“I Believe All Things Are Possible Because”
“I Believe All Things Are Possible Because”... Book Publication Event
On July 20, I made my way over to Shiloh SDA Church for an event to celebrate the publication of a book created around a theme. Writers, mostly youngsters, were asked to respond to the lead in, “I believe all things are possible because...,” and respond they did. When I arrived at the church, I was invited into Dr. Charlet's office where I met him, his wife Fayola, Elder Owen George, and Pastor Paulet Howard of The Devan Group, the publisher and promoter of this book. There Dr. Charlet gave me a copy of the book. Flipping through it revealed a book that is 114 pages long and contained writing by about 90 writers, most of them children, but also teens and adults. The book cover is blue with a fetching photograph of a young person in mid-flight leaping from one ledge to another with clouds and a deep blue sky behind him.
Soon it was time to go into the main room of the church where the congregation meets. We began with a prayer led by Elder Owen George, and then we sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Dr. Charlet made some welcoming remarks, and Dimples Clarke spoke. She had been instrumental in getting the various participants to do the writing and assembling it for publication by The Devan Group. Alexa Campbell, a talented young girl sang beautifully, and more speakers followed. Pastor Howard gave an inspirational speech as did Ola Olanike of the Democratic State Committee. As the editor of a magazine I was glad to say something about the importance of writing, and Dr. Charlet wrapped up the speeches with a stirring tribute.
Then came the passing out of awards in all different categories from the first to pass in an essay to the first to place an order for the book to the largest order placed for the books (someone asked for 31 copies!) to the most distinguished essays. Members of the congregation came to the front of the room and were congratulated, and after closing remarks, another musical selection and a benediction, the ceremony came to an end.
Downstairs in the dining room tables were set up and there was a place for each writer with copies of the book sitting nearby. Dr. Charlet signed my copy and I asked Denisa, whom I had met as an organizer of Shiloh's Thursday food pantry to bring me some of the winners for an interview. She assembled four of them. The first one I talked to was Luke Bostwick, aged 10 who wants to become a police officer. He wrote a poem with long lines, each one using the lead in phrase. He told me that he had gotten help from his grandparents and that the poem had changed a lot as he and they worked on it. He got an award for being the first to submit his work, leading the way for dozens and dozens of others. The second one I spoke with was Gideon Brown, also aged 10, his essay quoted from the Bible but then segued into an essay on bikes, how they are good for our health and the environment and are an efficient way of getting around the city. He aspired to learn to ride a bike and had indeed found that that was possible. Jonathan Blair, aged 12, told how he had struggled with his school work in the fifth grade, but when he prayed, he found a way out of his problems. This bright youngster is interested in science. He loves science fiction and watches the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. One thing he would like to make possible is attending MIT so he could become a scientist. And finally I spoke with Ahmoll D. A. John. Ahmoll is eleven, and in his essay he tells how he prayed to do well on the state test for third graders. His prayers were answered; he got very high grades. He too has more things he hopes will be possible. He would like to attend Harvard and then go on to medical school to become a surgeon. It is not possible here to discuss all the other numerous writers. Anyone interested should stop by Shiloh to get a copy f the book, only $13 and filled with many heart warming and inspiring essays.
– John DeWind