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Hip Hop Missionary

by Tony V. Thursday, Jun. 19, 2003 at 8:09 PM

A trip with the Missionaries, to Oaxaca, Mexico,leads to unexpected revelations for one student.

I’m hard at work filing papers in the office in

which I work at my University. I

hear the Department Chair yell for me. He asks

me in a big ole Kentucky accent "Tony, How'd ya like

to go to Hoo-waaa-ka?" I’m thinking that anyplace at

this very moment is worth going to. So I find out, a

professor at the university has put in a request to

travel to work with orphans whom were abused or had

parents serving time in a Mexican Prison. We were

also to head into the mountains and work with

indigenous populations. This amazed me. Maybe I

would catch Zach De La Rocha and Rage doing a concert!

Maybe I can kick it with the revolutionaries? I did not really expect any of that. But what I

really did not expect was for the Professor to inform

me that this would be a missionary trip.

I did not know how to take it. On one hand,

I felt the missionaries would be people that would

want to stone me once they found out that I was not a

"believer" of what they believe in.

but on the other hand, I was being offered its a free trip to help people in another portion of

the world.

So prior to leaving, I’m meeting with the church group,

and they all circle me, and say a prayer for me, which

makes me feel uncomfortable. Then I see them all go

off for "prayer class".

We leave for Oaxaca Mexico, one of Mexico's

most southern countries that borders the state of

Chiapas and Guatemala.

I had brought a couple interesting books to read, and

often found time to read. Each time I opened a book, a "faith team

member" would come up, and asked about my beliefs.

I felt that I should reserve my ideas and concepts

about God since I was the minority within the group.

I don’t remember exactly when or where, but I felt

that I wasn’t being true to myself by holding in my

philosophies and beliefs. One day at a lunch bench

during a discussion with an elder, I spoke my mind.

This lady seemed to almost have a heart attack. "What? You don’t

believe in Jesus?" she said. I did feel anxious but

liberated. Then I noticed how every one began to

distance themselves from me. I spoke my mind to every

one who came up to me. I began to question those who questioned me about their belief systems. Then I quoted Saul Williams

only to see how they would respond.

"Never question who I am..

God knows, and I know God personally

infact he lets me call him me

infact she lets me call her me.."

Wine - Saul Williams (NICE!)

They were horrified. I on the other hand, felt a sense of

liberation.

One day, while in the mountains of Metla, the

missionary group set up camp, consisting of a tent, a

P.A. for the ministry band, and lots off food and

offerings of those who "believe". Now I’m a firm

believer if you feed the hungry, and provide them with

any sense of hope, they will believe in anything you

want them too (there are exceptions). But I wandered

into away from the village and began to talk with the

others. They referred to the Christian villagers as

"locos". I then made my way back to tent and I heard

the pastor ask for the U.S team to assemble in the

front of the villagers. I figured if I did not go to

the front, then they would really hate me because that

would only demonstrate my character as a non team

player. So I casually make my way to the front, and

next thing I hear, the pastor asks the villagers to

come to the front for a moment of faith. I did not

know what to do, nor where to go. Almost the whole

village had gathered and stood before me and the faith

team. The faith team begin to place one hand on the

body of the villager, and the other hand high in the

air for god, and recited prayers. Next thing I knew,

I had villagers in front of me and I decided that I

would give them a hug and just kick some lyrics from

hip hop songs I knew (Common's I used to Love H.E.R,

Blackstar's Respiration, Dead Prez's Lets get Free

and so on...) And the villagers loved it! I began to

hug these people and in my arms they cried, and held

me tight. I did not realize the impact in which a hug

could do for people. I realized that these people

were smarter than I thought. They knew damn well life

might not get any better for them. All this food

brought by the ministry will be gone at some point,

but when they cried to me, I could feel the sense of

hopelessness. I then looked to out to various lines

and mine was the longest. How could this be? I am not

a faith healer. I’m only giving hugs. My shirt must have been drenched with tears.



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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
hip hop missionary ralph lopez Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 2:22 PM
hip hop missionary steve jones Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:04 PM
hip hop missionary steve jones Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 3:04 PM
KOBE KOBE SBM Friday, Jun. 20, 2003 at 5:55 PM
hip hop missionary brian johnson Saturday, Jun. 21, 2003 at 8:25 PM

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