Podcast 92 is Chapter 4 of my unpublished book called ZAHARA asks “WHAT IS LOVE?” Zahara and her grandmother Bibi are fictional characters, but Nehemia is a real person telling his true story of ALCOHOL, and he lives in Nakivale Refugee Camp, Uganda. The Chapter is illustrated below, along with Nehemia's writing of his story.
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Zahara asks “What About Love & Alcohol?”—Part 4
Zahara is a 15-year-old young lady, living in Nakivale Refugee Camp. She is very curious about love. So are many of her girlfriends. Many of her friends are starting to drink alcohol and say that it is making them feel good—they feel partying is better and, they might meet a boy easier this way. Zahara is uncertain how she feels about alcohol because she notices the boys like to get the girls drunk to take advantage of them. Also, her own parents fight often, and especially when they have been drinking alcohol. Once addicted to the substance, she noticed that adults who drink seem to lose their free will and become a victim of the demon brew.
She enjoys visiting Bibi and continues to ask her questions about love—she wants to know what Bibi thinks about excessive alcohol drinking. Bibi’s answers make so much sense while relaxing her heart and mind.
On her next visit, she mentioned to Bibi that she listened to Sydney Banks, (author of The Missing Link), on her cellphone talking about Thought and Alcoholism.
IF YOU WANT CHANGE, it must be in a positive way—it cannot be in a negative way because that will keep the falseness alive. Once you see the falseness of your thought system, it releases Wisdom and heads us into a positive reality. Then, we see Alcohol for what it is i.e., it is only a human being giving it the power through Lack of Consciousness or Lack of Understanding.
Sydney Banks ties a non-silent mind (overthinking, speedy, negative, busy) to alcoholism, addiction, and human suffering.
“Bibi, how do you see alcohol drinking ” Bibi responded with amazement. “My, my—my dear Zahara, such a serious question before you hug me." After sharing a warm feeling between each other, Bibi starts to share on this topic.
"The Indigenous or Native American Indians called alcohol ‘crazywater’ and it destroyed most of their people’s lives until they healed spiritually from it. I have seen many of our fine people beings defeated by alcohol, defeated by a feeling of hopelessness or not being able to let go of the past atrocities that many have had to personally endure. Some have grown stronger or wiser because of this, but for many, the feeling alcohol gives them became too powerful to resist. Because of the stress and memories, alcohol gives them temporary relief. Unfortunately, it often comes with the development of a bad habit called alcoholism.
As you are coming to understand Zahara, I equate negative thought to negative feelings, and as these negative thoughts become a pattern, they take over our character. Drinking soothes this negativity temporarily, and when you are young, like you are Zahara, it appears that the partying is better—this is not true, but when you are young, you are simply looking for a good time, but of course, when good times get out of control, there can be serious repercussions like you become a fool. Recently, in our community, a young girl, close to your age, killed herself when her boyfriend left her. This saddens my heart because she was such a beautiful soul.
Zahara, I would like you to visit Nehemia and hear his story. Since he had an alcohol problem, perhaps his story will touch your heart, in a deeper way than I can."
MY HEALING Journey from DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO to NAKIVALE CAMP, UGANDA
My name is Nehemia Bigiramwami. I am very happy to share my story with you. I am 50 years old from Munyamurenge tribe in Mugono village, Bibogobogo – Fizi district, which is located in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I lived happily there with my family of wife and 11 children for many years. My parents also lived with us. We lived in peace, which I loved. We could cook together, drink our milk, eat maize, cassava, beans, dodo, eggplants and posho. We would play games such as jumping ropes, and swinging with other kids in the forest, looking after cows, and many other enjoyable things where I would laugh and play with a heart full of fun. As I grew up, we did cattle raising with the Elders, as well as cows, sheep, and goats.
My father was a loving man. He often called for my brothers, myself along with other tribes of Bafurero, Banyindo, Babembe and Bamushi. We were so happy together. My father was very wise and generous man, with lots of caring in his heart. He saw that we are all God’s children and showed love for all of us. He encouraged cooperation, advised us in several aspects of life while always pointing us to the love in our hearts and consideration for all people, no matter which tribe they came from.
Our lifestyle was simple but comfortable. We would wear cow hides and shoes. Also, the domestic animals we had could help us get milk to drink, and for dowery payment when we married. We could sell and buy other clothes and other domestic needs.
However, times changed dramatically in 2015. The segregation and racial tensions broke out from around Bibogobogo –Migano village, which was led by the above-mentioned tribes harassing Banyamurenge. The other tribes, with darkness, prejudice and hatred in their heart said that we are Rwandese, and we should vacate their country (Democratic Republic of Congo).
Fighting and war broke out. The fighting got worse and worse. My parents and brothers left the Congo in 2015. I persisted for two more years in a belief that peace was possible. However, when my house was burnt, other relatives of mine having their loved ones killed and kidnapped, my 30 cows taken, killing of my 5 neighbours who were traumatically and tragically chopped into pieces, I lost control with panic, and with a lot of fear. In 2018, I decided to rescue my family of 13 by escaping. Due to much tension and confusion, my two children disappeared on the way!! With great and challenging hardships, we walked through mountains and thick bushes for weeks. We knew we were heading to Uganda, and we found good Samaritan people who gifted us clothes since everything we owned got burnt in the house.
We managed to reach Nakivale Refugee Camp and we felt happy to finally have a place to live. We are currently staying in Nakivale with limited food, clothes, beddings, health care, shelter etc. With all the pressures and stress that I went through and with a lot of new troubles, I became addicted to drinking alcohol so much and feeling desperate.
One of the good things that I have done at Nakivale is that I found Tayebwa Philips, C.E.O and founder of Healing Health Healing Hearts (HHHH). He is contributing to a great positive change in Nakivale Refugee Settlement and beyond. I am so grateful that I found a life changing training with Philips, Harry, and Murindangabo. Murindangabo story of leaving alcohol inspired me and gave me hope that I could also experience a happy life free of the demands of alcohol.
Before I joined the healing circle run by Philips and did some sessions with Harry, Philips and Murindangabo, I would think too much of past hardships that I, family and relatives passed through. I have come to understand that wisdom lies within me. Now, I am feeling much more positive about myself. I have enjoyed the sessions with Harry, including how he speaks in English and Philips translates the teaching into Swahili for Murindangabo and myself. Then we share in Swahili and it is translated for Harry to understand our wisdom that we are sharing. He loves when we share our wisdom, and we love when he shares his wisdom around the 3 Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness.
I have learnt that everything derives via Thought. People drink too much because of the reasons connected to their negative thoughts. I always knew that the power of GOD is vital, but now I have come to realize that all healing comes from and in God plus our understanding of the Role of Thought.
Please to those who read my story understand that Happiness is brought from Thought and Sadness is also brought from Thought. While the world suggests we should use our willpower, I have come to realize that we change when we are using a higher level of understanding. Healing is possible when we understand we are the Thinker of our thoughts, and how this connects to God. It sounds so simple but peace of mind and peace from alcohol comes when we realize or have an insight that Changing Thought heals both a mind that is over-thinking and a human who over-drinks alcohol.
Now, I am sharing my story with many others in the community, to inspire them and give them hope that happiness is available to every human being, no matter what the past or present circumstances are. Working as a team with Philips, Murindangabo and Harry is so fulfilling, and I have come to see that if we want to grow as a human being, we must share our positive feelings with others.
I thank you.