Apropos of #BlackLivesMatter, I first arrived in #Africa in 1999, beginning my work of ten years living on the continent trying to end four different civil wars. Two of the wars still rage, two have found a shaky peace – though the violence continues in all.
I wrote a novel, after it was over – at least for me, at least for now – and an exhausted soul wanted to settle the experiences in time and place. “I, Charles, From the Camps” is my attempt to distill the decade of walking through the camps, ducking from bullets and sheltering from bombs; of sleepless nights worrying about my teams and the extraordinary frustration of an enduring violence into one story, written from the POV of a young man born into the camps. No haters please, for I have left so much of myself in Africa, and in turn she has burned her indelible imprint upon my consciousness and will always be with me that it is a story I have earned the right to tell. It is my lasting ode to the tale of her birth-pains upon that oldest of continents, and represents my best work; how could it not? I invite you to read with me, if you don’t have the means drop me a message and I’ll get you a copy. Its more important now, as #covid destroys so delicate as was her emerging prosperity and a new hopelessness returns to haunt the land. Because #AfricanLivesMatter too.
And finally, “Why?” you might ask. Why would I choose to do this? Why would I spend 50% of my adult life in hard sad places trying to make them better? The Lord has said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” – Matthew 5:9. If you want to be a peacemaker, you must charge toward the sounds of the guns.