Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Jubber Journal has moved

Here is a quick shout out to all those who haven't yet updated your bookmark for the Jubber Journal:



Thank you blogger for the 4 years of support, no doubt we may be back one day!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Iran & Zimbabwe

Sitting here today sipping my coffee before we head off to church, reading the news online, This headline popped right off the screen at me:

Iran, Zimbabwe to establish air links
Johannesburg - Iran has expressed its willingness to establish air links with Zimbabwe to improve accessibility between the two countries, the Herald reported on Friday. The newspaper cited Iranian ambassador to Zimbabwe Rasoul Momeni as saying that the creation of air links would greatly assist in rejuvenating Zimbabwe's flagging tourism sector. "The importance of establishing airline links between the two countries cannot be underestimated," he was quoted as saying. Currently, Air Zimbabwe flies to Dubai where it parks its aircraft for about 18 hours "yet Iran is only an hour away", the Herald said. Momeni underscored his government?s desire to assist in turning around the fortunes of Zimbabwe?s tourism industry. He told the newspaper that Iran was ready to "exchange experience and establish co-operation in the area of tourism and hospitality", adding that there would be a renewal of all tourism memorandum of understanding. Iran, he said, would not only offer funds to Zimbabwe but it would assist with the provision of experts in various fields of tourism. The envoy, however, emphasized the need for Zimbabwe's local tourism industry to offer quality service and reasonable rates.

Such an unlikely partnership don't you think? The question beckons ~ during a time where Zimbabwe is trying to get back on her feet what is Mugabe thinking, partnering with Iran, even if it is under the guise of boosting tourism? Tourism? Partnering with a known outspoken blatant terrorist will do Zimbabwe a huge injustice in her ability to garner support on the international platform.

What kind of tourism boost will this be? Come to Zimbabwe to see potholes, starvation and cholera epidemic running rampant. Visit Iran to see how nuclear weapons are made, where they store their plutonium and learn how to ride a camel...

And then we wonder why a government of national unity will not work?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Scritpural Reflection

So often for those who are firm believers in Christ we tend to think that 'once saved - always saved'. I guess this viewpoint widely depends on your own personal growth and foundation in the Lord as well as individual knowledge of the bible.

Many times over, I have encountered my own dilemma in regard to salvation, and have often questioned the theology of such a belief system. What I have learned is that it is impossible for me to judge what anyone believes. It is also impossible to force what I believe upon anyone who has their own belief system by which they live out their lives.

What concerns me on a grander scale is the current state of the body of the church, as we already are aware of the seasons and signs of the times that the end is being plotted and it won't be long before we see a great unleashing of scriptural manifestation to that end. A number of scriptures come to mind, and I would like to share a few in my journal entry with you today.

Matthew 7:13-14 says "Enter through the narrow gate; For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Yes the Lord is all-loving, and gracious and desires that none fall away, but that all come to know Him as their personal savior. However, reading this scripture tells me slightly more than the obvious facts. We have a free will, freedom to choose which gate we will walk through, which road we will navigate life on, and what kind of numbers will be involved within the decision we make. Before I came to know Christ as my savior, I can honestly say that I entered the broad gate, and many were traveling that road, filled with lust, deception and depravity. It was a very easy road to journey on. But at the age of 16 when I gave my life to the Lord, I embarked on a mission of finding the small gate, and the narrow path, with few traveling thereon. I haven't always walked that road but with maturity came an opportunity to decide how much further I would want to desire to be on that narrow road. Has it always been easy? NO! Do I walk it daily? NO! Is it my heart's intent and desire to walk it? YES! It concerns me almost with a grave sense of expedience to populate this narrow road with people that are in my life, by way of family, friendships and relationships. There are moments deep in my soul that I am beset with a deep sense of urgency to go out there within my sphere and circle of influence and latch onto hearts and bring them into that journey which will lead to eternal life in Christ.

The question has been asked through the ages; "how do you eat an elephant?" The answer is easy - "one bite at a time". Will we save the world? Nope. Will we reach everyone effectively in our circle of influence? Maybe not. Should we stop trying in fear of failure? Certainly not! That leaves us with the elephant solution, one bite at a time = one soul at a time.

I will probably draw criticism for this next portion of thought provoking scripture...

Luke 12:42-48 says "The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

When I came across this portion of scripture I saw a couple of different facets, and parallels that I want to share with you.

