Thursday, December 1, 2016

Looking Back at Guyana 2016

Within the dying plants of last season are hidden the seeds for the new one ahead.
I Just Deleted the Whole #@%!?+$ Post.  

I had waxed philosophical about many things of critical world importance. Maybe the CIA didn't want them out there because when I went to hit "Publish" my blog was blank!   It is a good thing none of my grandchildren were here to hear what made Anne ask, "Are you upset about something?"  

Redo...with less philosophy

Immediate Aftermath
I arrived back at the airport in Hamilton where Anne greeted me with a camera and kisses.

It always seems to take me longer to re-adjust when coming back.  I used to think it was because I had trouble reconciling the wealth that I encountered everywhere in the north.   However, I think it is more personal that that.   It reminds me of my retirement.   I go from the day I arrive in Guyana with classes - preparation, teaching, marking; people needing to see me for all sorts of issues, some  revision of mental health policy or requirements .....  And then, when I am back in Canada, I am a retired guy who gets out for breakfast once a week.  This is a slight exaggeration, and, to be truthful, I do like the lazy pace.   But it is quite a change.    And once I get over my self-importance fixations, I enjoy my wife Anne, our children and grandchildren.  It doesn't take me long to start wondering, "What day of the week is it?"

Lots of the same, some differences

I racked my brain to come up with some new insight, but none came.   This year's first year nursing students, like the others before them wanted me to say if they were the Best Ever Batch.    I told them I couldn't say because I forget lots.  (Actually, the only things I have forgotten over the years are many names.)   They decided that they could live with "The Batch with a Difference". 
It was a different year with many routines.  I did wonder about what these students could have accomplished if they had been given a good education throughout their schooling.    They were very good this year - inquisitive, creative, critical thinkers.   It did give me cause to wonder, as this was the first time they were actually asked to think.

My 2016 memories are filled with the same usual suspects ..... student nurses, faculty colleagues, staff from the CEO through all the departments at Mercy, my banker and phone lender Michael Ram,  Drs. Bhiro Harry, Jorge Balseiro and their families who welcome me into their homes.
Bhiro, Georgia, Idanis, Jorge, me at Bhiro's home
 I feel grateful for all the kindnesses that colleagues and friends show me while I am there.   And I have a parallel gratitude for all those from the North who support me with prayers and donations. Several of my students wrote of their evaluations that they couldn't believe that people they didn't know gave them their tablets; it was the first time that any class had give them anything.   You make them and me feel special.  It is a cliché to say that I couldn't do it without all of you... from the philosophical (if there are no students, there is no teacher) to the more crass gratitude for the donations as the PBL programme could not be run.  So thanks as usual.

I am truly grateful to my wife, Anne Treadwell.  The students this year wanted me to thank Anne for "letting" me come.  I objected strenuously ..... but it may be closer to the truth.   My family here:  I don't think my grandchildren notice that I am not there, but I am sure they will have something to tell their therapists about an absent grandfather.   

There were some kind of new gratefuls in 2016:

Problem-based learning:
    • this year was the smoothest run and most organized ever.   I would like to say that I am getting better, but the real credit must go to an "old" first year student - 2009,  Candy Mohan.   She has obtained a B.Sc. Nursing, and lots of nursing experience.   This year she was a full time Faculty member at the School of Nursing and was keen on helping me coordinate the PBL.    She also knew many of her University of Guyana colleagues and "enticed" them into leading some of the small groups when we needed help.
    • Roberta Binda, was a constant leader of small groups and added some welcome consistency.  She also took her rotation in scoring the daily exams.   The Senior Faculty member, Jackie David, assisted with small groups.   And Candy recruited not-a- boyfriend,Chan, who was in between jobs to run a small group for three weeks while Nurse Elsie was in the US exploring with St Joseph's University ways to increase cooperation.   
    • So there seems to be increased integration and cooperation in many areas.   One for which I also have to give credit to Candy was the idea that we could offer Continuing Education Credits to staff nurses who lead the PBL small groups.  We proposed that they take the same student exam and we grade them on a pass-fail basis.   Our staff tutors really liked the idea and all who took the exam passed.  A Win-Win.
    • We have begun conversations about introducing some clinical skills training and readjusting the content in the Anatomy and Physiology course to parallel issues raised in the PBL pages.   Might happen  next year or the year after or "Just Now".

