By Linda Morgan
Review of Joseph’s time in Spokane, WA and Sandpoint, ID 3 Nov – 13 Nov 2018
(Photo courtesy Spokane International Airport)
Adult Education class of Spokane Community Colleges “History of Slavery, Segregation and Racism” taught by Mr. Chet Caskey lawyer and history professor (8 Nov) – Joseph was invited to share his insights on about his work with helping to restore American descendants of African Slaves to their ancestral heritage. He shared how important it can be for people to know where they come from to help with re-establishing their identity. His in-depth understanding of the African Slave Trade Triangle and history related to it was shared in ways relevant to the theme of the class in understanding the reasons for many of the difficulties people have currently in being able to reconcile with the past. His use of his stated Christian perspective gave the class a chance to see an added dimension to how intertwined reconciliation is with forgiveness. Class members were quickly engaged in his presentation and the question and answer time. Joseph was easily able to provide accurate and meaningful answers to complex questions. Class members left with a greater insights of the material that had been covered in the previous five weeks of class by Mr. Caskey as well as the current events in Joseph’s homeland of Cameroon.
Fellowship of TruSelf Passage gathering (10 Nov) – A gathering of 10-12 multi-denominational people that regularly meets to discuss and understand ways of implementing universal teachings into daily life. Joseph presented a very timely message on reconciliation using verses from the Old and New Testament of the Bible to show where the need for reconciliation came from. Each verse pointed to our path from being in the presence of God, in the Garden of Eden to why there is a need for reconciliation and how we can gain that. The teaching are of the soul and for the soul which goes beyond the typical social and psychological understandings and teachings in the world. When questions arose about the scriptures meaning, Joseph was easily able to relate contemporary examples to help clarify the understanding of the verse/s. His inspired use of key verses elegantly brought to light the process of reconciliation via love and forgiveness. Moving and inspiring.
JOSEPH: The work of reconciliation is costly.
Reflections from the Agape Gathering participants
The ultimate Biblical Model of Reconciliation The tree of life Marty: I as a grandmother made a play space for my grandchildren with all kinds of good things to do in the large piece of land I have; want kind of a loving parent would put such an attractive element into such a landscape and then say “don’t touch this one.”
Another comment: Like being set up for failure?
Pam: I love the language you use, it is so heart-opening. We receive the Christ within us; Yeshua shows us how to follow
Marty: I’ve been focusing on forgiveness—finding myself in a place where when I have been focusing on forgiving others I find myself focusing more also on forgiving myself. There’s a shift—I’m understanding more that feeling of separation from God—it’s the guilt—going back to that initial separation
Other: This is much more than a peace treaty. It’s about our relationship with God and each other
Larry: This has always been the lesson—forgiveness, especially forgiving ourselves
Other: Reconciliation is more than just a (surface) relationship. It’s friendship—intimate friendship. It is emotional—heart level.
Pam: There can be sneaky thoughts that cause misinterpretations. It’s about unconditional love that our Heavenly Father has for us Unconditional love cannot co-exist—-until we let go—-much is buried in our minds. Others can bring those things out. We can be in hiding. We need to surrender. That’s the power of reconciliation.
Denise: You grew up with some association with Church and yet you felt you needed to reject and distance yourself from that influence. How is it that reconciliation seems not to be the central message of the Church?
Based on Jesus’ work and the convention between God and Humanity in Christ, how do you describe what the Spirit provides for us as believers and how does that relate to the ministry of reconciliation.
Looking back on the Haiti YouTube portions that show so much division— such as the man who said White is White and Haiti is Haiti and also the ones who said the Whites want money, power etc. How does this ultimate model of reconciliation go to work in such a setting, where injustice is not just an event in the past but an on-going reality. Can people reconcile when and where injustice continues to occur?
Report of Joseph sharing at the First Presbyterian Church Sandpoint, Idaho Sunday November 11 by Denise Williamson.
The Sunday School group that hosted Joseph to hear him speak on reconciliation meets around a table in the “fireplace room.”
