Unanimus Pro Eo Unus Lingua (Of One Mind Because One Language)

24 April, 2000

Measure the value of a common language–this ability to communicate–and you will measure the value of a thread to a tapestry.  Common language is a thread running through the magnificent tapestry of American society.  It holds together the diversity of families and cultures in a common picture: diverse, colorful, yet unified and complimentary.  Without the thread of common language, the tapestry that once portrayed a unified community will split and fall leaving one section here, another portion there, and yet another piece to be untangled by the house cat on its morning patrol of the Great Hall.

In the United States, English is by far the most widely used language, and, for hundreds of years, it has been the common bond that connects immigrants of all descent and grants them the title they have cherished so dearly–“American”.  They value this title because it is a title that does not call for them to forsake all culture of their past but to gain a new culture and build one nation that spans the continent and not split it into sixty nations the size of Georgia.  This unification is being weakened by the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants who no longer take measures or retain the desire to become American in language.  Some of them are content to settle in areas where their native tongue is spoken not only in the homes but in the entire community allowing English to become an unnecessary luxury.  This is perhaps convenient in their mind because they do not have to learn a new language, but it contributes to the division of this nation of immigrants.  In 1983, Senator Walter Huddleston noted that open acceptance of English has allowed citizens and  immigrants “to discuss our differences, to argue about our problems, and to compromise on solutions” while developing  “a stable and cohesive society” (114).  Many immigrants come to the United States to work and to build better lives for themselves.  It must be realized that quality of life does not come from living at a certain location nor from working a certain job.  One aspect of a quality life is unity with other human beings.  Unity occurs when people not only work together but find ways to communicate with each other about their feelings, their plans, and their dreams. Continue reading

Bilingual Education: The Tie that Divides

In the United States there is the presupposition that bilingual education is the answer to teaching linguistically diverse children.  The idea is that the children who have a mother tongue other than English and do not speak English as their own language will be sufficiently able to merge and communicate with the major culture of the States while being taught the majority of their classes in their native tongue.  In many cases this presupposition creates a setting where the same children are never exposed to English beyond a few hours of each school day. Continue reading

Leadership Development among Navajo Youth

Michael P. Shead

Senior Paper

International Community Development

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

December 7, 1999

Part II: The Community Development Project

For part one click here

Leadership training among the Navajo men  between ages 12 and 17 in the Shiprock Agency of the Navajo Nation Reservation.

A Note From the Researcher.

A comprehensive documentation of the needs and suggested solutions for any people group would probably fill volumes.  This document is not, by any means, an attempt to address all the needs of the Navajo people but to identify specific leadership issues and present a possible solution in this area.

This project is an effort to contribute an organized leadership training program for young Navajo men.  Its purpose is to train up young leaders who know Jesus Christ as Savior and friend and who will be able, honest, and wise leaders in every area of Navajo life.  This project will take on several stages before completion: analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation and empowerment.

Michael Shead

Tulsa, 1999

Continue reading

Defining Community Development

Michael P. Shead

Senior Paper

International Community Development

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

December 7, 1999

 

 Part I

Chapter 1: A definite purpose and plan

Defining Community Development

Community development is a process. Development is a long-term process of helping people to help themselves.  It is said, “Give a man a fish and you will have fed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and you will have fed him for a lifetime”.  This is the concept of community development–to empower people to care for and improve themselves.

In his book, Two Ears of Corn, Roland Bunch defined community development as “A process whereby people learn to take charge of their own lives and solve their own problems.” (1982).  It is a development of attitude as well as resources. Bunch noted that poverty is often linked directly to mental attitudes more than actual physical situations (1982).

Community development includes many different areas: agriculture, economics, literacy, hygiene, and others.  No matter what area in which the development is taking place it is important to remember that the purpose is to empower the people within their own society and culture so that changes are coming from within the culture and from the people, not merely because an outside influence is changing them.

In 1973 Dale Kietzman presented a definition of community development to the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).  He said, “Community Development is the process of helping to strengthen a community (and its leadership) so that it can resolve, through its own initiative, the problems which face it” (Yost & Yost, 1999). Continue reading

Review: A vocal concert

On Thursday, February 18,  I attended the senior recital of mezzo-soprano singer Charity Barker at Oral Roberts University.  Usually, I am not one to pick out concerts for vocal qualities.  I tend to prefer the more instrumental performances.  However, I did attend Ms. Barker’s recital and feel it was a good experience for me.

Ms. Barker has a strong vibrant voice.  As vocal majors are required, Ms. Barker sang songs in Italian, German, French, and British and American English.  Since I do not understand most of those languages, I followed along in the little flier in the bulletin. I was surprised at the depressive lyrics to several of the songs.  The song Son tutta duolo especially was full of saddened lyrics.

The Italian piece, Oronteasomehow reminded me of aristocratic gardens as one would watch out a large window pane.  It seemed to flow gently.  Even though I could not understand the lyrics, they held the quality which made me think of a lady missing her lad who was away.

As I listened to the music, I took notes so I could write some of the feelings I was having as I listened.  I described the German music as heavier and darker than the other pieces.  Of the German pieces I wrote, “Tries to be light and jovial but doesn’t quite make it.”  The German pieces somehow had a heavier sound.  Perhaps it was the guttural sound of the German tongue or just the style of those pieces.   The American pieces by Gershwin held a light sound with a hint of frivolity.