Psychiatry Master's Degree
    • Finally, all the "t's" are dotted and the "i's" crossed.   There is a Master in Medicine -Psychiatry offered by University Guyana and the Georgetown Public Hospital.  This is the result of the years of hard work by Bhiro and Jorge who were excited to begin official residency before I left.  They weren't the most excited; the four residents who had been working a doctors in psychiatry for several years were finally to get rewarded for their patience.
      The four "new" psychiatric residents and John
    • I had the honor of conducting the second academic day in the new degree programme and talked about the ethics of truth telling in psychiatry.   I only now realized some of the irony of that topic as the residents had been told for several years that it was about to start!   But who really knows the truth?
    • I hope that my Canadian Colleagues with the newly named "Mental Health Without Borders" can continue to offer their support for visiting faculty over the next three years so they can see them graduate!  It is one thing to start something and another to continue it.

Big Accomplishment for CEO, Helen Browman

In October, Helen Browman, Acting CEO at St Joseph Mercy Hospital was awarded a Master in Business Administration, Executive with honors from the University of the West Indies.   This a huge accomplishment as all during her studies she was working full time at the hospital.  Well done, Helen.
Helen was so excited about her degree,
she bought me dinner.

Something [or someone] was missing
I did have to go drinking without my colleague, Rev. Two, Dennis LeBlanc.   This year he had to attend to more important items; his [and Maggie's] daughter Emily's wedding.
Rev 2 reading large print service

So Does Change Happen?

Of course, you can't see changes if you look all the time...  If you look every minute, it seems nothing has changed, but if you wait a week one can see changes.  Well, in Guyana it may take more than a week but improvements happen.  When I first came to Mercy the Eve Leary Parade Ground's grass was cute by men with cutlasses!.   Here is a picture from 2016:

Maybe, I'll be back next year .....
Thanks for reading.  John

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The "Last Post"... till I am back home

I still can't get that slide show working 
So click on  This Week's Pictures.

I have a Dilemma about Returning Home

This morning when I went to get an egg sandwich for breakfast... I saw to my amazement the "Donut Lady" had returned after a year's absence. Fresh, still warm, large, sugar ones.  And during my last week... Oh the Agony!

The First Year's Turn to visit the Morgue

The 2016 Survivalists of Rev John's Trip to the Morgue

After our visit being cancelled last week because there were too many medical students, we returned on Wednesday.  But when we got there -- more medical students.   When Dr. Singh arrived on his motorcycle he saw me ..... He would take care of everything.  I hoped so, as I wasn't leaving this time.   He was a man of his word and arranged to have one body brought in to an adjoining room where my students were also led.    Here the associate pathologist also a Singh ["Singh" is like "O'Connor" -  dime a dozen name] -- first name Yogeshwar [not a dime a dozen name].  I'll let one of the students tell you about the visit:

"My first experience at the morgue was terrifying.  I have always been afraid of dead bodies, not because they scare me but because of the fact that I know that I am going to die someday.  Seeing them makes me wonder about my life and when it is going to end.  This is the scary part because, I don’t want to die.  I don’t want to leave this world and my family and friends.

But being at the morgue today helped me to appreciate life a whole lot more.  It made me realize how meaningless riches and popularity and material things are.   It was difficult looking at the body just being butchered like an animal or some piece of meat.   I thought about the fact that he had a family and how they must feel knowing that he is gone, but I also felt good that they were not there to witness such a gruesome thing.  

Other than what was going on inside me. I was afraid that the smell would get to me, but it didn’t.   At one point I was afraid to look at the face of the corpse, but thankfully I had my friend to help calm me down and I started to relax and that is when I got curious and wanted to touch.  Even though I knew it was a dead body I kept looking for some sign of life.  Personally, I find it hard to understand what it means to be dead. 

Other than my personal fears, the trip to the Morgue was good.  The pathologist Dr. Yogeshwar Singh was a great teacher.  He took time to explain lots of things to us, even though I can’t remember half of it.  When the organs were being removed from the body, I somehow started to feel a pain in my heart; I thought that I would faint.   I wondered if he was feeling any pain.  Even though I am curious, I don’t think that I ever want to go back to the morgue, much less witness another autopsy.   

I must say thanks to Mercy School of Nursing for giving me such an experience.  It has taught me a lot and I plan to share it with my family and friends.  I want to help someone else to appreciate life and their loved ones a little more than they do right now."