The class started with question asked by Pastor Andy Kennaly about the violence reported on in the US national news concerning the school kidnapping, leading the way for Joseph to begin with a short summary of colonial control and divisions, of which none in Cameroon and in Africa had any say. The group seemed to readily understand that the “legacy” of European power brokering African land and resources is the foundation of such conflicts within the nation today.
The group also was engaged in Joseph’ sharing of how negativity and low view of self can be the product of years of being put down either as an individual or a group, and that the rethinking that God led him through is also applicable to any individual or group with such traumas in the past.
The group seemed to understand the contrast of how Joseph saw religion in the past compared to what the freedom of Christ’s way of reconciliation brings. The story of the lion cub growing into the Lion modeled the power of storytelling to get at deep truths, as it became the springboard for discussion: fear is often the reaction of the group in power when others rise to take their God-given place. What does fear lead to in society? —“iron bars” and imposed barriers often the reaction of people in power seeing the possibility that they may lose control. Also what unique role is played by those who are willing to submit to God’s rightful authority, then they are willing to come to embrace equality for all s God’s design. But what would/will be the price of such reparation, once this change and shifting of power and authority takes place. The people seemed so open to the idea that all people are designed by God with specific purposes and that all need space to participate equally. But “As long as we are in fear,” someone said, “We won’t want to see the Lion free.”
The church is building a peace garden and has taken down the fencing between its property and the neighborhood, as a symbol and a reality that they want to provide a more welcoming place. There is a need for reconciliation with our neighbors begins with the need to love ourselves and see ourselves as God sees us. One person said that the more time they spend with understand their own healthy relationship with the divine the less energy there is to be negative to others. One person asked if the issue of segregation is different in the eastern south of the nation than in northern Idaho, to which Joseph replied that he can’t address that as specifically as individuals who are living in any area, but that he knows that 400 years of injustice cannot be turned around in a just a few hours at discussion tables. Instead, for healing to come there is a need for people to come and give their all in their lifetime for our future generations.
(Photo courtesy First Presbyterian Church Sandpoint, Idaho)
This is the second time that Joseph has been sharing in Sandpoint ID area, and he has invitation to return again.
Early this year, I took time away on a prayer retreat at The Clearing https://www.theclearing.us/. My mind and heart were too preoccupied with how and what to do to continue operating in terms of structure, etc. My complaints appeared to be a grieving to the heart of the Father, and so after going on for a good while, He directed me to take a look at the material He has already given to me. As I started reviewing what He gave me on reconciliation and peacemaking, tears started streaming from my eyes. I realized how much He had already given me, yet I was still struggling and complaining to satisfy men’s expectations instead of seeking to satisfy His desires by sharing and multiplying it and serving people with it.
After my retreat, I made some phone calls and email communications with some of the colleagues and friends in Colombia, urging them to consider organizing talks around the subject so that we could serve the nation in the post-conflict era by providing and equipping with Biblical knowledge on the process of peacemaking. My desire was to empower the Christian masses with these tools so they could take them in turn and spread them around the nation to ease the process of the post-conflict era which the country is struggling with.
During my time in Columbia, I taught at YWAM training schools on subjects unrelated to reconciliation. As well, I spoke on the subject of reconciliation and peacemaking at two Christian settings and also at non-Christian settings. The most enthusiastic crowd and response to my message, which was humbling to me, was from non-believers in a forum on February 18th, in the city of Cali, organized by AYHANA Foundation.
Other enthusiastic responses from the message on reconciliation and peacemaking came from the Universidad Del Sinu and at the Fundacion Universitaria Tecnologico Comfenalco in the city of Cartagena, respectively on February 27th and March 1st. The majority of these audiences were non-Christian. At the Universidad Del Sinu, my co-presenter was a peace activist woman who both represented and became the voice of the victims of violence. Her background included taking part at the negotiating table in Havana between the Colombian government and the guerillas, through which she was awarded several prizes. These included a peace prize for her commitment to peace in Colombia, in which she acknowledged that though she was not a practicing Christian believer, she shared the same convictions and views with me in regard to reconciliation and peacemaking.
