A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
Message from Vic Casad: May 31, 2016
Notes from the Heartland
I hope everyone had a blessed Memorial Day weekend. Ours was very busy, particularly on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we celebrated the graduation of our nephew Ben Oliphint. Ben is of the 2016 class of the Episcopal School of Dallas. He heads for California in the fall to Chapman University to study film making.
On Sunday morning we worshipped with the wonderful folks at FUMC, Leonard. Adam Spore and his family were in Minnesota visiting Maridyth’s family, and I had the privilege of sharing a sermon and communion with dear friend Jackie Trenholm.
From Leonard we headed to Fort Worth. We needed to pick up the family heirloom baby crib. No, we are not expecting, we just happen to be the keeper of the family heirlooms. Mary Brooke’s brother Stuart whose daughter Alex has a baby, Oliver, who is now old enough to crawl out of the crib — so it comes back to our house until the next family member has need of it.
Left to right: Glory Mulimba, Mary Brooke Casad, Glory’s fiancée Olga, Vic Casad. Glory and Olga plan to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo to begin educating the next generation in the understanding and practice of non-violent political reform.
While in Fort Worth we drove to an apartment complex in south Fort Worth to visit Glory Mulimba before he goes home to the Democratic Republic of Congo this week.
When Mary Brooke’s father, Ben Oliphint, was the Bishop in Kansas, he and Nancy became dear friends with Glory’s mother, Mutombo Mulimba. Mutombo was then in the U.S. studying for the ministry and spent several weeks living with the Oliphints. Mutombo eventually became the first woman to be ordained in the United Methodist Church in the DRC and served a time as a District Superintendent. Glory is one of her four children: one brother died last year of kidney disease, he has a sister who is a medical doctor, and a brother named Oliphint, who is studying architecture in South Africa.
Glory is a graduate of Africa University and has spent the last three years in the Philippines working for the General Board of Global Ministries for The UMC. He came back to the U.S. to visit the General Conference in Portland and to visit his hometown friend, Ben, in Fort Worth before going home.
The political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most troubling in the world. The country has been in conflict for years. It is rich in natural resources but politically unstable. A lack of infrastructure, deep rooted corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation has created a wasteland of death and devastation. (Wikipedia)
Glory shared with us that any young person who is caught publicly criticizing the government is immediately arrested and never heard from again.
And Glory wants to go back to the DRC to begin educating the next generation of his fellow country men and women in the understanding and practice of non-violent political reform. When I heard this my immediate thought was, “that is an impossible dream.”
Then I remembered a quote from Reinhold Niebuhr at the end of this book, Moral Man and Immoral Society:
We can no longer buy the highest satisfaction of the individual life at the expense of social justice. We build our individual ladders to heaven and leave the total human enterprise unredeemed of its excesses and corruptions.
In the task of that redemption the most effective agents will be men and women who have substituted some new illusions for the abandoned ones. The most important of these illusions is that the collective life of humankind can achieve perfect justice.
It is a very valuable illusion for the moment; for justice cannot be approximated if hope of its perfect realization does not generate a sublime madness of the soul.
Nothing but such madness will do battle with malignant power and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” The Illusion is dangerous because it encourages terrible fanaticism. It must be brought under the control of reason. One can only hope that reason will not destroy it before its work is done.
I am praying for Glory. I pray for him and his fiancée Olga as they go back to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and may their faith in the Lordship and Saving Grace of Jesus Christ give them the right balance of reason and sublime idealism of the soul to do the work of Gospel in the pursuit of transforming the world for Christ. Lord, protect them.
In His Service and Yours,