says Jesus doesn't care so much that we suffer.
I think she
says, Jesus is more interested in how we respond to suffering; to our own and to that of others.
is of course a graduate summa cum laude of both clown school and pirate school.
Red nose AND cutlass.
and I are here, hats and sunscreen, for one last good Klingon, I mean Burundian, adventure together, before her
flight out the next day.
I haven't seen her
ticket, but I think it's probably Entebbe, Addis, Frankfurt, maybe London, then Sea-Tac, and back to the world.
"We just fed the village," said Peg
, as they immediately begin preparing the boat for launch.
There's yards and yards of thick green line - surely the net line - stacked up amidships that they pull out and coil on the beach, and then we're ready.
It looks like many people are going with us, about eight or so?
They walk out in the water up to their calves and steady the boat, and I take charge of getting Peg
in, right over the bow, and to a thwart amidships, and sit right in the middle, and that's right, and turn around and face forward.
Fine. (She just hates it when I tell her
what to do, but it's taking a lot of nerve for her
to get into this boat, so she
puts up with it.) I climb aboard and sit down ahead of her
just behind the bow.
I hand that paddle back to Peg
, and she
starts working it, banging it on the gunnel, like I did before I found the right angle.
"Angle it out," I say.
"I thought you were going swimming," says Peg
The captain, (and probably chief of the village), decides to try out his
English on Peg
wants to know.
"USA," says Peg
"Oh… USA… how long are you in Burundi?
asks, paddling steadily.
"I leave on the airplane tomorrow," she
"This one," she
indicates me, "Stays longer.
says, "But when will you come back?
turns both hands palm up.
"That's in God's hands," she
asks, "You are Christian?
"Of course," I say.
starts to tell him about the sons of Zebedee.
She tells him that she, Peggy, is in fact a pastor.
I can't remember how that all ended.
was a pastor too?
OK, sowa, sowa... back to our regularly scheduled Peggy
'Jet Pak' Parsons tribute, long overdue, and now in progress...
sort of has this Lara Croft / vampyre princess / prophet of God thing going on.
But then I see Peg
down at the gate of the compound, and she's
opening it and handing things to the children.
It's our ham and cheese and bread.
They take the food from her
and look up and smile and she
speaks to them and touches each one on their head and when she
does that I know she's
blessing them in Jesus' name, because that's what Peggy
does; and suddenly I'm ashamed and I know the poverty in my soul, because I thought it was a damn game, and Peggy knew better.
And that's why she's
my hero, and that's why I believed in her
enough to come to Africa with her
But then we were driving downtown the other day and I said, "Peg
, that was Samuel Jackson driving that cab.
My ministry partner Peggy Parsons knows these children well and they know her.
spent four months here in 2003, and they have emailed back and forth ever since until now.
Daniella even came over with her
father to Oregon a year ago or so on one of his
speaking/fundraising tours, and lived at Peggy
's home in Salem with Peggy and her
family for three months.
There is strong friendship here; and the children, naturally, are asking her
their questions about me, and sharing their impressions of me with her
That's how I found out that Gilbert really likes me.
"Why?" I asked Peggy
answered, "As near as I can figure it from what the kids are saying, it's because when you play guitar with James, and sing with them, you don't use a chair, but sit on the floor with them.
was talking about her
workshop in Gitega, the country's second city, and the case studies she
had emailed: "I am coming from America, bring me your challenging ones and I will see if I can help.
So I said to Peggy
, "What percent of this population have been through this kind of horror?
I was hoping Peggy
would pull off some kind of minor internet access miracle at her
big E.U. / embassy / expat cocktail event last night, but no go.
and Charles went to show the flag for T.H.A.R.S., (Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services), and to sort of seal the deal on the big E.U. grant that Charles wrote - but no good news on internet.
It was apparently a very Graham Greene tropicale parti deluxe: a mansion with rainforest gardening, swimming pool, people dressed to the nines dancing, and good food, and (who knew?) the French wine didn't suffer from the trip.
I asked if it was really colonial with waiters in white jackets and Peggy
said no, pretty young things in short skirts and heels.
allowed as to how she
wasn't entirely comfortable, but she
also had fun.
Speaking of authentic I need to talk ethics with Peggy
I don't want to 'steal' people for this website; like taking a snapshot of somebody, you know?
I feel like who they are is what they have, and that should be sort of private property?
If this were just a private letter, that would be one thing.
Asking permission probably will work.
Of course I would like to introduce you to my hosts and show you around their home and introduce you to their kids.
I'll talk to Peggy
about this and get back to you.
Two weeks from today, I get on the plane with my ministry partner, the great Pastor Peggy Parsons (she of the silver toes on her cowboy boots), and ready or not, we fly BOAC to Burundi Africa for two months.
comes home and I go further, to visit the Indies, and the Himalayas, and Araby, and David's Holy Jerusalem.