Stranded in Zambia, MCC U.S. staff members reflected on U.S. attacks

Mennonite Central Committee
Friday, 28 September 2001

AKRON, Pa. -- Conrad Moore of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. learned of recent attacks in the United States in an unusual way.

After attending the U.N. Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, he and two other MCC U.S. staff members were in Zambia visiting MCC programs. Recovering from a day of travel Sept. 11, Moore attended morning chapel services Sept. 12 at Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, an MCC partner organization. The speaker discussed Sudan's ongoing civil war and concluded with a prayer for Sudan and other conflict zones.

"And then he added, 'Let's not forget to pray America,'" and he mentioned the plane crashes," Moore remembered.

Without access to television or radio, Moore pieced together accounts of the tragic events and called his wife in Lancaster, Pa., to learn more. Michelle Armster and Iris de Leon-Hartshorn, the other MCC U.S. staff members, found the story difficult to believe.

The attacks and ensuing flight changes delayed their return home to Pennsylvania for four days, and put a different twist on their presentation in a Mindolo course on identity-based conflict.

"I had never expected to be in a conflict transformation class setting talking about terrorism in the U.S.," Moore said. "I also never expected that feeling of being a temporary refugee, of literally not being able to go home."

For more information, or to contact Mennonite Central Committee, see their website at: www.mcc.org

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