The Lord requires us to be watchful. Especially in the times we are living, there is a greater sense of responsibility upon us to not only shine as lights for the Lord but also to walk according to the blueprint He has given us through His word. We sometimes lose direction and thank the Lord that His word always sets us back on solid ground. The Lord is the master in the opening verse. The faithful and wise manager, are those in ministry and leadership, and the servants are in essence the sheep. And so as we see two forms of reference taking place. The wise manager who does what the master required of him, and the other who does not fulfill what the master required of him. What really popped out at me was verse 47 & 48. We read that the servant who knows his master's (the Lord) will, and doesn't do it, will be rewarded with many blows. And the one who does not know and does things deserving of punishment will receive few blows. This should concern the church. This is not a time to sit under a shady tree in the spring air with a gentle breeze wafting b, while we sing "Kum Ba Yah". We should ready ourselves, and be girded up ready to do battle, ready to do what He has called us to do, and in so doing when He returns and we face the judgment seat the blows won't be as severe but the reward will be worthwhile.

Finally the Lord says to whom much has been given, much will be required, and so those who are faithful and wise managers, stewards of the gospel, and servants of the master, a time of heartfelt examination should be requisite as we journey on this narrow path.

Do you know anyone who is searching and currently walking that broad road? Are they perhaps standing at the entry to the wide gate? If there was ever a time to reach out to those that the Lord impresses on our hearts it would be such a time as this. Let us be encouraged to be counted as wise and faithful managers of the life that the Lord has entrusted to us. Let's not shrink back thinking we have no abilities, no etiquette, to simply say something that will ignite a spark of enthusiasm in a lost soul.

One thing I am fully at peace and aware of is that the Lord doesn't require for us to do everything all of the time. We plant a seed, someone will come along and water it, and Christ will give the increase and cause growth. His method of farming and crop rotation cannot be perfected, it is a proven system that has worked since Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected.

I love the freedom of journaling the thoughts I have in my heart, and hope that the Lord will provoke you, draw you closer and deeper into a relationship with Him, especially now as we near His glorious return.

Friday, March 06, 2009

May Her Soul Rest in Peace

Waking this morning to the news coming out of Zimbabwe that the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had lost his wife in a road accident all but brought back haunting tales of the Mugabe regime in it's attempt to rid the Zimbabwean political front of any form of insubordination and opposition. Some will call this a tragic accident others will know the extent to which the truth surrounding the events, on that road at 4:00pm Friday March 6th 2009, that led to the untimely passing of Susan Tsvangirai. Below is an excerpt from a trusted source, and I quote:

The turmoil in Zimbabwe intensified last night when Morgan Tsvangirai, the new Prime Minister, was injured in a car crash and his wife was killed.

There was no immediate evidence to suggest that the crash was anything but an accident, but Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) henchmen have staged car crashes to eliminate opponents before and Mr Tsvangirai has previously been the target of assassination attempts. “Conspiracy theories will abound,” one Western diplomat said.

Officials of Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change said that his car was hit by the trailer of a large lorry as it swung out in front of it. Mrs Tsvangirai was on the side hit by the trailer and suffered terrible injuries.

A hospital worker was told by Mr Tsvangirai’s chief security aide travelling with him in a Toyota Land Cruiser, that Mrs Tsvangirai was thrown out of the vehicle and fell a long way off. The aide and Mr Tsvangirai were trapped inside, but as soon as the aide managed to extricate himself, Mr Tsvangirai called to him: “Help my wife, help my wife!”

Mr Tsvangirai was in a stable condition in hospital, an MDC spokesman said but even if the Prime Minister has escaped serious injury, the death of the woman to whom he had been married for 31 years, and with whom he has had six children, will be devastating at a time when he is struggling to establish Zimbabwe’s new coalition Government in the face of stiff resistance from Zanu (PF) hardliners.

“I don’t imagine he will be able to give much thought to running the country or the legislative agenda for a while,” the diplomat said.

The accident happened about 30 miles south of Harare as the Tsvangirais were returning to their home district, Buhera, for a rally tomorrow. Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesman, James Maridade, said that the Prime Minister’s car rolled over three times.

“The accident happened between 16.00 hours [14.00 GMT] and 17.00 hours but the details are still sketchy,” one party official said. “The driver of the truck appeared to be sleeping.”

Other reports suggested that Mr Tsvangirai’s Land Cruiser had suffered a burst front left tyre and then rolled.

