The courage of Carl Wilkens, the American Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency country director who stayed in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, is an inspiration.
Although foreign diplomats, missionaries, aid workers, and peacekeepers all fled the horrific killing, Carl Wilkens decided to remain at his post and help wherever he could.
Alita Byrd asked him how the experience changed his life.
Byrd: How do you feel now, looking back twelve years after the genocide in Rwanda?
Wilkens: Each time I give a presentation about my experiences there is still a huge overwhelming sadness mixed with glimpses of hope, of courage, of selflessness on the part of those who put others first in their thoughts and actions during that time.
There is still so much to process, and to learn. Each time I speak with college students and go back and examine the genocide experience, I learn something new. Im grateful for these opportunities.
From September 1998 until May 2000, Eva Keller lived in northeastern Madagascar to study the Adventist Church, or more accurately, the ordinary people who comprised the local church communities. She lived with Adventist families, first for 16 months in Maroantsetra, a coastal district government town of 20,000, then for 4 months in Sahameloka, a village of 1000, 20 km. upriver, accessible only on foot. This field work was initially in support of her dissertation, culminating in a PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics in 2002.
"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure."
-- John 3:19-20 (from The Message).
I have begun to catch on that when something bothers me—a speaker, a movie, or a book like A Severe Mercy—my irritation is probably a symptom of a disease that needs healing. Like the cough that I curse for its irritating persistence, the irksome message may be precisely what I need to purge me of things putrid and get me breathing right.
In Sheldon Vanauken’s spiritual autobiography of the love he shared—and lost—with his wife, Jean Davis (“Davy”), the mediocrity of my love for God is diagnosed and exposed. A severe blow, and mercifully so.
What is the worst thing you have done to a friend or family member? Lied to them? Stolen from them? After the dreadful deed, did they forgive you? And, more importantly, did you forgive yourself? While I am sometimes nostalgic for lost friendships, I know that for various reasons, history, distance, and self-preservation, there are some friendships better left in the past. But with exceptional friendships, when two souls collide and recognize and accept the humanity in each other, I believe we should all make the effort to sustain that growth.
I’ll admit right up front that I’m a major movie fan. And not just one of those intellectual art-house types, but a true movie junkie who loves both indie and big-budget Hollywood films. I spent two days over Christmas trying to get my tickets to the Sundance Film Festival figured out and regularly patronize the small one-screen theaters still left in my city, but I also went to see the latest Harry Potter on the first day it came out—in full IMAX splendor.
So what do you get when Hugh Grant is the Prime Minister of Britain and Bill Nighy is the self-proclaimed “granddad of Rock and Roll” attempting to make a comeback? Well, you get a romantic comedy, actually. Love Actually is a classic romantic comedy (even though it only came out four years ago) that attempts to answer whether love really is all around us.
Set in London, England the film follows six couples, a rock star, and a thrill-seeker during their busy Christmas season and chronicles their experiences with love.
Introducing Gilmore Girls
Not since Archie Bunker first introduced Seventh-day Adventists to American television viewers in the mid-seventies with his memorable line“Raise him a Luferan if you want, raise him a Norman with seven wives, a holy roller, a Seventh-day Adventurer”has there been such an extensive treatment of Adventists and their community on prime time television as in Gilmore Girls, a popular Tuesday night dramedy on the CW (formerly WB) channel that concluded its run in spring 2007 after seven successful seasons.