April 8, 2024

When my husband and I were missionaries in Mbuji Mayi, DR-Congo, we noticed that there were many albino people. When we traveled to Ngandajika, we met some doctors from Spain who were there to treat Albino children, many of whom had tumors. That was two years ago. Today, we are finishing a film which features several albino actors, and we are working to support doctors in the area (Kasai province). These doctors remove tumors and otherwise treat skin conditions endemic... Read more

November 25, 2023

Patrice Lumumba Film: Why NOW is the moment. Starting in July, 2023, events from the 1960s have drawn unusual attention. The film Oppenheimer (July 2023) was an unmitigated success. Though the atomic bomb was created in the 1940s, Christopher Nolan’s film is framed with Oppenheimer’s status in the 1960s, when his alleged “Communist” alliances brought him into the anti-Communist fear mongering. The decision of Lewis Strauss to refuse Oppenheimer a security clearance is particularly important, inasmuch as Senator John F.... Read more

November 18, 2023

Any of us who have worked in charitable endeavors have learned that good intentions are not enough for our offerings to meet  actual needs. Our years leading the Congo Rising Corporation have been full of successes and  failures. We have had equipment and money stolen or misappropriated, but we have also seen our film initiatives launch many new production companies which are self-guided and staffed by Congolese filmmakers. (more…) Read more

October 2, 2023

I remember going to the hospital to see my mother-in-law, Ruth, who had just passed away. She looked impossibly small. All of the life which had animated and somehow magnified her body was simply gone.  Darin  and  his  partner, Steve, were both present, both in tears, and Daren was ready for the next step. Even though he is no longer a practicing Mormon, he was the one to whom Ruth had given her final instructions. She had told him where... Read more

September 6, 2023

I have not seen Christopher Nolan’s film about J. Robert Oppenheimer yet, but my husband and I are listening to  American Prometheus , which inspired the film. It’s the story of a brilliant and often bullied man, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who discovered how atomic elements could work together to blow up whole cities. “Little Man” and “Fat Boy” and the destructions wrought on Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened because of Oppenheimer’s brilliant calculations. In other words, his brain was exploited to... Read more

June 17, 2023

In the summer of 1998, I went to a conference for teachers of LDS seminaries and institutes. I was one of those teachers, and my classes were in Spanish. Therefore, whatever I got at the conference would ultimately be translated into Spanish if I chose to use it.  I was given a binder of supplementary material provided by religion professors, including RB.  (I will not name RB, though the Washington Post article and the church response both name him. I... Read more

June 8, 2023

  The new kids on the block (those born after 2000) have no sense of why June 8th, 1978 launched one of the biggest news stories of the last century and changed the world. They will never know what it was like to be in a church–the LDS Church–which restricted its priesthood and temple privileges from those “of African descent.” Such a stance would be even more problematic today, since DNA tests reveal that ALL of us are “of African... Read more

September 24, 2022

I remember the events of 1969 well.  I have written about them here. 1969 was a year of initiation for me.  At age fourteen, I encountered racism from my seminary (religious classes for Latter-day Saint youth) teacher and consequently dropped out of seminary–after talking with him about it directly and being directly and publicly rebuked. I remember hearing false prophecies spouted about masses of armed black men who would come into Salt Lake City, invade the LDS temple, and rape... Read more

September 9, 2022

As missionaries, my husband and I taught a Congolese man, Gedeon, from a distant village. The chief of his village was concerned that Gedeon was investigating a church which worshipped “the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” The chief told him that their tribe worshipped and placated “the ancestors.” (Apparently, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not included in “the ancestors.”) Gedeon explained to us that “the ancestors” had terrifying power–which he had witnessed. They could torment or even kill living... Read more

August 9, 2022

The story of Joseph in Egypt has long been my favorite Bible story, but only recently did I become aware of modern people who imprisoned their siblings. One of these cases was in the DR-Congo, where I work with our organization. A brother, eager to claim property belonging to his sister, had her (Yvonne) jailed on trumped up charges. A jailer later confessed to Yvonne that he had been paid to kill her, but that he  could not do it.... Read more

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