Mr Tsvangirai was taken to the private Avenues Clinic in Harare, severely bruised and cut, where he was later visited by Mr Mugabe and his wife, Grace. An aide was also injured. “Morgan is talking, and he has been sedated,” said Eddie Cross, a member of the MDC’s national executive. “Last time I spoke [to hospital staff] he didn’t know about Susan’s death. He will be devastated. They were a real team.” The two-lane road leads to Beitbridge, the main border crossing into South Africa, and is notoriously dangerous. It is deeply potholed. It is used heavily by lorries bringing goods into Zimbabwe, many of them seriously overloaded. It was unclear if the Prime Minister had a police escort, but his car and driver and two accompanying security vehicles were provided by the MDC, not the Government, which would also seem to militate against the idea that this was an assassination attempt. Mr Tsvangirai has used the MDC Land Cruiser with a two-vehicle security escort for several years, usually with four officials in each car, and a security guard in the front seat next to the driver in the Land Cruiser, with Mr Tsvangirai usually sitting in the rear seat. Since becoming Prime Minister, he has been issued with a new Sclass Mercedes-Benz, which he uses for official business.

In December last year Elliott Manyika, a party youth wing boss, was killed in a suspicious accident and in November the air force commander Perrence Shiri was shot and injured in circumstances that have never become clear.

Mr Cross said an MDC team that reached the scene before the police was subsequently detained. “When police turned up, they arrested them and confiscated the videos and pictures they had taken,” Mr Cross said. Asked if fould play was suspected, he replied: “That’s the big question. We don’t like that [the arrest of the MDC team] but we have to wait and see. We will demand complete transparency and a thorough investigation.”

Mr Cross also confirmed that earlier this week the new Mercedes-Benz limousine just issued by the government vehicle pool to Lovemore Moyo, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the MDC chairman, had had a blowout on the way from Harare to Bulawayo. Mr Moyo had travelled by air while his driver took the vehicle. “A brand-new vehicle with brand-new tyres. This is too much,” Mr Cross said. “There is something amiss.”

Mr Tsvangirai has been the target of at least three previous assassination attempts, most spectacularly in 1997 when an eight-man assassination squad burst into his tenth-floor Harare office and tried to force him out of the window. He has also survived numerous death threats, arrests and beatings, one of which left him with a cracked skull, and a two-year treason trial that could have led to the death penalty.

Yesterday’s crash also took place at a critical moment in Zimbabwe’s continuing crisis. Mr Tsvangirai took a huge political risk by entering a unity government with Mr Mugabe last month, but Zimbabwe’s generals and other Zanu (PF) hardliners opposed to sharing power with the MDC have been conspiring to destroy it. They refused to release MDC activists who had been abducted and detained without trial, had Roy Bennett, one of Mr Tsvangirai’s ministers, arrested and organised further farm seizures.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a statement last night expressing deep sadness at Mrs Tsvangirai’s death.

Was this indeed a tragic road accident? Call it a coincidence? Is there perhaps a conspiracy theory at play here? You decide...

We offer our deepest sympathy to His Excellency Morgan Tsvangirai, and their six beautiful children, The Lord strengthen and uphold you during this difficult time and senseless loss of your wife, and mother, Susan Tsvangirai.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

With a Twist

Every now and then I will look at a situation and draw my own conclusion to it. My comments might be right, they may be wrong...

Every Thursday I go along to an early morning Bible study, called S.O.A.P group. Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. Today we touched on some of the passages in the book of Leviticus with regard to certain sins of the body. During the discussion we started talking about the current global financial crisis as well as the impact of the bail out that was passed and signed into passage this week.

What struck me as an interesting sidebar note was that in essence when the bill was signed by President Obama, in theory and for all practical intent and purpose he took upon his shoulders the ownership of the bill, the nation's debt and the proposed plan to get the economy back on track. I am not going to go into any finger pointing here, but in light of these developments I have to wonder a few objective points;

1. Where is all this money coming from? 2. Who is really going to benefit from it? 3. Who is ultimately accountable for it's equitable distribution? 4. Who is going to pay for it? 5. How long will this cycle last?

I know this is a time in all of our lives that we have not planned for, there was no instructional operators manual, and yet we all are having to make some life crunching decisions with regard to the present and the future. What really dawned on me is the possibility that the responsibility of the entire bail out long term is going to fall on the shoulders of the next generation. Who is that? That is our children! They are being thrust into a scenario that they had no part in deciding.

It is a concern to me as parent. I have to think in real terms about the repercussions of the current global morbid financial crisis. An entire nation filed bankruptcy at the close of 2008. Banks have collapsed, industry leaders are scaling back, large corporations are folding. At the end of January we lost 598000 jobs, this trend has set the precedent since September. Alarming don't you think?

