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Thoughts and Words by Roger A.K.A. Danillo

Rudy Pohl & Susan Brandt Sept 2002

Roger has been coming the OIM Wednesday Dropin Centre for over a year now. From the first day that he began visiting us we noticed a warmness and a pleasantness about him — there was something nice in his spirit that attracted us to him. He spent a lot of time buried in a variety of books, often the Bible, and he would write and write in what appeared to be a large thick journal. Hours would pass by as Roger appeared to be lost in his world of words, which he obviously enjoyed a great deal, judging from the smile on his face.

We also noticed that Roger was one of the regular participants at the OIM Dropin Centre Choir which gathers round the piano at 2:00 PM every Wednesday to sing everything from John Denver songs to the old favourite hymns of the Church. Agnes, a music teacher who is one of our volunteers, comes every week and she leads the choir in this wonderful time. It was clear from Roger’s immersion in the Bible and by the way his face lit up whenever he sang the old hymns that he was an excited and strong Christian believer.

I first got to know Roger by playing ping pong with him — he’s the reigning in-house champion, and in all our games this year I experienced the great pleasure of beating him only one time. But it was sweet. Then, when we got the new OIM website completed I started on my talent search for rare treasures among us, and of course, Roger was on my list. I figured that with all his reading and writing he must have penned the odd poem or two, or a short story or essay. My hunch paid off, and Roger and I began to discuss putting together some of his literary creations for a web page in the Rare Treasures section of the OIM site.

Finally, in December 2001, we sat down and Roger began to share something of his story with me. And here’s a little of what he said.

Roger was born in the country of Cameroon on the west Coast of Africa. He grew up in the town of Buea in beautiful Fako Mountain region. His father was a civil servant and because of this, the family moved a lot and so Roger got to see and experience many different parts of the country.

Roger grew up in a strong Christian Baptist family and in 1991 he left Cameroon, sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, to attend their Baptist Leadership Training Centre (BLEC) in Whitby, Ontario. He graduated from BLEC in 1992, and later that year continued his studies for preparation for ministry at Atlantic Baptist College (now Atlantic Baptist University) in Moncton, New Brunswick. There he studied for the next three-and-a half years.

Unfortunately, prior to the completion of his studies at ABC, Roger’s world began to unwind. One bad situation lead to another starting a rapid downward spiral of life’s circumstances resulting in Roger quiting school, leaving Moncton for Montreal, and eventually coming to Ottawa. Roger has just gone through a pretty dark and lonely period in his life but believes that things are about to change. He is happy to have the opportunity to share these thoughts and words with you on this web page and asks for your prayers. Below is just a small sampling of some of the things he has written over the years.

A song by Roger, Nov. 1998

I was born with,
a silver spoon in my mouth.
so very special,
so very special.

I’m a sheep,
I’m a lost one,
so very special,
so very special.

I’m so Alienated,
From circulation.
Sometimes I think that,
I do not belong here.

[ Chorus ]

I saw the Horizon,
It’s now a Mirage.
Am I in the desert?
The Sahara Desert?

[ Chorus ]

Escape is my religion,
I run so very Fast.
I run all the time,
Keep running from myself.

[ Chorus ]

I’ve got to transcend this,
pain within my heart.
I’ve got to face it,
I’ve got to be real.

[ Chorus ]

What words are these now?
It is the rain Forest?
It’s so dark in here!!
I cannot Find my way.

[ Chorus ]

I’ll just keep walking,
Keep walking that way.
I see some green grass,
I’ll follow this way.

[ Chorus ]

The Sun has appeared now,
I feel so warm.
It’s a great Feeling,
I’m on my way home.

UPDATE by Susan Brandt September 2002

Sometimes God has wonderful surprises for us.
After years of being on Canadian streets Danillo A.K.A.Roger has made peace with God and surrendered his life to the care of Jesus Christ and has now returned home to the republic of the Cameroon where he has been forgiven and has reconciled with his family and is now working for the church there. May God richly bless Danillo as he serves his saviour.