Overall, I think I gained a better understanding of what the different language styles and at least a little more appreciation of vocal music by itself.

Nepal: Land of People, Kings, and Mountains

Nepal is located between India and China.

Part I — Nepal: People & Places

Nestled in the Himalayan Mountains between Tibet, China; and India sits the nation of Nepal.  This is a land full of nearly anything you can imagine.  From Hindu pagodas and Mount Everest to villages filled with evidence of the 2,500-year-old Nepal culture and history;2 you can find people from around the world, history like nowhere else, and the majestic mountain vistas offered only by the Himalayas.

Politics

Historic

Nepal has a lengthy history tied to Tibet, China, India, and some influence from the British colonial days.3  According to a Library of Congress article, Nepal has existed as a kingdom in the Kathmandu Valley for some 1,500 years.3

In 1743 modern Nepal rose from the slopes and valleys of the Himalayas valleys under the House of Gorkha led by King Prithvi Narayan Shah.4 King Prithvi desired to unify the many separate kingdoms throughout what is now Nepal.  By force he conquered many principalities until he held strategic positions around the Kathmandu Valley.  When Kathmandu was captured in 1769, it became the capital of the future Nepal.  King Prithvi continued to extend his kingdom until his death in 1775. (Compare to US history, this was one year before independence was declared from Great Britian.)  The influence of King Prithvi had brought many ethnically and religiously diverse people together under one national ruler and established guidelines for the nation’s foreign policy for centuries to follow. 4

In the early 19th century, the House of Gorkha came into conflict with the British East India Company and sparked the AngloNepalese War (1814 -16) which proved disastrous for Nepal and reduced the kingdom to its present size.3  Soon after, a period of Nepal’s own politics followed under what is called the Rana Rule.  This was the rule of hereditary dictators which began in 1846 and lasted more than a century.3  These dictators used their positions as heads of state and the support of the military to build stability for the country. This provided Nepal with a time for growth but the oppressive dictators greatly inhibited political and economic development by secluding the country from other nations and strictly limiting internal affairs. Continue reading

Dividing our history, our heritage

December 2, 1998

Original title: “The place of minority history and values in the classroom.”

As tomorrow’s teachers we ask how we can instill in the children an understanding of the value found in diversity. We want to show children that different opinion and views are valuable to society and their own lives.  The difficulty is teaching this without alienating the children from each other.

The United States has been called a “melting pot” of peoples. In teaching our children, I think we should point out that rather than a meshing and melting of individual peoples into a unidentifiable mush, the U.S. is more like a color photograph. Each color is vital to the completion of the whole picture. Just as the photograph needs the variety of colors so society needs different opinions and ways of doing things to make it whole. Continue reading

Experience as an outsider

November 4, 1998

 

Being an outsider from what is considered the norm is, for most people, undesirable.  While most people want to be different from others, they do not want to be an outsider who stands out as someone who does not know or is unaware of cultural norms and values.

In 1995, a friend and I spent two months in South America.  Most of the time I was in Santiago, Chile, teaching English to first through sixth graders at a school.  I remember the first time my friend and I went to visit the school.

My friend Sam and I had purchased nice felt hats at a tourist market and decided to wear them to the school that first day.  We knew that we stuck out as foreigners but the hats did not help at all..  While the hats may have been in keeping with the traditional Chilean culture, we soon realized hats of that sort were not worn by very many people in the city.  We successfully became the object of many stares as we made our way down the street trailing our host.  When we got back from the school that afternoon we stored our hats for the remainder of the trip.  Continue reading

Six Weeks in Asia

 In fulfillment of the International Community Development  Internship, I spent May 14 through June 28 in central Asia.  The seven-member team of which I was a part, was active in various forms of assistance and evangelism in the nations of Nepal, Bhutan, and India.

Overview

Our itinerary sent us all across the area of northern India and Nepal and briefly into Bhutan.  The entire internship can be separated into three segments:  Conferences, Trekking/Medical assistance, and Discipleship.

Conferences

Our conference itinerary sent us to the Nepal-India border town of Karkavitta, Nepal, for our first conference.  Then we took an overnight bus to Kathmandu, Nepal, where we painted at a youth center and lead another conference.  After nine days in Kathmandu, we rode in a bus and jeeps to the Bhutanese border of India where we attended a secret pastor’s conference in Bhutan, an extremely anti-Gospel nation.  During that week we also led a youth conference in Jaigon, India. During the conferences, I spoke (through a translator) on the topics of: “Growing in the Lord”, “Destiny”, and “The Armor of God”.

+Spiritual needs

The Karkavitta conference there was attended by people who had traveled more than three days specifically for the conference.  Beginning on a Sunday night, the conference sessions continued until noon on Wednesday, May 20.  It was a joy to see a visiting Hindu teacher accept Christ while others rededicated their lives to the Lord.

The Kathmandu conference was aimed more for youth of Kathmandu so we spent time of fellowship in small groups and playing sports with them.  This time of fellowship was a good time to get to know the people and showed them that we are real people who enjoy life just like they do.

The final conference we preached was in Jaigon located on the border of Bhutan and India.  Bhutan is one of the most closed nations to the Gospel.  Persecution of believers is continual in this tiny nation nestled in the tropical foothills between India and Tibet. Continue reading