So, during our S.O.A.P meeting this morning, we concluded that whilst the situation is indeed dire, we do have a responsibility as the leaders of our homes and families. We have the ability in the midst of the storm to go to the One who actually does have all the answers. And whilst we know that we are on the edge of a long haul, we do draw a comfort and strength from knowing that we can go boldly to the throne of grace, and He promised to meet us there in that place and answer us. Of equal importance is the need to educate our children (no matter how old they are) on financial wisdom and how to plan for the road ahead. We can't afford to have our children walking aimlessly into the storm that is awaiting them, and so to be forewarned is part of the multifaceted solution of which Christ has to be the foundation. I don't mean we have to be walking talking Bibles now, but I do advocate educating our children with Godly principles and wisdom so that when we are no longer present they will have a strong foundation to work off.

I often wonder if there is this amount of stress in the world today - what more going through all of this without the Lord?

Here comes one of my twists...

For the longest time I have wanted to have an online e-commerce website. As many of you know, the printing industry has been my mainstay for 24 years. I have watched this trade change in massive ways since 1985. I still remember during my apprenticeship using chemicals that today are outlawed across the globe. Flammable material that given the right combination of science and creativity would be dangerous in the wrong hands! The printing industry today has made massive leaps forward in achieving high standards that compliment the environment and protect certain aspects of the echo system. To that end, and in view of wanting to take a hold of information technology and exploit it, I have embarked on fulfilling that vision and goal. I have partnered with a facility that exists on both the east coast and west coast of the United States, and will soon offer the exact same service fulfillment internationally to clients wanting to use our facility and take advantage of our "GO~GREEN" echo friendly service. As an incentive going green when you use our online ordering system you will be assured of better pricing, higher standards in quality and service truly second to none. You will be able to place your order, send me your artwork, or upload your own, pay for the printing and shipping all in one easy simplified process.

Many people may think this is the wrong timing for such a venture. Sure it might be. I am not a good gambler, I have taken some pretty wild chances in life, and have lived through a few that have made for great stories around a dinner table. I am inviting you along on this adventure, and want to share with you that the bigger picture to having this fully functional stand alone e-commerce facility is intended to grow to the extent that funds can be channeled to ministry. Those of you that know this family will know that part of our heart is tied to Africa, and how else do we empower a vision to become reality other than to actually put shoulders to the plow, and begin working the field so that promised harvest can be gathered.

This is the plow that I desire to put my shoulder to...and I know that in time the harvest will come!

So when the new site goes live, I will be sending out the URL for you to stop by and browse, take a look at it and encourage your corporate office, headquarters, office manager, purchaser to take a look at our list of products which will continue to grow through 2009.

I believe this is called positioning for success. Do I want to be wealthy? No! But I do definitely want to be one of the tiny gears in the big machine that facilitates spiritual growth and security in the things of the Lord, enabling those who are called to do the work, to have the means - partner with me...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Prime Minister Tsvangirai's Inauguration Speech

The Inauguration Speech of the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe,
His Excellency, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.

Your Majesty, King Mswati III, the Chairman of the AU Commission, Mr Jean Ping, President Mugabe, former President Mbeki, Your Excellencies, Honoured Guests, People of Zimbabwe,

Today is an historic day for our country. As we form this transitional government, we look back with reflection on the difficult journey that has brought us to this day, and look forward with determination to the road that lies ahead.

To my fellow African leaders, there can be no turning back on the political agreement which each party has signed, knowing it is not a perfect agreement but still a workable one. An agreement that if implemented with good faith, will deliver a peaceful way forward toward a stable economy, a new constitution and free and fair elections. Brothers and sisters in SADC and the AU, we are counting on you to be our partners and to ensure that this agreement is upheld as we face the challenges of rebuilding our country in the days ahead.

Though today’s ceremony marks a very significant milestone on our democratic journey, it is only the beginning. On this day 19 years ago Nelson Mandela walked free from Victor Verster prison, an historic step on South Africa’s long road to freedom.

But former President Mandela’s release did not signify the end of his people’s struggle for democracy. His personal liberation showed that the victory of freedom over oppression was near. But on February 11th 1990, make no mistake, freedom had still not arrived. Only with the courageous effort and compromise by all parties was a peaceful transition finally possible.

With the formation of this transitional government, President Mugabe, Professor Mutambara and I have pledged, in the sight of God, to deliver to the nation a new political dispensation.

This is our promise to you, to our children and to the future generations of Zimbabweans. This is the debt that we owe to our liberation heroes and our democratic heroes who paid the ultimate price so that we could all live together, free from fear, hunger and poverty.

