Monday, July 28, 2008
Which Way Africa?
I love this picture because I have come to love the women in it.
Queen is the woman sitting on the left and Rose is the woman sitting on the right. Both women are from Nigeria, here with Davis Mac-Iylla.
I'm asking for prayers, right now, for Rose Ngeri. As I write this, she is up on the Campus of the University of Kent, trying to meet as many African bishops and their wives as she possibly can.
I passed her this morning, standing in front of the wall in the Church yard, praying. There was no denying that she was in prayer. There was no ignoring the power of that moment of her prayer.
I had no idea that it would lead to her feeling called to an act that can only be described as prophetic, if not something that may place her in danger when she returns home to Nigeria.
A few hours later, I was asked to proof read a leaflet she had prepared. Her intention is to put this in the hands of every African bishop she meets today.
When I first read this, it brought me to tears. As I just typed them into my computer, I found my hands trembling. I knew I had to share them with you.
One other preface: When Michael, who acted as her scribe, asked her if she was not putting herself in no small amount of danger, she said, with no discernible alarm in her voice, that we must understand that when the sexual orientation of gay men becomes known, they are tortured and/or killed.
What becomes of lesbian women, she was asked.
Oh, she said, they just send men to rape us. But, she added, deeply distressed, gay men are tortured and killed.
Here are her own words to her bishops and their wives:
"The Lambeth Conference, to me, is a place where you meet Bishops and people from all walks of life to share different views about lots of things we see and hear.
I gather that LGBT are welcome in the House of God by some people . . yet, denied the right of place in the same house of God by others.
Please, our African spiritual fathers, let us have a place in our churches. REMEMBER, WE WERE BORN OF YOUR FATHERS, MOTHERS, SISTERS, AUNTIES, COUSINS AND NEICES.
Our mothers did not ask for this group of children. Rather it is the content of the man deposited in the woman that came out the same way it is made by God.
African leaders keep passing laws against LGBT. Please, if I may ask, what crime have we committed?
Mothers, will you fold your arms and let your children die through torture? Why can't you ask them what crime your children have committed before they kill more of your children?
How long should we keep quiet about issues like this?
Which way Africa?"
Please take a moment from whatever it is you are doing and pray, right now, for Rose Ngeri.