It was sometime in the second half of the 1980s. I was Mennonite Chaplain for Philadelphia Prisons. Duncan Mbogo Wangigi, the head of Regions Beyond Christian Mission was visiting our church. He had some free time. I was assigned to “entertain” him. I had the task of picking up an ex-offender from Phila. House of Corrections to take him to Liberty House, the aftercare house I helped set up in Schwenksville, PA. Duncan headed up the largest African based, Christian mission agency. He was in the US to continue his theological education. I thought this was a colossal mistake. He had finished his course work, so was doing some fundraising work for his mission agency. We drove from Montgomery County down to Center City to pick up Angel from City Hall. He wanted to get his final “Spanish” haircut before he went to the suburbs, so we went to his barber. Then we went to his mom’s house. She treated us to a fine feast. I digress.
Duncan was in shock. He had been touring all over the US and had never seen such sights. He had been in the worst parts of Africa, yet he had never been in such fear as he was with me in that car in Philadelphia. He asked if I had taken him to a different country. I told him that he knew his geography better than that. There were oceans between us and other countries or hours of land travel. He said that even in the poorest parts on Africa, people had a place to grow some vegetables or some grain. Here there was nothing! He said this was this was the worst poverty he had seen. He told me that he was going to tell all the people he would speak to after that, that they were neglecting their own Jerusalem, while helping the regions beyond.
So Hope #10 is to have a garden, to have some measure of food independence.
Painting is acrylic on 8″ x 8″ stretched canvas.
Price: $65 including postage to US address.
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