For too long, Zimbabwe has endured violent political polarization. This must end today.

For too long, our people’s hopes for a bright and prosperous future have been betrayed. Instead of hope, their days have been filled with starvation, disease and fear. A culture of entitlement and impunity has brought our nation to the brink of a dark abyss.
This must end today.

Economic collapse has forced millions of our most able to flee the country seeking menial jobs, for which they are often overqualified but underpaid. They have had to leave their children behind to be cared for by the elderly, who do not have the resources to feed them and watch in despair as these flowers of our nation wilt and die.
This must end today.

People of Zimbabwe, I have a vision for our country that will guide me as Prime Minister. I will work to create a society where our values are stronger than the threat of violence, where our children’s future and happiness is more important than present political goals and where a person is free to express an opinion, loudly, openly and publicly without fear of reprisal or repression. A country where jobs are available for those who wish to work, food is available for those that are hungry and where we are united by our respect for the rights and dignity of our fellow citizens. This is the Zimbabwe that I am working towards.

To achieve this vision, my priorities are very clear.

Firstly, we must implement our democratization agenda.

Through parliament, the people’s representatives in the MDC and Zanu PF, will pass legislation to restore the people’s freedoms, create the mechanism through which a people’s constitution can be created, reestablish the rule of law and promote the independent media. Our liberation war was fought to provide political freedoms to all Zimbabweans and we intend to restore them as a matter of urgency.

As I stand before you, more than 30 innocent people continue to languish in jail months are being abducted and illegally detained. While I will not interfere in the judicial process, I will make it a priority to ensure that the law is upheld and that the justice system deals with their cases in a fair, equitable and transparent manner in the shortest possible time frame

People of Zimbabwe, I call upon all of us to put aside our differences, to begin a process of national healing within every community, to work across party lines and look forward together with hope, while learning from a sad past that has so devastated our nation and our people.

Our second priority is tackling the humanitarian crisis with every means possible.

In the immediate days ahead we will focus on the cholera crisis. We will urgently reduce both the number of outbreaks and the unacceptably high mortality level by tackling the causes of the epidemic.

We will also ensure that every Zimbabwean has access to emergency food aid regardless of tribal or political affiliation. In this regard, we will ensure that the people can access humanitarian food aid on a non-partisan basis. I call upon the chiefs and local councilors to work together to ensure that all those that are deserving can access the help they require.

To all of the international relief agencies and donors who have assisted us, let me say thank you on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe. It will be the mandate of this government to do all we can to make it easier to help alleviate the suffering of every Zimbabwean as we tackle the humanitarian issues gripping our country. In this regard, I will ensure greater impact and efficiency in the distribution of emergency and development aid by appointing a senior member of my cabinet to coordinate emergency and development efforts.
In addition to emergency food distribution, the transitional government will make food more available and more affordable by removing all duties on foodstuffs imported into the country. In the short term, we will convene a food summit of all relevant stake holders to help us ensure that no Zimbabwean goes hungry. We will introduce incentives to resuscitate and rehabilitate the local food manufacturing industry and we will move towards self-sufficiency in food production beginning with the next agricultural season.

The third priority is to stabilize the economy.

Out of the 20 fastest growing countries in the world, 15 are in Africa. Indeed, despite the overall economic gloom in the world today, the International Monetary Fund predicts a growth rate of 6.3% in sub Saharan Africa in 2009. As the world slows down, much of Africa is still growing. This is good news for us as we all know, if we work together, Zimbabwe has the skills and resources to contribute to this hopeful trend.

To get our economy going again, we must get the country working again. This starts with an educated and healthy workforce. Our schools, once amongst the best on the continent, can be restored to that standard of excellence. Similarly, our hospitals must be places of healing, with the staff and resources to prevent and treat disease.

The professionals in our civil service are the backbone of our government, making sure that policy decisions are carried out and delivery of government services moves efficiently and accountably. Today our public service has ground to a halt as many of our patriotic government employees can no longer afford to eat, let alone pay for transport to their place of work.

If we are to successfully address our nation’s humanitarian crisis, we must first address the urgent plight of our civil servants.

As Prime Minister I make this commitment that, as from the end of this month, our professionals in the civil service, every health worker, teacher, soldier and policeman will receive their pay in foreign currency until we are able to stabilize the economy.

These hard currency salaries will enable people to go to work, to feed their families and to survive until such time that we can begin to sustain ourselves as a country.

