Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Daoud Hari Is Worth A Read

Just finished reading The Translator by Daoud Hari.  178 pages divided up into 27 bitesize chapters.  It hasn't got any pictures! That's probably a good thing - not sure I could cope.

Here is the author himself:

In the book, he gives some beautiful cameos of life growing up in Darfur (which, I didn't know until reading, is a region twice the size of the UK):

Everyone has meaningful and interdependent relationships with the people who live on their doorstep.

Where we would race on our bikes, Daoud and his friends would race camels. Every camel has a unique hoof which acts like a number plate, so you can tell by the tracks who's been through town.

But when the chirping birds suddenly, inexplicably fell silent and flew away, they knew it was time for another game, a game of Hide and Seek and would run to the hills and wadis. However, in this version of the well loved children's classic, if they got caught by their pursuers (government or rebel soldiers), they were either killed, raped, kidnapped or taken away for torture and interrogation as their attackers sought to systematically wipe the indigenous people off the land. It's a horror I cannot begin to imagine.

Books like this are good for me.  They remind me that fiction is a poor substitute for truth and how much of a strange bubble prosperous Western life is. How long til it bursts I wonder, and it will burst.

That the suffering brought by the Fall is more keenly felt by the rest of the world's population than by those, like me, who by Western birth, have been able to vaccinate themselves from many of the world's ills.

That when you have nothing left to lose, you can be much more single-minded about the pursuit of what's right. I don't care what people say about how accumulation of wealth is not evil per se (they are right) it handicaps us chronically, pure and simple. Whilst it may be morally acceptable for an athlete to run with a rucksack of rocks on his back, no athlete serious about taking the prize would entertain the thought. If he did, he would be thought a fool, not only by his mentor and peers, but also by those who turned up to watch him compete.  All eyes are on the church. Oh that we might live up to what we have received and attained.

They remind me that the phrases: "Jesus is Lord" and "That no one comes to the Father except by him" must never be allowed to sink in my thinking to the level of trotted out cliché. Christ is still not named across vast swathes of continents encompassing millions of people. Sovereign grace means a Christian can sleep sound, but not easy.

I'm going to Sudan this summer God-permitting to visit a friend from my church, Naomi, who is building a school out there. I look forward very much to meeting the people and hearing their stories. With God's help, I will leave with them something worth keeping.

You're welcome to borrow/have the book, just ask. :-)

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