JESUS CHRISTIANS NEWSLETTER #98, MARCH 2008
Peace in Kenya, great media coverage in the U.K., kidney donations happening elsewhere, "Listening" now available in the U.S., and tens of thousands of books going out all over the world. It seems like nothing but good news to report this month.
PEACE IN KENYA
A meeting between President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition, has led to the agreement to create a Prime Minister post for Odinga so that the two can share power. This news was received with celebrations throughout the country, but it will need strong commitment on behalf of the political leaders and the rest of the country for it to work in overcoming the damage that has been done as a result of recent violence.
Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops commenced full-time at our volunteer centre this month. Scores of people from around the area participated in the workshops, many of whom also stayed overnight at the centre. Many other workshops are planned for this coming month and we hope to include participants from other areas as well.
The peace t-shirts have been a huge success both in the thousands of people who have purchased them and in the effectiveness of the message. The t-shirts, which display the simple messages of 'Amani Kenya' (Peace in Kenya) on the front and 'Mpende Jirani' (Love your neighbour) on the back (along with a picture of a handshake), continually bring reactions when worn in town. Queues of people have lined up at Takatifu Gardens on market days waiting for their chance to get hold of the peace shirts. Although the political leaders have now reached an agreement to share power, we believe this message of peace still needs to be shared in Kenya.
Rob, Chris and Fran have been preaching at Quaker churches each Sunday, delivering a much needed message of peace, reconciliation and non-violence. The sermons have been warmly received and have sparked keen interest in both the t-shirts and the AVP workshops.
Boop arrived from India this month just in time for the peace agreement. We are encouraged to have him with us.
Casey and Giddy have been helping with a nursery school in a remote location, while they wait forword that it is safe for Giddy to return to Takatifu Gardens.
Meanwhile, Boni and Andrew are getting out thousands of Easy English books every week in Nairobi
schools, where they are being warmly received.
We have had some success in locating hospitals who will accept kidney donations from the dreaded Jesus Christians.
By the time you receive this newsletter, Ezra will have almost certainly donated a kidney to a woman from Albania at the Boston Medical Centre. A television station in Florida is covering the donation, as is a prize-winning documentary producer, whose work could be a year or more in production.
Meanwhile, in another country, a second donation is scheduled for later this month, and that too is receiving international media coverage.
Two other Jesus Christians have started testing to donate to other potential recipients, both in the U.S.
Copies of Dave's latest novel, "Listening", have now arrived in three different continents: Australia, England, and America. The U.S. was the latest country to take delivery of a container load of the books. We printed almost 200,000 copies in the first print run, and they are now going out at a rate of about 8,000 copies a week, and we have already started plans for an even bigger reprint later this year. In the past three months we have distributed almost 100,000 books.
In Australia, Barry in particular has been experiencing great success in getting "Listening" out in the universities, where up to 150 people a day are taking a copy from him.
In addition to the media coverage that is being generated by all the up-coming kidney donations, there has been a lot of interest in freegan issues, following on from the Wife Swap Show. You can see the show if you missed it by following this link to part one.
(Parts 2-4 are also available elsewhere on that page.)
Paul and Ulrike did their first media interview, for Reveal Magazine, which came out this week. Alf, Rols, and Sue were interviewed for a major British newspaper, and the feature should be appearing shortly.
Rols and Sue were interviewed on Green TV, and you can see that by going to this link: