Choose life


God sets before us life or death and implores us to choose life.

This world can be crushing and its dark days oppressive … but there is always hope, even when our own hands threaten to drown us, there is hope … even just a sliver as if through a crack … and when we walk through the valley and the ghosts lurk in the shadows, remember that the shadows are shaped by light … and when we are deep in the cave, deep in the earth of despair, remember that there is light somewhere beyond these dark oppressive cold places … and that as long as the sun rises somewhere beyond our view or that even when it fails to shine, that the Son always promises to shine, to be present in our weakness, in our strength and every place we find ourselves. I pray you find your tether that leads you back out of the cave. I hope you hear the love in the voices that call your name and remember your place among us and the deep pain that your absence is bound to leave. I plead with you … choose life.

Why Porn is good for Society


This might come as a surprise but I thought I might give some insight as to why porn is good for our society. Christians constantly claim it has bad effects on the people viewing it and that it is destroying our society. But then can we really listen to a bunch of “fairy tale believing adults”? Porn is simply adult entertainment and adults have the right to access whatever it is they like. Also, internet pornography comes with an age verification process, thereby allowing for the protection of children from viewing adult material. That makes sense doesn’t it?

Adults do have the right to do with their lives as they please, however, statistics show that the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old…11 years old! How effective is the age verification process if all you have to do is click “Yes, I am above 18” to view porn.  According to the ABC, children are viewing porn online as young as 6 years old.  Porn is addictive, yet unlike Cocaine it is legal in most countries. Adults should have the right to access what they please but in the case of drugs, we as a society don’t afford that right to people. Why? Because it destroys people and it has negative effects on society.

While there are many studies into the effects of childhood exposure to media violence, there is very little being done in the area of exposure to sexually explicit material; sex scenes in movies inclusive. Is it so important for adults to have their entertainment at the expense of children? Clearly, what is intended for adults is mostly being accessed by children and believe me, we have given way to a storm that will destroy our world in ways we never thought possible. Sex isn’t meant to be watched, but what we have done is taken private acts and made them public.

I am the face of a child whose first exposure to sex in the media was before age 11. It was a sex-scene in a movie. I have no idea who brought the movie into the house and I don’t think my parents even knew it was present. I had already been exposed to sex at the time and maybe that made me more curious, I don’t know and I won’t make excuses. I used to sometimes wait till no one was there or when everyone was asleep and put the movie on and fast forward to the one scene. At age 16 I viewed porn online and it left me feeling suicidal. I watched it again and again and believe me, it has ruined me in ways that most can never understand. What is the real cost of adult entertainment? Can anyone really answer that?

Fact is, we are learning to objectify each other, yes, men and women, not just men. In a world where we only see human beings as something that can satisfy our desires, how then do we function as a society? In a world where kids grow up as sex crazed animals, what sort of leaders are we producing? Porn crosses all sorts of boundaries and the more you indulge, the more of it you want and soon watching behind a TV screen or monitor isn’t enough and you want to experiment. And even that ceases to be enough and you start crossing boundaries in relationships. A few years ago, there were news reports of kids dying because they were choking themselves during sex. Where did they learn to do these things??? Marriages are breaking down, Congress men are tweeting nude photos of themselves, Sexual violence and perversions are rampant, we are a society destroying ourselves and refusing to protect the most vulnerable. I have to say the fairy tale believing adults (I do not in anyway think God is a fairy tale and totally believe in Him), are right in their assessment of porn.

I wish I new then what I know now, so let me sound the warning! DON’T INDULGE IN PORN, YOU MIGHT NEVER COME OUT ALIVE AND YOU MIGHT TAKE A GENERATION TO THE PITS WITH YOU!

Migrants got talent 2013


I recently entered a competition called Migrants got talent (MGT), which is held every year in Perth, Western Australia. Made it to the top 3 and this is the poem that got me to the top 3.

It’s a poem about a woman who I spent a lot of my life with. She was a beautiful woman. She was a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and friend. As MGT finale was a just a couple of weeks after her death, and a day before mother’s day, I decided the poem would be a great tribute to the woman who was Bwalya Nelson Nyirenda. Her death has been the hardest experience this far.

The poem I performed in the top 3 is this one

The volume is low because had to do it without a mic so if you put the volume up, should be able to hear.

As for the competition, the lovely Miss Ruth Kulaisi won the competition and I believe everyone who took part enjoyed it a lot and we made new friends and it was a place where different people where helping each other out and trying to make sure the other person’s act worked. It was just a lovely experience, with lovely people and I learnt a lot and my confidence levels just went North. I was humbled, and made more aware of this gift that I have been given. It truly is a gift because for me Poetry isn’t something I learnt or can force out of myself. I’m realising more and more that I can touch people with this gift in ways I never thought possible and God can be glorified through it. It is not something to use to make myself feel better than others or make others feel less but it should lift people to where they can be.

I never thought I would ever be on a stage performing poetry and yet here I am. Nothing that day went according to plan! gets you to a point where you laugh despite the chaos! and possibly in spite of it…lol…it was fun! I managed to leave out one line in each poem and the performances weren’t as good as I would have liked but people were moved and it was a great improvement from my first poetry slam. I got to stand on a stage with people with massive voices, great dancing ability and kindness beyond measure and got leadership training. It  was beautiful…Really beautiful.

I will post details for anyone interested in taking part in the next one whenever that will be. For anyone interested in helping out the Metropolitan Migrants Resource Centre or If you are a migrant living in Western Australia, feel free to visit their website at http://www.mmrcwa.org.au/ and check out what they are up to and whatever help they could offer or you could offer the community.

Precious…the birthing of a dream


she walked out of the house, throwing the blue new tropicals to the floor, she slipped her feet in and ran towards her grandmother who was walking down the dust path that led to away from their house and onto a dusty road. It was an hour’s walk to Chinfinsa congregation of the United church of Zambia. She could make it in 30 minutes if she picked up the pace but that was not going to be the case walking with her grandmother. she pulled the worn skirt made of chitenge material, to cover her belly button and walked beside her grandmother. She couldn’t hide her excitement at going to church today.

“natwendeshe” her grandmother called picking up pace. she wanted to make it to church before the St Marks Choir arrived. She never complained about the distance from Luano to their Church, which was in Munsenga, on the other side of the Chingola-Kitwe Road; a trek from where they lived.

“But mama, “she replied, “our service never starts on time.” Her grand mother insisted they get to church early every week. she had no watch but they always made it on time. Precious had never heard the St marks Bemba Choir sing, but her grand mother had told her,  how beautiful they sounded. her grandmother had heard them sing many times and had even visited the “mother” congregation. The announcement was made a week ago and everytime she thought about it, she felt her heart skip a beat.

they soon met other people headed in their direction “mujibi yepi?” the woman called walking towards them.

“emwani,” her grandmother extended her hand, clapping the other womans hand and touching her chest and repeating the gesture again in greeting; Kaonde greeting. She had grown up speaking iki Kaonde but now mainly spoke ici Bemba despite being in Lamba country. she greeted the woman and run ahead, knowing her grandmother would be fine with her walking companion for the day.

She didn’t care for the dust that was gathering on her legs with each step she took; the faster she run the worse it got, but she would be at the church in no time. She was out of breath by the time the Kitwe-Chingola rd was in sight. On the other side was the Munsenga junction. A small dirt road that meandered from one end, forming a loop and coming out the other. It was mostly bush on one side of the dirt road and houses on the other. she slowed her pace as she came to the road. It wasn’t as busy on Sundays, but she made sure there weren’t any cars coming before running across. There were other people walking down and she walked with them, not quiet feeling at home, she talked with them, maybe if she showed her excitement at what was happening at church today, no one would see the discomfort she felt.

*                                  *                                  *

Jahdel was glad she had made it to church on time. Her 2 friends Limpo and Mwansa were coming to church with the visiting chior. She was excited. Her and Limpo had become close friends, despite her vow never to become friends with men. He had reintroduced her to Mwansa who she had previously known but had not talked to in years. She walked to her sister Karen and the woman she was talking to. She watched as the young girl walked away from them. Her clothes were worn. Her skirt, made of chitenge was not as bright as it had obviously been before. she kept pulling the skirt that kept riding below her belly button.

“You see that girl.” the woman talking to Karen said, “takonfwa.”

Jahdel wondered why the girl was said to be naughty, she seemed so full of life.

“she sleeps around with different men,” the woman shifted the baby in her arms from one side to the other, settling her on her hip and leaning in closer “Bonse bali mwishiba.”

Jahdel was too shocked to respond, did this woman just say everyone knew her? She watched as the woman clapped her hands, as if shocked at what she was relaying, “ka moneka kwati kalonfwa, kanshi….”

“You honestly think that it’s her fault?” anger rose in Jahdel, “How do you decide she’s naughty on the basis that grown men sleep with her?”

“All I know is they pay her and if they pay her, it can’t be that bad. And she’s so young, imagine what she will be like when she grows up.”

The way she said it only infuriated Jahdel more; worse still, Karen seemed almost ready to agree until Jahdel spoke up

“So all you adults know about it. Even her grandmother knows about it?”

“it’s no secret, and her grandmother has tried to talk about it with her to get her to stop but she just doesn’t listen.”

“So you even know which men sleep with her?” she waited for the woman’s self-righteous yes before continuing, “and all you do is talk behind her back?”

“Yes but what are we supposed to do if that’s what she’s chosen.” the woman didn’t look upset at the challenge rather ashamed and disappointed that Jahdel did not share her enthusiasm at the gossip she had to share,

“No! you fight for her!” Jahdel could almost feel herself shaking but kept her voice calm, “grown men, should know better. It’s not her fault that they can’t control themselves!” she looked at the little girl who was walking towards them

“Anyway, that’s that little girl you see.” she clapped her hands and walked away.

“Baunfwa nsoni.” Karen chuckled to herself.

“she SHOULD be ashamed of herself.” Jahdel felt her whole body shake

Karen chuckled again, “they love gossip.”

“Niwebo nani ishina?” Jahdel asked turning to the girl. She didn’t look older than eleven.

“Precious.” she replied with a big smile,

Jahdel smiled at her, heart breaking, knowing this girl had no one to fight for her. Precious, her name spoke of how God saw her. She was precious in His sight, Yet to men, she was “easy pleasure”. Something they could ride, no strings attached. They talked for few minutes, Precious pointing out where her grandmother stood, when asked who she lived with. She was a bubbly little girl. Some thought her insane.

Just then the small Canter made its way onto the church grounds. Precious ran towards it, Jahdel waiting for the boys to disembark. She said hi to both Limpo and Mwansa and introduced them to Karen. Karen left them as they chatted for a while before they had to go into the church and sit in their designated areas. The men sat on the left hand side and the women on the right.

Jahdel was in a haze; her mind fixed on Precious. Would she make it,or would abuse devour her like it had Jahdel. She knew all too well the horrors it brought, the guilt, the suicidal feelings, the shame and pain that just made no sense. The feeling of being in the wrong body, unwelcome in your own flesh, feeling like dirt had made it’s way under your skin. As the service went on, she found it hard to concentrate. Those men, deserved death! She looked at Mwansa and Limpo and remembered Limpo’s words, How could he expect her to trust any man, when his species could be so heartless and selfish. She had to admit though that both young men were different. They seemed sincere; different, they spoke kindly and offered respect even when she was undeserving. But she couldn’t help but wonder.

After service, Jahdel talked to precious some more, hoping that she could find hope in words that didn’t raise her apparent failings. She talked to Mwansa and Limpo more as well before they all had to go.

Every time she saw the little girl after that, she talked to her, but with exams looming, Sundays at Chimfinsa became a rare happening, St marks or not attending church becoming the options because of the extra lessons she needed to do in order to get ready. Hope reigned still, Precious, was the birthing of a dream, just maybe, Jahdel would one day fight what many refused to see as present. Zambians frowned when they heard about paedophiles in the western world, yet in their own world, this child, had no voice.

Years after meeting that precious soul, reading another story of a girl used by her step-father, Jahdel remembered, knowing there were many such stories. burying her head in her hands, Jahdel wept. She would never forget Precious, she hadn’t the means to help her, but one day, she would fulfil a dream.

undefiled


There’s a girl, a lot like myself…not much different from any other girl.
She’s never known what it feels like to be pure, to be untouched. She’s been used her whole life by those who should have known better…Those who claimed to love her
She is scared, broken and unable to love…
Christ has saved her but she finds herself struggling with the same demons of the past. She can’t let go.
The thought of trusting any man is just impossible; to love him would be weakness. She can’t bring herself to lie with a man she loves, one she’s married to because it just seems wrong somehow…
If only she was clean, pure, untouched, undefiled…

There’s another girl, lost and pregnant.
She thought it wouldn’t happen to her.
Oh God what is she to do? It was just one time and now she’s paying the price.
She’s only in high school, her parents will kill her. She has nowhere to turn!
She’s given them reason to throw her out…what will she do? She was right after all! “You’re a naughty girl!” she would say
She decides to have an abortion…better that than having to face that witch of a woman…better than proving her right!
As she walks out of the clinic…she wishes she could undo what she had done…but she can’t! the baby is gone…she feels cold inside…empty
They said it was just tissue…not yet alive but she knows it’s more
“it’s moving,” she had heard the nurse say. Her baby is gone
“you’ve already proven her right!!!” she hears a voice say, “you’re naughty even without the baby to prove it! You are defiled, unclean…”
She wishes she were untouched

There’s another girl, she’s a mother.
People ask, “How come? Isn’t it wrong in Christianity to have a baby before you’re married???”
they question her beliefs, they question the existence of her God.
She proclaims Christ and yet is bound by sex. She can’t bring herself to be with anyone, and yet she touches herself. She knows it’s wrong and yet she can’t seem to stop.
She can’t stand men. She’s been hurt to many times to know…to many times to let go…
She met a man, who’s just lovely and knows he’s not like the rest.
She’s been abused and has herself abused.
She is unworthy of him just as she is unworthy of Christ
oh how she wishes she were clean, pure, a virgin,
“Untouched”

There’s a girl, she sees her friends, one after the other, falling prey to the culture around them.
She decides to join in…
They Party like the world, dress like the world and make sure they are in Church on sunday
they sleep around, always making sure they use contraception
they look down on the unwed mother…they gossip about the one caught in the arms of the married man
They pretend that’s not them. Testing forbidden treasures, ,one, two, three, four, playing with toys and all, It’s just experimenting…No one need know, forgetting that “there are no secrets in life.
They are fooling everyone including themselves. And yet Christ knows…he sees them just like the others. Just like those they look down on
They might just be worse off because remorse does not touch them
They are unclean, untouched, defiled

There’s a girl, she introduces her friend to the party scene…tells her friend lies…handing her over to the lion himself.
She sees her friend going astray but only gossips…She doesn’t want to be judgmental, after all, Christ said “judge not!”
her friend is taken by the world…her Masters voice she no longer hears. Yet she has her legs still crossed and that’s all that matters right???
Both are unclean and defiled…touched

There’s another girl,
She dresses just right…nothing vulgar, decent.
She’s in the house of worship every service
she gives her tithe, serves, says her prayers, refrains from forbidden foods, does what is required of her…the whole deal. She sometimes thinks bad thoughts and occasionally lies…but it’s nothing serious…you can’t do everything the holy book says….
She follows the law of God
She sees girls throwing their lives away and sleeping around, living like the world and thinks she’s better than them. She thinks, she is clean, undefiled, untouched.
She doesn’t share Christ because they are unworthy of Him.
She forgets that she like them, like all humanity is  unclean, not untouched, defiled…that it is Christ who cleanses us.

If only


Lord, if men would realise that women are to be treasured and protected…not to be used to fulfil selfish desires but to be honoured…that girls will give sex in exchange for companionship, love and respect because they are disillusioned and that their hearts break when that love and respect is not shown…if only men could open their eyes and see that the girl they lie with today, is beauty that they might destroy. Worthy of the respect due a mother; she might one day mother their own son’s wife. That she is a grandmother, mother, wife; she is a child, a sister, a granddaughter, a friend; maybe even your own. If only they would open their eyes and see that she looks enticing, yes, but let the man who she was meant for enjoy her, just as you will one day hope to alone enjoy yours. That they owe their wives nothing less than what they expect, a man who is untouched. That as enticing as she seems, she might just be the seam ripper that makes you come undone…

That we women would open their eyes and see that if he loves “me”, He will wait. He will want the best for “me” even if it means he loses “me” . If only we would realise that compromise leaves us lost and broken…unsatisfied…pleasure lasts a moment but when it’s gone, what do you have left? If only we could treasure what is right and true, closing our ears off to the sweet nothings he whispers and hearing the truth in his words; hearing that we will get hurt and that he cares very little in the end.  Hear the truth in His words…the words of a loving Father…You are precious, loved and need nothing other than Him. That honour and respect; that love does not come by giving yourself away. That letting him have his way with you, deprives you, and if he hasn’t married you, he was no right to you…That there’s something more that awaits you, a man maybe, who will value you. If only we would realise that just because you gave in once, you don’t have to keep giving in, or that just because he denied you your right to “NO!” does not mean you lost the right…If only we realised that just because he ignored your “NO!” doesn’t mean that all men seek to take from us, by force if need be… If only we could see His tear-stained face, with arms outstretched, sweat beading, bleeding  for us, His deeds shouting as loud as His words, I love you this much!

IF ONLY…

Last day of 2012


Today for me marks the end of a very blessed year. When this year started, I was pretty close to rock bottom. I remember staying in the house the whole day, only coming out at night when my sister came home from work. I was bitter, resentment filled and angry. I was scared to leave the house because I felt if I did I wouldn’t come back. I imagined myself jumping in front of the train or just getting on the train and not coming back. I felt trapped and not needed.

Over the last 10 years I’ve experienced emotional strain and extreme darkness where I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day but I wasn’t willing to give up and I always came out of it but 2011 for me was the year I lost all fight…I crumbled…I felt crushed under the weight of my life this far, crushed by yet another failure, loss of loved ones, the loss of a friend. I felt crushed by my inability to get over my past, crushed by my inability to love the ones around me. What mother resents her own? Yet my love for my daughter was still present.

I had lost sight of what was important. I had allowed my problems and insecurities and people’s views to finally matter where they never had. I had allowed fear to reign in me. for grief and anger and resentment to become me. I remember talking to my brother on the phone, laying on the bed, tears flowing, unable to control them. I was unable to hold it all together. I remember him saying “you have a love affair with where you are at.” That was in January 2012. He had been talking to me about crying out to God but I couldn’t do it. I was in pain and yet I wasn’t willing to submit because I was afraid that what lay ahead with God might just be more painful. I felt wounded afresh at the loss of friendship. I remember writing “You healed only to wound again.”

At that point I had tried to get in touch with a counsellor and had failed. I remember talking to my parents and not being completely honest with them but at least the doors of communication had been opened and on my terms, eventually managed to find a counsellor. I remember invading my sister’s room and telling her things I’ve never told anyone else before. I had to be honest with my leaders at church. I remember sitting talking to my counsellor and telling myself I wouldn’t cry and yet breaking down.

I remember living with my brother and his beautiful wife, my elder sis and them challenging me to be better. I remember the birth of their child and the joy it brought…I remember mum coming and the blessing she was  to me. I remember connect group meetings…3 different groups where I was challenged…one controversial but causing me to analyse and re-evaluate where I stand. I remember a friend challenging me, refusing to accept I wasn’t okay, challenging me in my Christian walk. I remember getting to my counsellors house and telling myself many reasons why I should not knock on the door. I remember feeling like I had failed because I couldn’t get my life together on my own. The hardest thing for me to do is depend on people, even my family. I remember deciding to tell people the truth about going for counselling when they asked what I had been up to and it helped me get over the shame of it. I remember crying to God and journaling and praying and laying things bare before Him. I remember advice and hugs from those who have my best interests at heart. Those I kept up late when I needed advice or just a listening ear.

This year I got some of my confidence back. I had allowed life to reduce me to an unsure fear filled person and counselling was where I learnt I was really okay, not consumed by my past and I had to re-learn to be comfortable in me. To own my choices from here. Yes listen to what people have to say but in the end decide on my terms what course my life will take, because in the end, I can never blame anyone else for what I do wrong.

2012 for me was the year I saw a counsellor who helped me deal with some of my issues. I am in no way at the destination of wholeness but I’m on the way. It was the year I saw more transparently my father’s heart. I saw the restoration of a friendship I never thought possible. My nephew was born. My daughter turned 10, like previous years it has been a continuation of my journey. Where I see God’s hand. It was the year He again bent my knee to His will when I was unwilling and unable to within myself. It was the year I saw the most progress in my fight for purity. It was the year I stopped running. The year I attended a leadership course, the year I performed my own written poems live. The year I finally finished medical science. I got to get involved with life changers who are scattered around the world. people I love got engaged and married, babies were born in our family. This  year, my hope was restored.

So why am I telling you all this? Isn’t it funny how you hear Christians talk about going to the doctor for a common cold and demanding antibiotics when there’s no need for them, forgetting that Jesus is the great physician by whose stripes we are healed, and yet the same people will stand and declare that your faith is weak when you see a counsellor for emotional turmoil? We’re all different and while others have no need for counselling, others do. Do whatever it takes to get out. You can never tell whats around the corner. Darkness is relative to light. just because the sun is on the other side of the world doesn’t mean it stopped shining. Just because one door closes doesn’t mean you’re closed in. Sometimes all that’s stopping the light from trickling in is the walls you’ve built. Remember when in a dark room, you can’t see further than a few steps ahead of you and sometimes you can’t even see yourself. But feel around, stumble and even fall, if you take your eyes off the darkness and your predicament, you might just turn a corner and find hope, little rays of sun where there  seemed none, blocked by that one wall. Don’t give up! It’s okay to ask for help. Also never forget, that behind the smiles we see, there might just be more pain than we realise and you might just be what the other person needs to get through. Happy New Year and for those who have walked with me this year, may God bless you. Looking foward to 2013