Speaking of Scaredy Cats  Frogs and Rev

Bad Selfie with Gecko
A few weeks ago, one of those salamanders or lizard things dropped down from the ceiling on my head...  and I was just a little jumpy.    These geckos are all over and more a nuisance than anything else.   However, early this morning as I lay sleeping, I felt something walking over my ear and when I went to brush it way - it was pretty big - a frickin' frog.  Now I did scream "a little", but I think that I may have had just cause.   We both lived.  I caught the frog and put him [although I guess it could have been a her] outside.   And I live on the second floor ..... now I have "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Mercy Hospital".  Sorry Mark Twain.

Final Exams - a Time for Massive Prayer

Singing to the End - and a new adventure.
This is the time of year that my freshman class of 2013 finish up and prepare to write their National Final RN exams... three days all together - two written and one practical.  As tradition would dictate, on the day before, the whole school assembles and wishes them well with prayers and advice.. and we send them on their way to do battle!  In some ways it is had to believe that it has been over three years since they first stepped into my classroom.

                                                              Singing every day.

Leave it there for Just Now

I heard it said that in battle, you need to leave everything and everyone where they die... However, Guyana has taken that message to heart even in times of peace. Stuff just stays where it stopped or was left. A few examples:

Never know when you may need it.
But Officer, I only went for gas.

I may be next!
And my famous "Guyana 911" ambulance of 2010 - still there!

Great News Finally

The first classes for the Master in Medicine - Psychiatry were held.  I got the honor of teaching in their second class.   Now I hold the title of "The Absolutely Best Foreign Professor". [Remember Raj?] There have been so many people who worked hard to achieve this, especially Drs. Bhiro Harry and Jorge Balsiero... and our Canadian Mental Health Team Members... who are even more excited about participating in the future.  They are already planing their February and September trips in 2017.  Ask about how you can join them.  There are four doctors who have been helping in the Psychiatry Department at Georgetown Public Hospital for a few years and hoping that the residency would finally start... and now they will get credit for all their hard work.

I met with them in a state of the art multimedia centre at Georgetown Public Hospital... equipped by a Canadian company.  I forgot to get the benefactor's name, as I am not above groveling to get a smaller one at Mercy SoN.   It is also equipped with a phone line that kept ringing on the screen... and I couldn't figure out how to answer or stop it!

New Residents: Drs Vanetta, Elizabeth [Head Resident], Stephan, Old Fart, Meena

And before I forget...

I had a good visit with Raymond Jagessar, who is now a Full Professor in Chemistry at UG... and a "good" Lutheran.   We shared a drink [Ray's was coconut water; mine wasn't] with good memories of Pastor Dick Young who has vanished into the Oregon hinterlands.

And when I was in New Amsterdam I had a quick visit with the  Lutheran Music Academy there.  I had a lively and enthusiastic conversation with the three new volunteer music instructors, Lauren, Sandor and Kirsten.   They conduct music lessons for the surrounding community and at all different levels of ability.  The founders of the school are Eric Sayre and St Olaf's College in Minnesota - along with the support of "Good Ol' Dr Erv."  Click on their link if you are into music.

Lauren, Sandor, Kirsten the 2016-7 Music Teachers

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of presenting Dr. Tony Carr's and my programme of Problem Based Learning to Director Tabitha Mallampati's class on teaching theories.   It also gave me the chance to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of how the Mercy programme has been evolving.  These insights are for another time.
There were some Mercy Grads who showed up to hear me again.
And yes, Sister Barbara McLean, I did get to visit with Malinda and make sure she was eating... And I forgot my camera ..... I also forgot my camera [well, actually I did have my camera, but I forgot that I had it] when the Mercy Corps Volunteers had me over for a wonderful team-cooked meal in their nice, but wireless, wireless home...  I am sure I am forgetting stuff, but this will have to do for a few weeks while I finish here and travel to Florida to see some family and then to my Canadian home and my wonderful wife and children and grands.   Till then, thanks for reading.  John

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Just Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

I still can't get that slide show working 
So click on  This Week's Pictures.