The most humbling experience for me was at the Comfenalco University, where the entire faculty of psychology made my presentation on reconciliation and peacemaking a part of their academic program. The dean and all faculty members attended and expressed their gratitude and satisfaction. The director of the study program stated, “Thank you; it was very insightful. We, as academics, used conceptual teaching with steps and concepts numbered, but listening to your experiential view was great, since from the experience theories are built. It was good for us to see the genesis of the knowledge we’ve studied, the experiences.” The dean stated something like this, ‘Thank you. We can recognize many concetpts that we study through your experience and your own personal life, and we can see that the conceptual and experiential go hand in hand.’
Presently, I am again in Guadeloupe and Martinique, French Caribbean islands, where I came to seek players on the ground to help set up a future international reconciliation symposium. Last year we attempted to set it in place to run this year, but there was still much to take place, so we postponed it, for we were not ready. Like always, your prayers and other means of support are of a great value and very much appreciated
Joseph Zintseme Mission Trip January 20 – January 31, 2018
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Ezekiel 37:1-3
As we’ve traveled across Haiti surveying the country and meeting people and seeing their needs, I often felt like the prophet who saw a very desperate, depressing, discouraging and overwhelming spectacle of a valley full of dry bones. Indeed the needs of the people especially among the masses and the nation as a whole are overwhelming and can lead one in discouragement and even revolt. Often, I have to remind myself not to focus on what I am seeing, but to look beyond what I see.
Pastor Maula and I had numerous discussions or debates on the current, the historic and future state of the country. We talked about the politics of Haiti, the economic state of the country, the elite class of Haiti, the social crisis the nation is experiencing and what we think or envision needs to take place for the country to emerge once again. Sometime our debates were hopeful, sometime not so hopeful due to what we were witnessing as the current state of the country.
During a motivational presentation to a school assembly, I asked the students if they believe that Haitians were also created by God. One student responded, “No, because the images of Adam and Eve, the first people to be created, are images of White people.” Another student said he believed that Haitians were also created by God because the Bible said, “Let us create man in our image and likeness,” so God created all men Black, White, Red and Yellow. This discussion gave us more hope and enthusiasm that young Haitians need to be given the room and platform to think, to reason and critic the information they are receiving. They are capable of doing so.
Our efforts were to look at Haitians and to look at their land and to see their potential. Just as the prophet Ezekiel called dry bones to life, we determined to call out from within Haitians the potential we saw and continue to see. We told them about the potential and beauty of their country. Sometime they would be looking at us with disbelief, for that is not the information they often hear. Haiti has a unique, beautiful and diverse landscape with majestic mountains and enormous coastlines from the Atlantic to the Caribbean Seas. Nonetheless, the most beautiful and rich resource Haiti has is the Haitians themselves. Any effective development or service ought to be centered on developing them. Indeed, God has put the destiny of Haiti in the hands of the Haitian themselves.
Thank you for having gone to Haiti with me through your support in whatever form you expressed it. God himself will reward you.
Joseph Zintseme’s Mission Trip, Jan 20 – Jan 31, 2018.
What happened to a country that successfully won its freedom and declared its independence in 1804?
The chilling effects the successful Haitian slave revolution sent to their neighbors and the entire world created hostile and isolation practices against them. They were refused trade for their crops and to buy what the country needed. They were refused recognition as a free and sovereign nation with the right to engage in diplomatic and commercial exchanges. Indeed, the only nation to be free from their colonial empire after the U.S. was Haiti. But they were former African slaves, and even though the U.S. fought a war to free itself from the tax oppression of England, believing that all men were created equal, the U.S. still held Africans as slaves. England, Spain, France, Portugal, Holland . . . still held Africans under slavery throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
In addition to this, in 1825, just twenty one years after they obtained their freedom and declared their independence, France imposed on Haiti to pay an indemnity of 150 million Francs. Called the Independent Debt, the money was to go into the French national treasury. Haiti cut down timbers, dug gold and borrowed money with heavy loan interest to pay France. Although the debt was revised and lowered to 90 million Francs, observers have noted that this “Independent Debt” is one of the major reasons Haiti is still crippled economically.