My Fellow Zimbabweans, as we work together to rebuild our country, all of us must do our part. This will sometimes require sacrifices. In this respect, I ask every school be re-opened, and that every member of the civil service is behind his or her desk on Monday providing service to Zimbabweans.

As your Prime Minister, I will ensure that there is a clear distinction between the party and the state.

As your Prime Minister I will be open and honest with you.

It will take time, commitment and unity of purpose to rebuild our great country. I appeal to all Zanu PF supporters and MDC supporters, to recognize the legitimacy and contribution of the other party to our nation’s history and our nation’s future and work together to restore our pride in our people and our country.

We will need help from the international community and I ask them to engage with us to rebuild our nation and to work towards reestablishing a relationship that is not based on humanitarian assistance alone.

People of Zimbabwe, we face many challenges but we are brave and resourceful. By uniting as a nation and a people we can succeed. If you match our efforts with your own, we will succeed, if you match our desires with your own, we will succeed, if you match our dreams for Zimbabwe with your own, we will succeed.

At each point in our proud history we have looked forward not backwards, we have stood for hope not fear, we have believed in love not hate, and we have never lost touch with our democratic values or sight of our democratic goals.

People of Zimbabwe, I ask you to support me as your Prime Minister and the efforts of our new transitional government. I ask you to share my vision for our great country, to work with me to rebuild our nation and to walk with me on this promising phase of our journey to a true and lasting democracy.

May God bless you and May God Bless Zimbabwe

Friday, January 30, 2009

Zimbabwe Unity Government

Some quarters around the globe will view this latest topic coming out of Zimbabwe as something magnificent and worthy of making headline news. MDC the political opposition party in Zimbabwe has signed a unity accord, allowing for the transition of total Mugabe regime leadership to be shared with their thorn in the flesh ~ Morgan Tsvangirai.

To a large extent this is a welcome shift of total control of power from Mugabe's zanu pf, however, a little too much a little too late, don't you think? In essence with Morgan Tsvangirai being sworn into office as the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, holds little to no credence in my personal opinion. I guess I will be challenged on this negative statement, and yet, I will stand my ground based on the cyclical evidence of a failed unity government in the 1980's shortly after Mugabe took to the helm of ruining Zimbabwe.

Here is my reasoning, and let me just say that this is my personal opinion, and in no way am I advocating racialism or malcontent for what is happening in Zimbabwe. Coming out of a history embedded in the life of four generations that saw many a change take place, I do believe I qualify in sharing my viewpoint, be it right or wrong, share it I will.

After Mugabe gained independence in 1980 and renamed Rhodesia - Zimbabwe, an underlying power struggle was brewing between zanu pf and zapu pf, the latter being lead and controlled by Joshua Nkomo, an Ndebele. For centuries the two affluent tribes comprising the Mashona and Ndebele were at odds with each other. To this day although there is tolerence there is little harmony and quiet diplomacy between the two factions. In 1987, a civil war errupted in Matabeleland, zanu pf 5th brigade (Chinese trained) warriors invaded Matabeleland north province and systematically killed an estimated 20 000 Zapu combatants. What followed was the absorption of zapu into zanu pf, resulting in the dissolving of the Ndebele faction as it became ingested by Mugabe and his cronies. Mugabe successfully eliminated the opposition without batting an eyelid for the blood that was shed.

What followed was a gradual process of elimination of any form of opposition. Mysterious illnesses, sudden car wrecks with fatalities, concrete swimming trunks, abandoned mine shafts used as a dumping ground for bodies ~ you name it, such was the demise of anyone who even as much as dared to question Mugabe and his antics. And so the rot began to set in. Africa's bread basket slowly began to fade away.

Today we see 94% unemployment, 80% of the total population rely on food aid (total of 7 million people), inflation is estimated at 11 million percent, cholera has killed 3200 innocent lives with more than 60 000 cases being treated; the list goes on and on....

So couple the catastrophe unfolding on a humanitarian basis, along with a complete breakdown in political management a hope for a brighter future is somewhat dimmed. Is there no more hope? Of course there is. But facing reality is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow. A government of national unity could be the first of very many steps toward delivering healing in Zimbabwe. There is no overnight fix. Many years of rebuilding lay ahead for the people of Zimbabwe, as well as for those who will continue to partner with her in her road to self sustainability, recovery and ultimate true independence from the tyrant who has ruled with an iron fist, even likening himself to a modern day 'Hitler".

