Monday, July 12, 2010

A Summer Pilgrimage: Reflections on Bishop Christopher's groundbreaking visit

Lou Slimp & Terry Takeda, Integrity members from All Saints Church, Pasadena, hosted Bishop Christopher in their Glendale, CA. home during his visit to the Los Angeles area. They are pictured here with the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, Integrity's VP of National & International Affairs and the organizer of the Bishop's tour. Here is Lou's reflection on his stay.

Terry and I have been asked to share our thought on hosting Bishop Christopher during his stay in Los Angeles.

Even though his flight arrived in Los Angeles over 5 hours late at 3:30 in the morning, this retired Bishop came bounding down the stairs with a BIG Smile on his face-after traveling for over 24 hours! He was so excited and happy to start his visit to the United States. I was impressed with his enthusiasm and energy after such a long and delayed trip-and that was just the beginning!

Bishop Christopher and I were able to spend much time together. I was struck by his humility, and sense of humor in spite of everything that he has gone through. We discussed the current situation in Uganda and East Africa, as well what he endured during the Idi Amin years. This Bishop of the Church has lived a courageous and valiant life. I was struck by his passion for equality for all of God's children and the risks he is willing to take. He has lost much due to his stand for equality and inclusiveness. Yet, he is quick to laugh, enjoys meeting people, and enjoys life! He is a real inspiration.

Each new day was an adventure with the Bishop. He spent much time in prayer and reflection in preparation for each new day, and worked tirelessly on speeches, and sermons. He was always very interested in learning what he could about the group that he was speaking to next. He really enjoyed looking at the information on the internet and learning as much as he could about his next audience. He has seen a lot of changes in his life from growing up in rural Africa and appreciates all that life has to offer. Bishop Christopher also was interested in current events and things that were happening in the world. He looked forward to visiting old friends and making new ones on his U.S. tour.

It was an amazing and enriching experience to be with him for his first five days. He taught us much about endurance and persevering against the odds, about not giving up hope when everyone is against you. He taught us about faith in GOD when everyone else around you sees things otherwise and think you are wrong.

He has the conviction that truth and justice will triumph in the end. He is sustained by the example of the Apostle Paul and God's love for all of Her children.

I am grateful that he was able to touch our lives!

1 comment:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Not-so-oddly, I feel that Bishop Christopher has often been a friendly, enjoyable and loving guest in my home over the years...yet, he's never physically been to either Puerto Rico nor Central America.

Thanks for this joyful note of confirmation of what I know to be true of the authentic fellowship and brotherly/sisterly love at The Body of Christ...the relationships that are possible if we want them as we let fear, hate and difference fall-away.

Leonardo Ricardo