BOOK REVIEW: I know God

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BOOK REVIEW: I know God

A book review by Dr. Edsel Edmunds, former Ambassador of St Lucia to the UN, OAS, and US.

This is an unusually honest self-exposure, matter-of-fact writing by a humble Saint Lucian from Garrand in Babonneau, “born out of wedlock or illegitimacy”, as he pronounces early in his book.

It is a book of open confessions not looking for absolution but rather with love and confidence in his God, and through the maternal love and guidance of his mother, Josephine Eunice Edward Sealy, known as Ma Rod, was able to pursue his personal goals and “serve and claim others as brothers and sisters” as he followed on God’s work.

He recounts the trials, tribulations, and experiences of Ma Rod, living in a rural community in Garrand, married to Mr. Rodney, a hard working man from Fond Assau. She gave birth to 10 children and can presently boast of 31 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. His recounting of rural experiences surrounding Ma Rod’s life up to today makes contemplative reading. It is interesting that she is still very active at the gracious age of 93, a keen listener to the morning news between 5:00 and 7:00 am and to her favourite personality “Juke Bois”.

In his chapter entitled “My Birth”, Sealy reveals that he was not born of the 10 children referred to above, but was brought into this world as a result of an encounter between Ma Rod with a policeman named Edmund Bruno. He explained this happening with conviction as follows, “Yes, God allowed it to happen because He wanted me to show up. My existence means that God wanted me to exist…we are all legitimate children of God. The fact that I was conceived is more important than how I was conceived”.

This honest introspection and revelation from the author is more than most people born of comparable beginnings and who have reached great heights would care to ponder upon, admit, or put to pen/publish after they have reached the top of their ladder.

He recounts his early childhood with dramatic details, the realities of living under difficult yet creative circumstances, in the absence of the many amenities (electricity, water, telephones etc) now available to our rural communities and states, “I believe poor people around the world are the most creative”, and that, “no situation is hopeless when God is in charge”.

He gives God all the glory for all his achievements.

He refers to the Seventh Day Academy (SDA) as his nurturing ground as a leader as it was for the former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Stephenson King. However, is was in the field of cricket that he found his nurturing in leadership from his early days of cricket as a member of the Garrad cricket team where he found it necessary to display “tenacity, courage, willpower, and belief (in self) as a young man”.

It was these characteristics which developed him to be a prominent cricketer in Washington, DC where he qualified to become president, captain, manager and treasurer of the Washington, DC Cricket League at various times, as well as to become an outstanding competitive golfer, and a black belt achiever, all adding to his competitive and assertive acumen.

His pronouncement on the role that sports could play in human understanding and friendship between conflicting parties and nations was elucidated in his book entitled “World Cup Soccer in the Middle East” where he outlines to the countries in conflict in that part of the world, the role cricket is playing in cementing relations in the Caribbean region through our West Indies cricket team. He articulated that in like manner soccer could help bring the Middle East closer to conflict resolution.

I was pleased to introduce his book to the director and the executive board of UNESCO with reference to the conflicts in that part of the world.

He recounts that his leadership qualities carried him throughout his life as a student, and in the international arena as a qualified international accountant with a master of science in accounting and financial management. He attributes all of his achievements to his belief and guiding hand of God and the nurturing of Ma Rod. His accounts of his personal life challenges and vicissitudes, in addition to adjustments to life in the United States, which included attacks at gunpoint, a fight to save his life, a near- miss death from a bomb blast in Islamabad, Pakistan and other encounters are written with drama and ease and sometimes humorous flavour.

He relates that these encounters did not deter him from his work with international agencies including the American Institute for Research, Pac Inc, and Catholic Relief Services. His fascinating exposure to over 43 counties, their culture and their famous landmarks, and experience with different cultures are written in fascinating delight, good humour, and educational content.

I agreed to write a review of Sealy’s book because he embodied the basic elements of my motivational book entitled “The Triangle of Success”. He embraced the three points of the Edmund’s triangle which are, setting goals, belief in self and an action plan with an added spiritual component. He is a splendid example of a success story, coming from humble beginnings in Garrand to excel in the international development field. His book is an example of what is achievable regardless of the circumstances or place of one’s birth.

In essence, Sealy has presented in his book, in his peculiar style, with humble exaltation, a series of separate story line chapters. They nevertheless converge in profound missionary messages supported by appropriate biblical quotations. As a devout Christian he propounds his personal ambitious aspiration that, “The light of my story should illuminate the entire world through the power of the Holy Spirit”, and that with the help of God we can achieve great things regardless of our circumstances of birth and humble beginnings.

This is encapsulated in the final chapter of his book entitled PRAYER. I recommend this book to you.

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