No Guilt this Week - St. Ann's Times Three

I guess I was over-compensating for my sins of neglect.   Last Friday, Sister Mary Peter told me that there was an Anniversary Mass for Sister Claudiet's 25th Anniversary and the girls would really love to see me there".  I took that as "misery loves company" as they all had to go.  I got to St Ann's early and the girls were no place to be seen. They were all upstairs getting dressed up to go to church.  They were hard to recognize as I usually don't see them like that.  It was a good celebration and the girls and Sister Claudiet were glad to see me.

Strange but True...

One of the readings for the Mass was from somewhere in the Bible about Jesus healing the ten lepers; he told them to go show themselves to the priest; however, only one returned to give thanks to Jesus for healing him.*  Jesus would have like Guyana.   As I and others have mentioned before, it is a people who are truly grateful for gifts they receive.   I had mentioned the student with the bad back who did not get lucky in the draw for one of the leftover tablets.  Well, I keep one till I leave so I can solve any problems they may have and since I have never grown up I like playing with new toys.   However, I gave her that tablet, so she could do her work.   A couple of days later she wrote me, "Hey Rev thanks a lot for the tablet; it's coming in very handy.  I'm watching my videos for anatomy etc, research is coming great, and other studies ..... just saying thanks and I'm really grateful."

* A little demonstration of my biblical depth:  The one who returned was the one who didn't listen to Jesus ..... He never made it to the priests.   I like that interpretation as it means I still might have a shot!

The Old St Ann's Girls and Graduates

There were at least a dozen girls who left St Ann's last year as they were at that age.  I knew them all very well [except for getting their names right] and was concerned to see how they were doing.  I do catch some on FaceBook.  So when I saw one of them I offered to buy a dinner for anyone who could make it.   Well, the discussion had as many as 12 coming and then who knew ..... In the end 4 old girls came and two ringers from St Bernadette's Girls Hostel.   We went to my friend's Taju's fine dining sidewalk cafe.  The invitation was for 5:30ish.  The first girls arrived about 7 and others closer to 8 ..... (They were getting ready!)  Anyhow, we had a great visit and got to know the two girls who were on scholarship from the interior.   

I did get a chance to chat about their lives. One of the questions that I asked was;  What do you wish you'd known before you left St. Ann's?  Almost unanimous was the wish that they had learned how to budget money and cook.   I was quite surprised as I had assumed that was a given now that they would be on their own .....   They followed the old Guyanese proverb, "Experience teach you sense"  with hard financial knocks and just as hard potatoes!   The next time I am back at St. Ann's I will see if they can start those things.   I can see the unsureness about me teaching sex ed [though I saw it as an essential survival skill] but not to have them learn money management  and cooking .....!   I hope that this will soon change.   I enjoyed myself to see them growing up despite all their hard knocks.

Finally My Usual Weekly Visit.

I was back again just to sit and chat and play with the girls on Friday afternoon.   I usually go on Thursday, but was really tired.  I must be getting older.  This year the schedule seems even more chaotic than in previous years with the girls going for extra lessons, after school activities, and already church/choir stuff for Christmas.

I did get to demonstrate my basketball skills and my post play is as good as ever.

What to do when the Morgue is too crowded?

All had been arranged, daily schedules changed, Dr. Singh gave permission to bring the students ..... and unfortunately, he did the same with four medical schools and their students.    I thought it might have been a Beyonce concert there were so many people.  I waited for doc to arrive on his motorcycle and we renegotiated to bring them this Wednesday.  He promised that they would be the only ones there and he would give them lots of time.  So be it .....  patience and flexibility get a workout here.

But what was I to do with the field trip students who did not want to go back to an overly-zealous prof who wanted to do some lecture.   So I called Dr. Harry and he invited us to his psychiatry clinic where they could participate in psychiatric interviews and do rounds on the few inpatients... And he wasn't going to be there, but no problem...   Well, there were only a few knickers in knots, moaning some words like protocols and procedures .....  However, the psychiatric residents did a great job.

 And It was a Day to Celebrate

This was the first official day of the Master Programme in Psychiatry... after working so hard for so many years Drs. Bhiro and Jorge could see the fruits of their efforts.    So when anyone asks my students where were you on the first day of this historic event ..... !

"Rev, You Want to go on a Walk for Childhood Cancer?"

