brett’s morning blend (02nov10)

 

Accountability is Useless

Refine Us is a blog by Justin and Trisha Davis, who have been through a lot since they married in 1995.  Early in their ministry as church planters, Justin had an affair — but God restored their marriage, and blessed them to now be able to minister to others in similar situations.  Their website can be found here:  Refine our Marriage.

The article I’ve linked to is about accountability.  Accountability is worth very little unless we’re willing to be transparent with one another.  As an individual who’s been involved in some sort of accountability group with friends since early in my college years, I’ve heard my fair share of watered down confessions, glossed over events, and just plain deceit — from my own lips on more than one occasion.  Accountability is trendy.  Open and honest communication is constructive.

Police Shoot Dead Six Suspected Robbers

I hesitate to put this on my blog for fear of upsetting family members and causing concern.  But, hey, these robbers are no longer out there.  A couple of months ago, there began a string of break-ins and robberies in Geita — that stretched from one side of town to the other.  Guns were used in a few, while others relied merely on darkness and quick feet.  Oscar, a young man who works for me three days a week, was at the hospital with a sick child when members of this gang stole every single thing from his home except a few items of clothing.  The took his bicycle (his primary means of making money, other than working for me), all the beds, the sofa, and every single item in the kitchen.

A few nights before this rundown with police, one of the gang members was caught by citizens of Geita and confessed that his gang was responsible for the entire string of robberies.  He gave the name of the gang boss, and even told where several of his colleagues lived.  Then he was burned alive.  That’s how communities deal with thieves when police aren’t present.  And that’s how the police were clued into this gang and began the search for them.

This article also demonstrates why we rarely drive at night here.  Gangs, like this one, will pile big rocks in the road so vehicles can’t pass — and then rob them.  I intend to write a blog post soon about robbers, neighborhood justice, and the like — and the worldview and values that create such behavior.  But this little blurb will have to do until then.

Television

The average American household contains 2.55 people and 2.73 television sets.  Really?!  And the average individual in these households watches over 4 hours of television per day.  Of course, those numbers came from 2006 — and everyone knows television-viewing has taken a huge hit since then — what, with Lost being over, professional sports becoming hugely unpopular, and more and more people reading and playing games with their children at night.

7.4

If you take all the self-storage space in the United States and divide it by the number of people, this is how many square feet each of us would get.  Got extra stuff much?  How many television sets do we have in those storage units?  How many homeless people might we house modifying just 5% of that space?  All of them?  And just think… the furniture being stored in those metal buildings is only what won’t fit in our homes.

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “brett’s morning blend (02nov10)

  1. Wow! That is insane about the robberies. I’m glad they were caught but…wow. They don’t play over there do they! Will people get their stuff back? Or any help at all from the community? Not as an organized govt effort, but you know, neighbors helping neighbors.

    Taking this National Security Policy class at UAH has really clued me in to what is going on in other countries. And not just the biggies like India, China, Iraq, etc., but the smaller ones that don’t get a lot of coverage. So I wondered what exactly y’all would face from time to time where you are. Seems like you’ve made it sound pretty safe in past blogs.

    • there’s not high priority placed on rehabilitation here in tanzania. there are people in prison, but it seems there are some certain lines that, if crossed, basically just require death. stealing is one of those. the people didn’t get their stuff back. however, they did find oscar’s bicycle. but it was burned up along with 33 other bicycles in the home of one of the thieves. neighbors lit the house on fire, and (accidentally) burned up all the stolen bicycles.

      “Seems like you’ve made it sound pretty safe in past blogs.” one of my pet peeves is overdramatic missionaries who talk about how dangerous things are where they live. i’m sure there aren’t any more robberies here than there are in the states — it’s just that here, we might be more a little more of a target… because we have more stuff.

  2. If you play the game, expect the consequences. I have no sympathy for robbers who pay the price for their decision.

    • you have no sympathy for robbers… even if the price they pay is being drenched in kerosene and burned alive in a stack of tires?

      i’m not against justice, but i’m curious exactly how many stolen bicycles require that one’s life be taken. because if the number is 10, and we burn this guy alive at 6… then someone’s got to do something back to us to make it even and just. if we don’t kill the guy until he’s stolen 20 bikes, then who’s going to take the rest of this guy’s punishment? that’s an entire life that somebody’s gotta’ lose.

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