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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.

Thank you.


ROBERTA said...

what a brave woman rose is - thank you for bringing her here for prayer. please keep us posted as to what becomes of her prophetic voice.

Erika Baker said...

Dearest Rose
what courage! I'm shaking as I read what you have written. I will continue to hold you in my prayers. Do get in touch if there is ever anything we can do to support you.
With love, your sister Erika

June Butler said...

Elizabeth, I lifted this entire post, including the picture, because I wanted as many as possible to read about Rose, and not everyone clicks on links. I'll take it down if you say so. Of course, I gave you full credit.

Prayers ascend for Rose.

JimB said...

Holy Michael, sword of heaven, pray with us for Rose, a child of God's adoption at great risk.

Defend her oh Lord, whose bravery in the defense of Your kingdom places her at risk.


What amazing strength and bravery. I don't often cry at the keyboard -- I did as I read this.

I shall continue to pray for her, and for all of us who by our indifference let this sort of ugly reality exist. Forgive us Lord, but first call us to act!

Jim's Thoughts

Caminante said...

May God hold you, Rose, closely and tightly, and may you hear over and over again God's tender words, 'You are my beloved.' Many blessings for the courageous witness you are making for all those who do not have the voice... and may all of us choose life over death.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mimi, Thank you, my dear, for posting this widely. The source of the information is less important than people get the information.

And, pray.

No matter the time of day.

God, my kids once assured me, doesn't wear a watch.

KJ said...

May God protect Rose, and give her peace, but I suspect that peace has already been granted.

I become frustrated when our detractors assume that what American and Canadian glbt Episcopalians and Anglicans, et al, want is "approval." Feh! That's been granted by God, and we have that assurance written on our hearts. I, for one, am much more concerned about those who find themselves in spiritual and physical harm's way. They are us. We are them. Kyrie eleison.

Paul Davison said...

Elizabeth, I also took the liberty of posting this, even if few see it. It is a reminder to me that, even as I sit safely in my house in Georgia, other people take risks for basic human rights when they shouldn't have to do that. Rose's courage is inspiring.

Abnstranger said...

Dear Rose and Mother Kaeton:

Taking time out from haying and the bees to kneel outside and say the rosary (A-C) for you both. You are true warriors of the soul and your presence a gift. It is you and those courageous like you whom we pray for most especially at Lambeth, and hope that the others will see your example.

We are gathering sage next week. I dedicate my work this year to you and your brave, shining spirit.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Prayers for Rose. What a brave person.

Diane M. Roth said...

what a courageous woman. I am grateful that you have told us her story, so we can keep her in our hearts and prayers, and find out what we can do to help her and others in Africa.

Erika Baker said...

Is there an update on Rose?
I'd love to hear how she got on and what kind of response she got from the African bishops.

She's still constantly in my prayers, as are all of you in Canterbury working so hard on all our behalf.