It was after I answered yes that they told me the walk started at SIX Am from the National Park. I shook my head that I had changed my mind, but they told me that the whole class would be there and I had said that I wanted to do something with them.  [I had been thinking something more leisurely.]  Well, I got there and picked up Rashleigh along the way ..... And at 6, I was the only one there for the walk!  When the walk started, closer to seven, there were 4! and when the walk was finishing we picked up two more... and then after we had breakfast another one showed up...  The batch may have to work on team spirit and time-telling.   Though they insisted that I have chicken curry for breakfast -- a first.   I didn't tell them that I love pizza for breakfast!

And Some Perspective for my Bitching

Everything takes so long here.  I have internet in the flat about half the time [I am lucky right now] and no one has fixed it in over 6 weeks; I do not have a bell at my flat door and I live on the second floor also six weeks; three broken panes of glass on the North side so when it blows rain there are waterways on the floor...  I feel I am being singled out and they are just ignoring me knowing I'll go away .....  And then life teaches you that you are not the centre of the universe.   Below is a picture of the MAIN [practically the only] entrance to the CEO's Administration Offices.   One board collapsed on the top landing early last week... The picture is from today...  I am not alone.
More to write, but this is enough for all of us...  Thanks for reading. John

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How Many Days in a Week?

I still can't get that slide show working 
So click on  This Week's Pictures.
And No, I did not get to St Ann's
And Yes, I feel guilty!
Another Blog?

See, you aren't the only one who says that.   I really thought that I had just finished the last one and what the hell am I going to write about this time.   However, the first task is to remember what the hell happened this week.   Oh yeah, now I am starting to remember.    I do know that I really start to feel the pressure of time once I pass the halfway point... and instead of finding new requests exciting, I find then overwhelming as I know there will be so much already on my plate that I won't get done before I have to leave.   Well, I'll just resort to my favorite Latin expression, "Que Sera, sera."

The National Psychiatric Hospital Field Trip

The buses were loaded just a little late, but early by Guyanese time.   All the students [except for Bailey who is getting married today and she used the excuse she needed the time to get ready and Bamidele who hasn't been seen or heard from for a few days], a couple of tutors, two free-loading Mercy Volunteers [whom I actually invited] and me ..... Almost forgot Rodney, one of our usual minibus drivers.  He has been doing it for so long, he even remembers Dr. Tony and Rev 2, Dennis.

It was an uneventful trip except no one has told the government that if you double the number of cars and don't increase the number of roads ..... you get traffic jams.  Not on the scale of Toronto or New York, but there really is only one road to get to Berbice...

As we turned into the still used street name "Berbice Madhouse"... I realized after almost ten years of going, I have unfortunately gotten used to the conditions but the students were overwhelmed.   They were more adventurous than some years as they were all outside the bus when I returned with the Head Psychiatrist, Dr. Mayda Grajales.  She welcomed everyone and took time from her clinic to lead the group to our first cottage, the Women's Chronic.   As the students entered, somewhat glued together, I imagined a scene from one of those gladiator movies, where the Christian prisoners are all huddled together before being tossed to the lions.

I remind them of my first rule. "You are to spend 15 minutes visiting with just one patient." That is it.   And every year I realize how difficult that is. "The patient doesn't say anything", "she walks was from me", "she makes no sense", "she just stares at me"...  Yes, 15 minutes!

 It is really like herding cats... I need to drag some from the central mass and introduce them one at a time to their person.  " Good morning.   I was hoping you could spend some time teaching one of my best nursing students [with only two dozen students they are all one of the best].    I get then all matched up and then look around and the middle huddle had reconstituted itself and prepared the above excuses ..... and back I shove them.   And to prove my scriptural depth, I think Jesus said, "Can't you watch one hour with me?"    I think he was expecting too much; I had trouble with 15 minutes.

Time is such a strange thing... on one side 15 minutes was very long and stressful for the students and from the other side it is about 1.04166667% of that person's day.  And I doubt if even my sister, Maggie, could figure this one out - some of those women have been there for 30 years... And, yet to some, 15 minutes was an eternity.     Those women know what an eternity is.


So much for philosophy.  "My Students" -- yes mine, now that they have started interacting with the people there as human being -- began to explore what it was like for them to be there more years than they are old!   My prayer is that they remember and the "taste remains on their tongue and mind for a very long time".  [Kind of stolen from My Name is Asher Lev].    Though given the amount of giggling and laughing and singing -- not real religious songs -- in the minibuses on the way back, I may be a little optimistic about their memories!

