Prayer for Change

December 7th

Dear President Mugabe,

I know we haven’t seen eye to eye in the past. I can’t understand how you are still in power, how you’ve ruled Zimbabwe my entire life. I don’t know why your country, once called the breadbasket of Africa, has such a life-threatening issue with hunger today. I really can’t comprehend how a nation so rich — with some of the best universities, hospitals and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa — could crumple in such a short period of time.

Today, it’s cholera. You’ve pushed your people around for more than 20 years. You’ve run out the white Zimbabweans, stolen their land, killed those who refused to leave and ruined your economy in the process. You’ve created one of the most impressive brain drains in the history of man. I spoke with a friend from Zimbabwe last weekend. He teaches at the seminary in Harare. He makes $50 a month, which doesn’t cover the cost of going to and from the school daily.* The economy you’ve led has the highest inflation internationally — at something absurd like 1000%. How can that be? How can money be printed with an expiration date? A billion dollar bill? Really Bob, even you can do better.

You have single-handedly ruined this nation and the world has stood by, watching with a lazy, voyeuristic eye. I’m not sure which is the bigger disgrace. News is today that your reign of cruelty may soon be coming to an end — only because once again your people are suffering. Today it is cholera, as if the hunger, soaring HIV rates and severe poverty weren’t enough. While the world watches the tragedies and violence in India, Pakistan and the Middle East, I’ll continue screaming about Zimbabwe. This is nothing short of an African holocaust that the world is once again ignoring. We’ve learned nothing from Rwanda, Sudan or Somalia.

Mr. Mugabe, I am a person who doesn’t hate. I try to find something good in everyone. But for the life of me, I simply cannot see the silver lining of you breathing another breath.

May your people rise and may the world finally respond. May Zimbabwe once return to its state of grace and honor as a fruitful, healthy and beautiful country. May peace reign in Zim!

~Kelli

*{I begged him to let me come work in Harare next summer and he agreed. If I am allowed in the country, there is an opportunity for me to work in one of the many orphanages.}

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11 Responses

  1. I will keep you in my prayers that this happens. I know how much love you have in your heart, and how much of a difference you can make!!!

  2. Every time I hear about Zimbabwe on NPR or PBS, I am filled with such sadness for the people of that country. And shame that my country is doing nothing to help.

    I hope you get to go next summer. I will keep safe thoughts for you, though.

  3. Kelli:

    You are an inspiration to every human being. If every person stood together for peace, how different the world could be. It is difficult to see money being spent in frivolous ways when children are going hungry and dying of disease in other parts of the world. The mother in me just cannot justify it. There are things that will never make sense unless we all finally take a stand and say “no more”. My prayers are with you and Zimbabwe. Let this be the Christmas that makes the difference!

  4. Thank you for being thoughtful and sharing your knowledge. I recently read Half of a Yellow Sun (didn’t you recommend that on your blog?) and was transfixed. It’s set in another part of Africa but taught me great lessons of mindfulness. Thank you for your diligence to the cause of love for all.

  5. Kelli you are so precious, your heart beautiful, and are such a fierce warrior for those who need help. I know that the suffering in the world will not be stopped anytime soon but when it does it will be just as the bible tells us so many times that the meek will inherit the earth. The wonderful people in Zimbabwe are so much stronger and are very lucky to have you coming back to be with them next summer.

    You and your friends are in my prayers.

  6. I need to learn more about Zimbabwe. My friend’s boyfriend left Zimbabwe at age 18 and hasn’t yet returned for a visit. I need a good chat with him.

  7. Himanshu Arora December 8, 2008

    Amen !

  8. Kelli, I composed a similar letter to the thankfully deceased Mobutu (of the former Zaire). He’s saving a nice spot in h-ee-doublehockeysticks for his friend Bob M.

  9. You’re letter is amazing and much more polite than I would be!! lol! I do know that someday a difference will be made and I have a feeling it will start with you.
    Peace my friend.

  10. If only he could read your letter, not that such a hardened heart could feel some shame, but still…..
    Bravo to you and good luck for another african adventure!

  11. Kelli, how interesting that I stumble upon your blog for gardening and I find myself reading about your love for a third world country. My sweet son attends Brophy college Prep phx, AZ. He will be going off to college next year and his major is going to be Civil Eng. Without Borders. His heart is soooo big for Africa, all homeless, hungry and hurting.

    How did you come about going to a third world country? Brophy is going to Africa this summer and Nolan would LOVE to go, yet it is costing $5,000. After paying for Brophy we do not have the money to send him. I feel it is such a loss, for it could only get him started on his path sooner. College is one thing, yet hands on is what really matters.

    Well, I realize that your post was in 2008, so I must ask how are things going know…have you been able to go back to africa? I crochet squares for Africa….”help keep a cold child warm” we send the squares and a group of church ladies make them into blankets. It is one way I can help from afar….:)

    Well, if you have time I would love to hear any information you might have. I guess i should get back to looking at your gardening info. I,m not very good at it…..Lisa MY BLOG Vintagesweetpeas.blogspot.com

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