Also, since 1868, the U.S. had repeatedly sought to either annex Haiti or acquire one of the most important regions of the country, Mole St. Nicholas, for a U.S. naval base. Finally in 1914, the U.S. marines emptied the Haitian treasury of U.S. $500,000 and moved the money to New York. The following year, on July 28, 1915, the US President Woodrow Wilson ordered an invasion and occupation of Haiti and 330 U.S. marines landed in Port Au Prince, the country’s capital. That invasion and occupation lasted for nineteen years, leaving Haiti in a social, political and economic disaster.
Although there have been churches all over the country with Haitian pastors preaching and teaching the Gospel and a score of Christian missionary efforts for many years, many have pointed out that Haiti is a cursed country. Cursed because they made a pact with the devil to free themselves from slavery in exchange for two hundred years of worship to the devil. This belief is held also by many Haitian pastors and believers. This notion has only been perpetuated to mock and ridicule the Haitian revolution and has presented the devil to be “more compassionate” to the case of the oppressed African slaves than God who created them in His image and likeness. One cannot but ask the question of what Gospel has then been preached and believed in Haiti? Is it the Gospel of Jesus Christ or a different Gospel?
The above analysis is to show what has caused the mental and moral state of Haitians to be crushed down, as well as why economically, socially and politically the nation is where it is today. The Pillar and Foundation of the truth which is the Church that could have remedied the situation has held ideologies and doctrines that the freedom of the Africans slaves were of the devil and that the country was cursed. The result of this is a huge spiritual crisis as well. This spiritual crisis coupled with the other crises mentioned above are the reasons why the majority of Haitians hate their country and are immigrating massively to seek green pasture elsewhere.
My difficult and sensitive mission is to reverse the above mentioned ideologies and doctrines to help restore a sense of self-worth to my audience – a love for themselves and a love of their country. Indeed, Haiti is a very beautiful land with an incredible potential, and Haitians are by nature tenacious, resilient, hospitable and kind. God hears and defends the oppressed no matter their origins. Just as He heard the cries and saw the affliction of Israel in Egypt, He has seen the affliction and heard the cries of Haitians as well. He gave them the land of their servitude; Haitians ought to rejoice and praise God for delivering them from the bondages of slavery and giving them their land. They ought to worship Him, and Him alone.
My friend and traveling companion Pastor Maula Jean Marie has set up for us to address the topic of “The Spiritual and Socio-Economic Rise of Haiti” as we travel and visit different cities around the country. The key verse he received as he prepared for this tour is out of Psalm 113:7, “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap”. This is what we believe for Haiti, and this is what we stand before God and before Haitian believers for.
We have impacted mostly the young Haitian believers who have responded with much enthusiasm to the message of hope we bring them. Last Monday, January 22, four high school students who came straight from school to the conference approached me at the end and asked me to pray over them for a double portion of the spirit that is over me. They indicated that they want to be the answer for their nation. In the city of Gonaives, Pastor Maula involved all the young orphans and abandoned children he is looking after, from the youngest to the oldest, to come sit and listen to all the talk. They sucked in whatever they were able to get. This is building them up from a young age.
Your continuous support is still much needed to accomplish the mission faithfully. We are praying and hoping to see a movement stirred to set ablaze young Haitians all over the country so that they can take on the destiny of their nation.
Joseph Zintseme Missionary Trip 01/20 to 01/31, 2018
Haiti and its destiny is the theme I will be debating during this mission trip to Haiti.
I have been passionate about Haiti ever since I visited it for the first time in 2003, where I observed and reading more about the country and its history.
