Monday, 4 February 2008

DAY 6: 15th February 2008

An early morning start! Blood glucose level 5.5 mmol/L (last night's reading was obviously a blip)

I awoke really early 5 o'clock thinking about a friend who has returned to Sudan - he had been in the UK for a few years having escaped the Janjaweed but was missing his family

He still had a wife & children in Darfur & was in frequent contact with them - they were safe & told him it was still unsafe for him to return

But he missed them

So he opted to return despite all the risks . . . he fly into Khartoum
(you cannot fly to Darfur) where he was taken off the plane & told he had to report daily to the Khartoum police station

The last contact we had he was living with someone in Khartoum & reporting daily - he has still not been able to see his family again

Prayed for his safety

Met up with Kathie, Maryellen & Susan we had been interviewed by a local newspaper earlier in the week & now Channel M (Manchester's own TV Channel) wanted to do a piece on the Lent Endurance Challenge

For a 90 second slot it took quite a time to film but was edited & broadcast that evening - I think Kathie did really well in communicating the issues

I've never seen the back of my head before
(well you don't do you!) - at least it's not bald

More emails & post to be dealt with when I finally got back to the office - there seems to be a gratifying level of interest stirred by the Challenge

In the afternoon we had a visit from the 'No Nonsense Theatre Company' who ran a workshop with some of our guys on Asylum Seeker Women's Journeys in the afternoon - they really seemed to enjoy themselves: sharing their stories & singing songs from their pasts

The work should eventually form part of a future exhibition

While this was going on I took the opportunity to update & revise some of our literature - we have a number of presentations coming up & we try to ensure we have enough 'up to date' literature for people to take

In the evening my mate from Dukinfield Congregational Church had organised a Men's Curry Night for the local churches in Dukinfield
(this happens every two to three months & is a really good opportunity to get together & talk about what is going on - I have spoken on a number of occasions about the work of BOAZ & there is a real interest in what we are doing)

I took along a couple of asylum seekers as I have done before - they are always warmly welcomed & it does them good to meet & talk with other men (also it's an excuse for me to have a curry)

OK I know I'm the Endurance Challenge this week . . . it's BOAZ related eating & I'm taking a couple of the guys with me - to be honest no week would be a good week for us: Viv & I have the guys back to our house for Sunday Lunch every week & there's at least one evening week when they come for dinner & Bible Study etc (I don't think they'd be thrilled by the news "Hey Guys this week we're eating 'food parcel')

Read over the notes I put together for the Lent Endurance Challenge Devotional Journal - ouch!

Principle 6: God will judge the nation & people who mistreat asylum seekers

The judgement & curse of God is on the nation that withholds justice from asylum seekers

Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow. Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ (Deut 27:19)

Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. (Deut 24:17)

They have oppressed the alien and ill-treated the fatherless & the widow. (Ezek 22:7)

So I will come near to you for judgement. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers & perjurers, against those who defraud labourers of their wages, who oppress the widows & the fatherless, & deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty. (Mal 3:5)

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She & her daughters were arrogant, overfed & unconcerned; they did not help the poor & needy. (Ezek 16:49)

God will not answer their prayers

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out & not be answered. (Prov 21:13)

They who close their ears to asylum seekers will receive many curses

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. (Prov 28:27)

Those who oppress asylum seekers show contempt towards God

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kin (Prov 14:31)

A nation’s right to their land is predicated upon treating asylum seekers well

If you really change your ways and your actions & deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow & do not shed innocent blood in this place, & if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave to your forefathers for ever & ever. (Jer 7:5-7)

Breakfast: porridge & 1 slice of dry toast

Lunch: tin of baked beans, slice of dry bread
& orange

Dinner: Men's Night Curry
(really good!)

Bed time: blood glucose level 9.2 mmol/L (that's the curry effect! the blood test was just two hours* after eating but it was still high)

Tomorrow is our last day will try to draw together some thoughts & conclusions

* <2>

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