Haiti 2015 - Day 3 (23rd)

This was our first day of activities with the 25-30 or so primary school pupils aged 11-12 years who had been invited by Bro. Lamy (until this summer the Head of our primary school here in Delmas) to take part in our mini-camp. Our first impressions that day have been confirmed on the subsequent days: they are very polite, friendly and delighted that we have come to spend some time with them. There are also some real characters among them (Gabriel aka "Messi", Alex, Brian, Youri, "Donald Duck", etc...). They seemingly love all types of sport and take the matches of football and basketball VERY seriously. They have also got wholeheartedly involved in our arts and crafts activities and picked up our dance routines quickly and enthusiastically (YMCA, I Am A Music Man...).

Here are some photos from Thurs. 23rd's activities.



Before long our teens were being challenged to a sprint.

Max and "Messi"... when we played football in the afternoon he changed into a Barcelona kit with Messi's name on his back. Despite his best efforts his footballing skills were more "messy" than Messi!

Lunch in the cafeteria of the St. Louis de Gonzague primary and secondary schools. Rice is a staple of their diet and is generally part of the midday meal in most places. The meals we've had so far have nonetheless been varied and very tasty. No problem eating your fill, especially if we get the fresh mangoes to round things off.

Trust me, Aaron did get involved, but this first attempt at afternoon sport proved challenging to all of us given the extreme heat (37C) and humidity. However, by the second day our teens were coping with this much better. Many thanks to Bro. Jacques for his offer to referee.


David Roemer said…
Reasons to Believe in Jesus

Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

by David Roemer



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