The Haitian Revolution of 1791 saw the liberation of all African slaves in the entire island (Dominican Republic of today included). This included free and former slave owners, planters, etc. who were invited by the revolutionary leader, the new Governor General of the island Toussaint Louverture, to remain in the country and dwell together with their fellow Blacks who had previously been slaves. They wrote new laws abolishing slavery in any form in the island and invited planters and other business owners to employ people for wages.
However, Toussaint continued to pay allegiance to the Republic of France, refusing to declare Haiti’s independence. At that time Haiti was the richest colony in the Americas, fueling the French economy.
Unfortunately, Toussaint was deceived and betrayed by French military officers and was sent to France, where he was imprisoned in dungeons until dying of cold and starvation. Napoleon was successfully conquering Europe at the time. Haiti, being free, no longer fueled the French economy. Napoleon then attempted to re-enslave Haitians by dispatching his brother-in-law, Leclerc, with 30,000 of the best military elite.
Jean Jacques Dessalines, former lieutenant to Toussaint Louverture, rose to lead the battle against Leclerc’s troops for this second war of freedom. Dessalines was a notorious and unstoppable warrior who fought rigorously. One of his generals, Capois Lamort, became instrumental in the victory which was fought with such bravery that the French commander stopped the battle to send soldiers to carry a message to Capois congratulating him for covering himself with such glory before resuming the battle. With the help of nature a strong rain came down, favoring the Haitians. The French commander capitulated and surrendered on November 18, 1883, and Haitians again won the battle for their freedom. The following year, 1884, Jean Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti’s independence from France.
The Haitian people successfully defeated France, England and Spain – all major colonial powers dominating Europe. However, the rest of the Caribbean islands still held Africans under slavery, as well as Latin America and the United States of American, which had become a major slave holding entity. But the news of the African slaves defeating these tremendous powers and freeing themselves from the bondage of slavery sent chills into the spine of the nations around the world. Who would dare engage in diplomatic, politic and commercial exchanges with such neighboring countries? The Haitians managed to sustain themselves and built a strong economy, making their new country self-sufficient.
This brief historical background is to help see the resilient, strong, determined Haitian people who were both lovers of and fighters for freedom.
What has happened to Haiti so that it has become socially and economically where it is today? That will be the object of my next update on Haiti and it is the main reason for this mission trip.
My friend and traveling companion, Maula Jean Marie, is a local pastor who oversees a school and an orphanage in addition to the church. I would love to take along another young Haitian so he can be imparted during this time of ministry. Your financial contribution could make it possible.
We plan to take our message of reconciliation, healing and affirmation to the following cities: Gonaives where Haitians declared their independence, Cap Haitian the former capital, Port Au Prince the current capital, and Jacmel and Mole St. Nicolas where Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas. Your partnership in this mission is very crucial to the manifestation of the Kingdom of God among Haitians. Together, we can see Haitians emerge into their God-given destiny.
Your financial support can be directed to University of the Nations, Kona 75-5851 Kailua Kona 96740# 256. Please do not write on your check memo. Instead, on a separate note, indicate that it is for the mission to support Acct. # 5784 on your check memo.
Or, a direct deposit to our bank account: SunTrust Bank, 4307 Williamsburg Rd. Richmond, VA 23231, Acct# 1000032370099; routing# 051000020.
Zintseme Family, 2001 Newman Rd. Richmond, VA 23231
In 20016, during his first visit to New Zealand, Joseph Zintseme was interviewed by Jay Hart for her podcast series, Careers With Hart.
In this 1st of 5 podcast interviews, Jay tries to get to know who Joseph is and where he comes from as they prepare to launch into the details of Joseph’s personal journey with and biblical revelations on reconciliation, which form the basis for the teaching at the School of Reconciliation and Peacekeeping.
We can’t wait for you to hear it and share your thoughts in the comments section below! We plan to upload the rest of the podcast series over the course of the coming weeks. And, if you’re inspired, don’t forget to reach out to Joseph directly using the contact option from the menu.
Joseph at Maungatapu Marae during his 2016 visit to New Zealand.