Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Friday, November 7, 2008

11/7: Brief thoughts on the elections

Friends - My apologies. It's been a CRAZY couple weeks. I need to figure out a better way to help you all understand what's going on in Zimbabwe and Zambia. We have some crazy cool things happening. I'll try to do a better job this week of telling you about them because this is as much your journey as it is mine... since you all help pay for all of this...and invest in it with your time, prayers, and money. Thanks!

Look for a blog entry this week about a new food programme in Zimbabwe, a new orphan care project in Bulawayo, a well project, etc. And thanks to Remmy for posting news from Zambia. Isn't he a great writer????

OK - a couple of things on the election...check this out... you'll like it.

First, I'm reminding you all to keep praying for Zimbabwe and Zambia. Both countries are facing on-going issues related to their elections. PLEASE remember to pray for people there, especially our partners and the orphans these churches serve. THANKS!

A forum on the BBC website is gathering feedback on what countries in Africa can learn, if anything, from the US election. As I always say, there is much we can learn from them, but this may be worth checking out if you are interested in the dialogue.

Second, Harvard has been a crazy, (wicked - in a good, Boston way) inspiring place to be during this election. Experts in and out, every week. Sharing their insights. Inspiring. In the past couple weeks, I've talked with Michael Dukakis, Brent Scowcroft, and Fred Thompson, as well as a CNN political commentator. I've listened to lots of other experts, as well. It's been unreal. Check out this interesting article on the connections between Harvard and our new President-elect. My advisor, Samantha Power, may be part of the new administration. Pretty rad.

Third, Some of you may remember my post about my dear friend, Ms. Peaco, as well as some posts I've made about Martin Luther Kng, Jr. I've been actively following, reading, and soaking up information on the Civl Rights Movement since I was in the 2nd grade. My parents say I became interested in politics when I was introduced to Martin Luther King, which then birthed my interest in addressing the injustices of people.

So - as a student of politics and someone intimate interests in the elections of Zimbabwe and Zambia, I am fascinated by how incredible our system works. How we can go from George Bush to Barack Obama in just 4 years, when it takes decades (or more) to shift from a President to another President in some countries.

After reading LOTS of hurtful, vicious, untrue, and angry emails from people in the USA, from all parties, ...most of them simply forwards... I was kinda bewildered by how short-sighted we are as a country. And how unthankful we are to have a system that allows us to go from Clinton to Bush to Obama without violence against each other or from our governments.

I am concerned that the whole church in the USA forgets to love one another, just as Christ loved us and the churches in Zimbabwe & Zambia love their neighbors in this hour of need. At the end of the day - regardless of your party affiliation - we are must believe in the transforming power of the gospel. That's why Forgotten Voices works through the church in Zimbabwe and Zambia. To help transform communities in and through the love of Jesus Christ.

Here, is a brief letter I wrote on my blackberry on my ride to school one morning to my family in response to a family discussion we were having on the election.
As a student of politics, I have a special interest in early presidential speeches. This speech by Obama was one of the best, yet brief, articulations of what's next. It was a proud moment for me, as it was for many Americans. To now know that America can turn the page of bigotry that has plagued our nation to a new chapter that reads with hope for every citizen, regardless of color, makes this a historic day. Beyond race, Barack, I hope, will also usher in a return to statesmanship and cooperation with our allies around the world... And more effectively lead our country. It was... As you say....a great speech.

There are many things I disagree with Barack on, but there are many that He, Jesus Christ and I agree on. Social justice, defense/support of the worst off & of in our country, and love of people (a deep love) that transcends your political affiliation, sexual orientation, color, ethnic background, income level, or religion.

While I did not share some of his beliefs on abortion and other social & economic social issues, my hope for our country rests in the transcending power of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Church (big C - the church of red states, blue, purple, greek, chinese,etc). Yesterday, I voted for a President and not a Pastor. I hope and pray that Christians respond in a way Christ would giggle with glee... To love our neighbors, pray for our President, and pray for our nation's children. There is much to be done. We will all be needed. But, overall, regardless of who one voted for yesterday, today is a day we can all be proud of for today... We have a President that everyone in America can look up to as the embodiment of what is good in America... The American dream is for everyone - for real.

My friends in Zimbabwe and Zambia are amazed at the true openness America has for democracy and transformative ideas. Yesterday, like 2000 and 2004 and all elections prior, offer evidence they are correct. No bloodshed, no burnt homes for voting for the wrong candidate, no beatings like happened to someone I know in Zim because they voted for the wrong one. Instead, we have an open-ended conversation that celebrates what is truly great about our country. As I was in 2000, 2004, and today... I am truly proud to be an American.

Love you. :) I am excited to be doing my part, even (perhaps especially) as a Republican. :)


Note from Ryan Keith
Use Your Voice - Help us help kids that need a champion!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen! I took a much needed sabbatical from politics this past 4 years and it was a good spiritual discipline. Although I didn't vote, (I know that sounds like heresy to many) I am thankful to be living here where such an amazing transition could happen. It makes the pain of a people who are still waiting for transition 7 months after their election even more palpable. I hope it can inspire good and accountable governance here and abroad.

Let us pray for our current and new President -elect and all those who will be called into positions with in our governemnt. For the rest of us, let's get back to being the Body of Christ and reaching out to the body parts that are suffering!