will certainly take place according to Habakkuk 2:3. That HIS WILL BE DONE!

Let’s keep on praying for all the subjects mentioned before and for which we must still intercede.

God bless you abundantly

dimanche 12 février 2012

Prayer Request for January and February 2012

When you receive a prophecy, a vision or a word, you want it to come true right away, very quickly and there appears the risk of forcing things and the desire to do his own will and not God’s. This is the school that I’m drawn today and the word of God in Habakkuk 2:3 makes sense in my mind. Added to that the negative reactions I face both by our African brothers and European, sometimes insults, dropping and release from some Christians, discouragement is often at the door.

But on the other hand, we are encouraged by the word of God. Indeed, from reading the Word we find that the prophet has often brought the prophecy in his flesh: to one it is asked to take to wife a prostitute, which was an abomination for a man of God, and he does it (Hosea 1:2). To another it is asked to make a cake and bake it with human excrements (Ezekiel 4:12), yet another to buy a beautiful belt of fine linen and go to hide it, days of walking, to the Euphrates in the cleft of a rock and then return after several days search its remains that were good for nothing (Jeremiah 13:1-11)… In addition, many people have received prophecies and visions they have not seen the realization. This leads us to be humble and content ourselves to simply and humbly do what God asks us to do.

What is encouraging is that the more we advance in this vision, the more the Lord shows us that we are not alone and I’m convinced that when He wills, many converge for the realization of His plan. I was very encouraged by the letter I received a few days ago from Brother J.R. Spencer whom I met in Georgetown Guyana. Here is an excerpt from his letter: “A couple of weeks before the meeting I for the first time felt free to share the part of the vision with a brother from South Africa and to my surprise I found he and a select few had portions of the same vision in their minds and hearts. On the way to one of the meetings I sat next to a woman on the bus. She was from Jamaica and worked with one of the Bishops… and behold before I said a word she told me of portions of the vision the Bishop and she had been given. Then at the meeting you shared the vision the Lord gave you and others and it completed all the vision the Lord had shared with me. All this concerning all that I pondering on for a number of years all was affirmed in two weeks by disparate people from differing locations.” It is instructive: I received this letter at a time when I was still facing adversity on this project. Thank you Lord!

Thank you to pray for:

- The contacts made with different movements, brothers and sisters in Christ who have received this vision here and there, and for the coordination of these movements in accordance with the will of the Lord.

- That the discouragement that constantly strikes at the door finds no hold on us and that our zeal for the Lord as part of this project is constantly renewed.

- For the invitation we received to participate, from 15 to 22 May 2012, in Martinique in the national days of memories of human trafficking, slavery and their abolition, with a delegation from Lifeline Expedition. This will give us an opportunity to share more widely the vision.

- That the Lord opens doors that lead us to do His will at any time and for any occasion and closes those that are intended to divert us.

- That He prevents us from any precipitation and gives us the patience to await the fulfilment of this vision that works towards an end and that will certainly take place according to Habakkuk 2:3. That HIS WILL BE DONE!

God bless you abundantly.