I think when one has experienced first hand some of the atrocities that have plagued Zimbabwe, it is extremely difficult reconciling the fact that MDC and/or others will ever take charge at the helm of this definite titanic. Will the world come to her aid in her hour of need? Sadly I am of the opinion Zimbabwe's hour of need has lapsed without much acknowledgment from either the OAU, the UN the EU and all western powers. There has been much a do about nothing with no world leader truly stepping up the anti against Mugabe for fear of being politically incorrect. And so the madness continues, shrowded in the misconception that a government of national unity will solve her problems.

Of course we ought to be optimistic, and as we approach February 26, Mugabe will turn 85, February 6th will see Morgan Tsvangirai sworn in as Prime Minister, two days later Ministers will be sworn in, of which the majority by one seat will be held by MDC. So legislation can change, national debts might be forgiven, food aid can be stepped up, medical infrastructure can be repaired, and the economy can begin to recover. Positives? Yes! Possible recovery? Yes!

Taken from a reliable source "Tsvangirai is going to attract rich nations like the United States of America and Britain to help rebuild our country," said Sithole. That is the hope. Once again, Zimbabweans must await the reality. "

So, hope is ultimately in the Lord, but Zimbabwe will turn to the West for help through her newly elected Prime Minister - Morgan Tsvangirai, and this time I truly hope and pray the cries of the people on the ground that have endured this megalomaniac despotic leadership, will be heard and that help will not be afar off...for the sake of the people that have endured untold suffering I pray this madness will end, and relief will come...

Friday, January 09, 2009

2008 Ramblings in Perspective

I sit today and contemplate this past year with a numbness and almost an indifferent attitude.

What happened during 2008 that significantly affected my life? Was there anything I could have done differently, or did I do what I thought and felt was right? What percentage of my life was able to impact anyone's life within my "circle of influence"?

The more I contemplate these questions the harder it is to answer them with clarity and honesty. When thinking of myself, I will have a natural bias to favor my own good responses, but then that is unfair and nonsensical in my approach to define who I am.

In retrospect 2008 was a difficult year for many. Some decisions regarding survival had to be made under circumstances that were seemingly out of touch with reality. Nonetheless, here we are today navigating a new year with a whole new set of opportunities. Some events were interesting, some were unavoidable, most were endured regardless of what we planned for.

In February, I had the second Cardiac Ablation procedure which corrected the irregularities in my heart. For the rest of the year physically I often felt as if I was not myself. My energy levels dropped and any zeal to do anything was severely compromised with an unreal lack of desire to do anything. It was like living a dream, knowing and seeing everything that was happening, but having no control or ability to change anything. I might add that this type of dreaming is not good, and is in fact detrimental to real life survival.

In March, I glanced at the calendar and remembered that in 2005 Mom passed away and went to be with the Lord. When I spoke with her on the phone she would ask "son - what is America like?" I would tell her often that "the next stop is Heaven..." I would describe what I was seeing here, the warm sun shine, the palm trees, the blossoming jacaranda trees, beautifully manicured gardens and clean streets, rolling blue waves crashing on the shore, and miles of clear beaches. At the end of our conversations she would sound peaceful and content after seeing through my eyes the things I spoke of. Little did I know that March 20th the Lord had a completely different plan, and that He would prepare her for eternity and usher her into His presence. It stands to good reason that the Lord is very clear about His thoughts not being our thoughts, nor His ways being likened to our ways in the slightest!

Then April rolled around and I recalled the events of the year prior 2008. On May 5th it was Dad's turn to be called home to the Lord. Miraculously the Lord provided for me to go and bury him alongside my brother Bill, and sister Karin. The memories are etched in my mind and heart with clarity and a realism that cannot be denied. I remember vividly, after the service we prepared for the internment and as we stood by the graveside, I peered into the ground, and was struck with a deep sense of attachment. I knew that just a few inches below the soil, Mom's casket lay embedded and compacted in the earth. Knowing that they had been together in life, and would now be together in eternity brought an incredible sense of peace and acceptance for the Lord's mercy and grace displayed in their lives, how He prepared each of them for what was to come.

Business began to falter during the course of the year. Some sectors didn't feel the decline as quick as others. We predominantly printed for the real estate industry, and as the year dragged on, figures began declining month by month, then week by week, then day by day. We had to act fast. The titanic was beginning to sink, and the life boats were in a state of disrepair. Decisions were made to scale down our little "mom & pop" print shop. We off loaded leased equipment, and began farming work out to trade suppliers. In the process we discovered that this was actually a lucrative way to sustain business, and allow the vendors to carry the bulk of the costs, while servicing our requirements. The key to survival rested upon driving volume to the business. Did we get the volume? No. So we had to diversify and include different complimentary services to the business. One such inclusion was building and hosting websites.

