Final Men's Breakfast for 2018 Was Inspiring
When John Steward hugged a Rwandan man after he confessed to killing three people and prompting his friends to kill and maim others, John speedily reprimanded himself: ‘Why did I do that to a man who participated in mass murder?’ ‘Well, why not?’ John thought, ‘This man has just told his story to a skeptical audience, but his demeanour and the signs on his face match the words on his lips. This man, Musabyimana, seems the real deal’. He and John became good friends. How did John prepare to go to Rwanda and what has he learned that could be of use to Aussie men?
John Steward was born in Adelaide, South Australia. As a lad he spent the best three years of his life in a Javanese village. In the morning he did correspondence studies, in the afternoon he went barefoot and did what village boys did. He learnt the practical wisdom of peasant life and knew that the color of the skin is an insignificant difference between East and West.
He is married to Sandi and he has two daughters and three grandchildren; plus a surrogate daughter with two children; and he has a Rwandan daughter, an orphan who adopted him and his wife and who is to be ordained into the Anglican priesthood next month.
After studying agriculture and theology back in Australia, he and Sandi spent nine years in Java focusing on training Indonesian young adults for serving needy villages with compassion. This led him to community development work and eventually he became a facilitator of programs of change and peace building with World Vision.
This work took him to Asia, Africa and Latin America. His last 17 years have focused on Rwanda where he has mentored healers and peacebuilders.
In Melbourne he works as a spiritual companion, a volunteer Garden Ambassador and a resource person in the development of study guides for Alexander Shaia’s book ‘Heart and Mind’.
We will have a wide range of activities to look forward to in 2019, including more of the breakfasts with amazing speakers,
Please look forward to 2019 when the St Alfred's Men's Breakfasts resume.