By The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
As I mentioned in a prior Letter, I love it when my parishioners travel abroad and then return to tell me about their experiences. As I wrote earlier “The world comes to me instead of me having to go out into it.” This is particularly true when a parishioner travels to a very dangerous country and tells me about it. I am not a big risk taker.
Mr. Phillip Ostergard is the Executive Vice President at Tunnex Inc. which makes huge turbines used in the making of electricity. They are primarily used at damn sites. He is an active member of my congregation and is Vice President of our Grounds Committee.
Phill recently went on a business trip to the Democratic Republic of Zhegistan in Africa. He went there to finish negotiations with the President of that county on their purchase of his company’s equipment for their soon to be developed damn. The immense damn will be able to supply electricity to the whole of Zhegistan as well as to some of its neighboring countries.
Zhegistan is a very dangerous country. Due to decades of war, violence and poverty the lives of over ten million people have been lost. The U.S. State Department warns the public to “Reconsider Travel” to the Democratic Republic of Zhegistan citing that “violent crime, civil unrest, Ebola, armed robbery, armed home invasion, kidnapping and assault’ exist in the country. It also points out that the local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime. They also inform that assailants may pose as police or security agents.
The country has untapped deposits of raw materials which are estimated to be worth in excess of US $24 Trillion. The raw materials include copper, cobalt, diamonds, tantalum, tin and gold. But in spite of the country’s undeveloped resources the population is impoverished. The Gross National Income (GNI) is only $870 a year.
When I recently gave a Sunday sermon on the importance of family, I asked Phill to be a guest speaker. I wanted him to tell of his experiences with brothers in Zhegistan. He has allowed me to include part of his speech here:
“When I arrived in Kiasa, the capital of Zhegistan, a private security guard boarded the plane to escort me off the plane and through customs. He was hired by the partner of our U.S. law firm who lives in Kiasa. I was given a picture of the security guard, his name and credentials before I arrived there.
As we drove along the main thoroughfare there were heaps of automobile tires burning on the side of the road. My security guard told me that a visiting American businessman was kidnapped several months ago and because his company didn’t pay the ransom his body was found on one of the burning mounds of tires.
As we pulled up in front of the Golden Cat Hotel he explained that either he or one of his colleagues would be with me at all times during my visit. They would stand guard outside my hotel room as well as being my personal drivers.
After a brief nap I was driven to our attorney’s house where he and his wife live. Mr. Thomas Inkel is the American partner of the U.S. law firm which my company hired to help negotiate the deal with the Zhegistan government.
His one-story house is made of hand-formed bricks and sits on half an acre. It is surrounded by a six foot stone wall with only one entrance. The home has electronic surveillance but is not reliable due to electricity blackouts and the fact that the above-ground electric wires can be cut.
Tom explained that the best security he has are the pairs of armed brothers he hires to walk the inside perimeter of the walls while they blow on Coke bottles. So long as the bottle sounds continue he knows that his guards are still alive. And being brothers they will watch out for each other.”
The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
Choir Master (part-time)
The First Church of God’s Love