Friday, March 11, 2016

Drink Coffee, Do Good

Isaiah 18:1-6 New International Version (NIV) A Prophecy Against Cush
18 Woe to the land of whirring wings[a]
    along the rivers of Cush,[
which sends envoys by sea
    in papyrus boats over the water.
Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
    to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
    whose land is divided by rivers.
All you people of the world,
    you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
    you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
    you will hear it.
This is what the Lord says to me:
    “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
    and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
    and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
    the wild animals all winter.

Good morning and thank you for coming. 
When I was asked to speak almost 3 weeks ago, it was not an easy decision to take, specially being the 2nd speaker this semester after Dr. Robert Randolph. 
The theme this semester being: "Vision: What I would like to see happen in the coming term" 
I first thought to talk about "never again" Never again is or was chosen by the UN with reference to genocide, but since it did happen again and again. 
Every morning I listen to the radio, and it's all about primaries in New Hampshire or Ohio or just another State talking about the upcoming president elections in November this year, I think I am not good or just I don't know much about American politics but still I can't talk about politics in African countries either... It can be very COMPLICATED there. 
Then I remembered listening to a sermon as I visited Park Street Church in Boston, the preacher talked about a very delicate, sensitive topic in the US. "RACE" 
This is February, the Black History Month, he spoke of shooting, race in schools, Oscar so white... I spent a week either seeing an exhibition of race celebrating Martin L. King Jr... Just walking into the infinity corridor, or so, for me race is still a topic that I try to not have a discussion on. 
Back to the sermon, at the end, the preacher touched on why they serve/drink the "THOUSAND HILL" coffee, this coffee come from Rwanda, the land of Thousand Hills. 
This is the story, in 1994 after the horrible genocide that happened in Rwanda, the country had to find a way to reconcile and put people back to life together again, this wasn't an easy process, and actually the process is still on. 
So the country asked help and this American company started helping farmers into coffee production and then by creating jobs. 
As you can see the picture on the back page, the story is that the guy was the neighbor to the lady before the genocide and during the genocide he did kill the lady's family and was in prison for a long time, in the reconciliation process he is now out and work as a former in those coffee farms, the lady ended up giving the land or part of their land to the coffee program. 
I am not trying to sell coffee here, but this have been a great help in the reconciliation process in Rwanda. 
What I'd like to see happen, I think I just wish we could do good... And better. 
Drink coffee do good. 
Thank you
Claude Muhinda Rwakagwa 

Second Reading:
Genesis 11:1-9 New International Version (NIV)
The Tower of Babel
11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.