Where do I find real peace?

by Dr. Conrad Van Dijk

We can all agree that the people of the world today are desperately searching for peace.  The people of Sierra Leone are no different.  At our meeting with the traders union, a man stood up and said something profound about peace.  It caused tension in the packed room.  The man wasn’t talking peace in his nation; he was talking about peace in his heart, and it was lacking.

I had been sharing how speaking peace to one’s neighbour is the first principle of transformation.  The Muslim man, an accountant, stood up and was clearly agitated.  He said, “How can I speak peace to my neighbour if I don’t have peace in myself?”  What a question.  The room got quiet, and you could sense tension building.  I said that his question was a serious one, and asked him to speak to us about it after the meeting.

He later approached us and shared more of his story.  He said that his life circumstances, and an effort to be kind to a neighbour that wasn’t appreciated, had left him frustrated and angry.

“I was kind to my neighbour, and got nothing in return,” he said.   “It was just taken for granted.  Why should I keep trying?”

We told him about how Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and how the bible teaches that our peace is found in relationship with Christ, not in our circumstances.  Jesus’ kind of peace doesn’t take the storm away; he provides peace in the midst of it.  That’s why his peace is not of this world (see John 14:27).

While our hope is that the Holy Spirit touched this man that night, it was a great reminder of how peace and hope for Sierra Leone, or any nation, first starts in our own hearts.

One Comment

  1. Hi,
    My name is Sherry. I’m not normally a vengeful person but I’m very upset by the way your son Sash treated me. I’m a prostitute (and also believe in Jesus and also belong to a Christian Reformed Church). I’ve heard about what wonderful people you are and how you most likely brought Sash up in the right, godly way. However, I just want you to know that in July until October, Sash used me as a prostitute, taking advantage of me and even refusing to pay. He treated me like I was less than, had NO compassion on me WHATSOEVER and he even wanted to watch me have sex with someone else. He also wanted me to have a girlfriend over to have a “threesome”. I’m sorry but he hurt me SO bad because I actually “fell” for him. He had said all these nice things about himself in the beginning that I was just HOPING that, that was the REAL person he was. I found out however that he thought he was better than me, even calling himself “Sash the great” and that “people like me only come around only once or twice in a lifetime”, like he was so great. It was later, however that he was right! There was only ONE OTHER person who treated me SO BADLY!! in my whole lifetime. I’m so appalled at his behavior that I actually think that even though I truly believe you brought him up in the most godly of ways, that he is on his way to hell. Even though we’re not supposed to judge, I find that the things he said to me and the way he treated me, acting like I’m just a no good prostitute (I KNOW that Jesus LOVED the prostitutes and even said that they love much cuz they’ve been forgiven much when the PHARISEES were acting better than her). I just thought that maybe you could help him to understand that he is NO better than ANYONE else, even prostitutes!! If you don’t believe me, I can show you quite a few emails of his and the way he treated me to show you what kind of person he REALLY is!! I call it EVIL!! I was just appalled. I actually fell more for him after I saw him and his daughter on YouTube singing “All in All”, believing that he MUST be a true Christian. NOW, after being treated so horribly by him, I just want you to know so maybe you could talk to him and maybe teach him that NO ONE Is better than another, NO MATTER WHAT!! He was the MOST (second most in my life!!) rudest, crudest and meanest person to me. He used me and played with me, PRETENDING that he liked me back when all he was doing was playing around with me and trying to hurt me. The reason for this email is because I’ve never quite been so hurt by ANYONE In my whole 49 years of living!!! I hope that you can share this with him and maybe talk to him as he needs to learn before he goes to hell!! For some reason, even though he treated me so badly, I still care about him. I KNOW that you brought him up in the right way but I think he is on the wrong path right now (thinking he’s better than not just me but everyone else!!). That is definitely NOT Christlike (not that I am either!! I’m addicted to drugs but I didn’t grow up wanting to be this way!!). Sash continuously made fun of me. I thought at first (from what he was saying) that maybe he could/would help me but instead it ended up that he just played with me and hurt me very badly. Wanting to watch me have sex with other men and also wanting to have sex with me and another woman!!! I thought that, that was DISGUSTING!! I just hope he humbles himself before it’s too late! AND, if you don’t believe me, I have plenty of emails to prove it to you. Just want you to know because I KNOW that you brought him up in the right, godly way and was hoping that maybe you could explain to him that even prostitutes are people and that “Sash the Great” is NOT greater than anyone else and that God HATES pride!! Pride comes before a fall and we’re also not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. I think he has a serious problem that needs intervention. Please help me by helping him. Thank you so much!! Sherry

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