We did stop at the little Jumbie Tree [the larger one died] still in the middle of the road because no workers would cut it down.  It is a silk cottonwood tree.  The Dutch brought them and so they are not native to Guyana.   And there are so many stories about them now that have passed from story or truth to myth.  As I told the students, as the story goes, the slaves had to dig a big hole and then a slave was put in the bottom - some stories say already dead and some stories alive. Then fertilizer and then the tree... so the spirit lives on as the Guyanese equivalent of a zombie; however, these are real.   

I tried to find a picture of the students feeling
 for the heartbeat of the dead slave
where none of them would be identifiable.

They were enjoying my story so much, I had to keep going.  I said that if you placed your hand on the roots you might be able to feet the still beating heart of the dead slave...   Don't you just love legends... I wonder if I can copyright my version.  

Add caption

On the way to New Amsterdam, we were driving through Enmore, so I casually asked, "Does anyone know why Enmore is famous?" To which I received the typical student response of the blank stare indicating that I must have switched to some unknown language.   So I asked Rodney if we could pull over on the way back to stop at the Martyr's Monument.  Once there, I began my "you need to know some history of your own country."  It is a longer story, but in brief: five sugar workers were killed by police in order to protect property -- and break the strike.   This event sealed Cheddie Jagan's resolve to fight for the independence of Guyana.   

My impassioned speech was met with their return to taking selfies.    On leaving the grounds, one of the students asked if she could leave now as her home was just down this road ..... and she had never visited the monument, which had been there before her birth. So much for ancient history.  And what shocked me:  it happened after I was born - - yes, ancient history indeed.

Payback for the Free Phone
For many years now the Lutheran Church in Guyana has lent me one of their phones.  This has really been essential for me as my flats have not had land lines for many years -- "Just now" they are coming .....   However, I have not really done much with the Lutheran church in thanks for such a gift.  So when I returned the phone last year, I told Davy Ram that if they wanted,I could do some presentations.  [They already know that I really can't preach.]  He suggested doing something for the youth group; sure, that sounded good.  I said, How about sex and relationships?   It really did seem like a good idea at the time.   It is a big topic, eh?  I asked for the youth to write their questions for me and I would organize them into a coherent whole.   Well, the only questions that I got back I thought came from all the adult advisers.  Some of the question submitted were:
  •         Sexual acts acceptable in God's sight?
  •         Oral  and Anal sex,  should I adapt or refrain?
  •         Does the church support and scripture basis for polygamy, polyandry relationships?
  •         What Bible says about homosexuality?
And then I discovered I was going to do it twice:  once this past week in GT and tomorrow back in New Amsterdam.   It was good ..... and the most amazing thing that I learned was these youth - some in their twenties - had no sexual education at all.  They received none from parents,  school, church, clubs except from their equally literate friends on the street.  Actually, that is kind of how I learned and it was also as wrong as theirs.  This in the face of the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the Caribbean and South America.  

Earlier in 2013, the Government of Guyana had told the United Nations Rights 
of the Child Committee that some 3,000 girls get pregnant each year. 
[or about 97 out 1,000 girls between 15 and 19] of The UN report had said 
that the Government had considered the issue a matter “of concern.”


I tried to answer their questions in a direct and street-language way that many found helpful; a few were disturbed by the vocabulary ..... [And I thought that I was on my best behaviour.]   At the end, some of the adult advisers wanted to know how they could continue such discussions in the future.   Anyhow, it couldn't have been that scandalous as I am still scheduled to talk to the Berbice youth this Sunday. 

I'll share one example that shocked me, but probably shouldn't have.  A young guy in the midst of  discussion about homosexuality and the Bible shared his experience of doing a Halloween skit at a youth group meeting where some of the guys dressed as women for the play.   Later, the pastor called them all in and admonished them never to do that again and had they not realized the shame they had heaped upon the congregation by dressing like "antimen".  [A really not nice word.]  

Maybe I should listen myself to Paul's words in Romans somewhere around 14, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another."     
Just for you bible scholars who read this blog ..... there are 250 verses in the Bible about the proper use of wealth; 300 on our responsibility to care for the poor and work for justice; only 7 passages that refer directly to homosexual behaviour, none of which are associated with Jesus.   I am bewildered at what texts we hold as truths eternal and which ones we let slide into history.

The end for now... though I had a few more stories to share.  
Thanks for reading, John