Politically on two fronts significant events took place in history. The first being presidential elections in Zimbabwe. Any form of outside monitoring was banned by ZANU PF - Mugabe's despotic ruling party. The MDC actually won with an aggregate percentage of 51.6% which in any true democratically elected government would signify defeat and a transition of power to the winning opponent. For four months no official results were announced. A run-off election was declared by Mugabe, and the MDC declined to partake in any farce of a so-called run-off. Mugabe declared himself the winner. Tsvangirai began pushing the OAU and the UN for intervention to unseat Mugabe - all to no avail. To save face Mugabe agreed to pressure within to include Tsvangirai in parliament as the Prime Minister - since the elections in early 2008 he is yet to be sworn in. The MDC unseated the house majority and claimed almost every ministerial seat - they too are yet to be sworn into office. A complete farce of an election if you ask any reasonably intelligent person. With the collapse of infrastructure across Zimbabwe, lack of foreign currency and inflation running in excess of 11 million percent - yes that is correct, it was a matter of time before sickness and disease started spreading in urban areas. The capital city and all major centers failed to treat water supplies and Cholera reared its killer head, and to date has wiped out over 1700 innocent lives who were unable to receive adequate treatment for their survival. The megalomaniac Mugabe began ranting and raving blaming the west in particular the British government for using "terror" tactics to deploy Cholera as a means of chemical warfare to oust the Mugabe regime. What a pathetic statement! I could go on like a duracell battery but giving Mugabe any more credence is completely unjustified.

For the first time in history the USA saw the presidential election swing in favor of electing our first black president - Barack Obama. At one point it almost seemed a credible fight was being staged by the Republicans, but in all honesty they couldn't match the funding and coverage of the Democratics and seemed to lose momentum as the race neared the end. Polls continued to show Obama as the favored winner. There is always going to be a multitude of reasons, pro's and con's, as to who won, who lost and why. I found myself asking the question "how significant if at all, is this result to me?" I looked back on my activism within the MDC, and began to understand that my opinion is insigficant when facing such a political and worldly giant. I also felt a deepening sense of shifting my personal focus while being in the midst of these changes, not allowing them to change the person I am. I admire activists who commit to the charge of changing the world, but in retrospect have began to decline in my desire to over commit to situations I know I can never alter. So what does it mean to me as we go into 2009 with Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America? It means I ought to be vigilent and take note of the changes going on around me, but I ought not to allow such changes to negatively impact my life. Will this new administration be the answer to all the wrongs that need to be righted? I doubt it. But what I can do, regardless of who holds office is pray for our leaders, that they make informed decisions, that they be guided by the Lord and that they hold true to the office they have been called to serve the people of the United States of America.

I know that my perspective will differ greatly with many, and that is the beauty of being able to express and communicate what we as individuals believe and accept as our values.

Truthfully though, I do sometimes get rattled particularly when I see the plight of my fellow countrymen in Zimbabwe. They have no choice, no freedom, and definitely no ability or means of escaping the maddening circumstances they are presented with daily. And so I will vocalize my heart in that respect.

On the other side of the coin, I know that in all of these events around the globe, we ought to be paying attention to the seasons, and noting that especially now with Israel pounding Gaza in her attempt to rid the region of the Hamas, the scriptural significance should trigger a response from us who believe that Christ is preparing to return soon. One such response is to pray for Israel first and foremost. This is where Christ will make His triumphant entry and all will see Him.

In hindsight let the world run herself as best as she can. More and more I think of what means the most to me when everything else seems to be spiraling out of control. What comes to mind is building on a foundation that I know will never perish. That foundation is Jesus Christ. How? Making the decision to constantly follow Him despite the trials and temptations and tribulations that come my way. Trust me for those who know me personally I have had a few. Refusing to back down in the face of all spiritual opposition regardless of the method of attack. By knowing who I am in Christ is a comfort when the enemy feebly attempts to dislodge my walk on that narrow path. In building upon that everlasting foundation, I think of what kind of material can be used, and the most infallible answer that constantly glares at me is - HUMAN BEINGS. Someone took the time to pray for my salvation, someone took the time to invite me to Church, someone took the time to pray the prayer of salvation with me. Someone! Am I not therefore that 'someone' who can do the same for a person who comes across my path? Scripture says 'one sews the seed, another waters, but Christ gives the increase...' That now makes me want to examine my effectiveness and ability to reach out to those around me.

We have heard it often enough - the glass is either half empty or half full. For 2009 I choose the half full metaphor. How about you?