Unlikely friendship developed between a goat and a tiger, amazing the world. The fantastic friendship between the two happened when the goat was given alive to a tiger to eat. However, the tiger instead of eating the goat has formed an unlikely relationship between the two by sparing the goat’s life. People are also trying to figure out why the tiger which ate goats over the years yet at this point spared goat’s life. The goat flourished in the same cage living together with the tiger and relationship thrived between both unpredictable friendship between a tiger and a goat went viral so attracted more visitors to the zoo. Against all odds Timur the goat is still alive even after he was meant to have been the food for his friend, Amur. The goat was thrown into the cage some time ago but Amur the tiger did not eat the goat. Pretty soon as the world followed their love story and became more intriguing. Even more fascinating is the fact that they lasted longer so created suspense as people wondered how long their friendship would last. Pictures were taken often regularly to show their friendship was ongoing and was real news at the time. Even more surprising is the fact that Amur gave his bed for the goat to sleep on. Suddenly, the news brought the people increasing the number of visitors to the zoo. it was not long when the privileged goat begun to take liberties and kicked the tiger who had shown kindness to the goat. But this time the goat run out of luck because the tiger reacted to teach the goat a lesson by grabbing the goat’s leg. Unfortunately, the goat was injured so they are now separated from each other. The goat is recovering well and a search is ongoing on for a new female goat to keep tiger company. .The Bible says that when a man’s ways please God, HE makes his enemies to be at peace with him. It is necessary to stay humble to enjoy the favour of God that spared the goat’s life. And not to “grow horns” by becoming proud and arrogant taking for granted the compassionate friend who helped save life. Thinking it was okay to head butt the tiger, the goat made a terrible mistake that cost their friendship. So it is good to remember to be kind to those who sacrifice personal happiness to help. In return treat them with kindness and respect as the golden rule says treat others as you like to be treated.
Adolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to Brainwaves. Adolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.
Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.Professor Laurence Steinberg
According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:
Obesity & Man-made Chemicals
The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”
More SunLight exposure
The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.
“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“
Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.
With Valentine day approaching people are looking for love and romance for a form relationships. So couples celebrate established meaningful, love fulfilling a family bond. Others also ready to settle down prepare and advertise for love in new ways using social media, Facebook post and was married six days later. The marriage took place quite quickly than the normal traditional longer process of a family searching and taking years for the marriage to be finalised. CHIDIMMA AMEDU, did exactly that advertising for love and marriage on Facebook. He found a beautiful wife who said, ‘he is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.” Those who use Facebook come across pretty strange posts in their time. But this time however the random friends requests, being added to groups you did not ask to join, and tags allows “friends” to marry. Others clog up timeline with posts or photos you don’t necessarily want. But a Nigerian man took it to a whole new level posted unusual advert. Chidimma Amedu put up a post on 30 December, asking women interested in being his wife to reply, he told the BBC.
“Am of age to and I am ready to say I do and am wasting no time. “Send in your applications – the most qualified will be married on January 6, 2018. Application closes 12 midnight 31/12/2017 he posted. He followed up with subsequent posts. ‘Am serious about this oh and don’t say you did not see it on time Good luck.’ He received a couple of responses, but one from Sophy Ijeoma is someone special who caught his attention. She wrote in her reply “Am interested, just DM me… lols,” her post read. At first, she thought it was a joke and she simply replied to keep thread flowing. A direct message from him to her inbox, followed by a Facebook call, would change her life’s trajectory. Chidimma placed the advert initially as a joke but became optimistic when Sophy said she was interested. So two days after their first conversation, he travelled some 500km (300 miles) from his home in the northern city of Abuja, to Enugu in the east where she lived. She had been waiting for him outside a retail store and in true fairy-tale style, “it was love at first sight”, she recalled. “He is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.”
After 2 hours of awkward conversation, he asked her to go to meet an uncle who incidentally is also resident in Enugu. So he asked what was going through her mind at the time, she said she thought it was all a bit of a joke but was excited about it and thought Chidimma was also quite an interesting character. “We got to the uncle’s house and he said: ‘Uncle, meet the woman I want to marry.'” Like Chidimma his family don’t seem to hang about when it comes to getting things done because uncle gave his approval. The couple are friends on Facebook for over a year but never spoken to each other before the advert. Getting family backing for your choice of spouse is an essential part of Igbo culture. Whereas picking your future wife from dozens of respondents to a Facebook marriage advert and marrying her in six days is decidedly not. At this point in their day-old relationship, it was beginning to dawn on Sophy that this fellow was not playing, but how do you commit to marrying someone you only just me. She would not comment on whether they had even shared as much as a kiss at that point, but maintained she was captivated by how focused, determined her new fiancé was. “When I saw him for the first time, I definitely found him attractive, but what I didn’t know was how serious he was about marrying me. “It was after we met the uncle and his wife, I realised that this could actually happen and I wanted it.”
It was now her turn to worry about how she was going to get the approval of her family to marry a guy she had just met on Facebook. But they had momentum going for them. Having met and fallen in love at first sight, or first message, if you like, and getting Chidimma’s uncle’s approval, couple decided to complete the cycle by visiting Sophy’s family the same day. Approval from the family is essential in Igbo tradition and Sophy recounted how she relayed information to her mother. Her dad passed away, and her mum said she did not have a final word in terms of giving approval for her to be married, so up to Sophy’s elder brother to give his blessings. It appears the odds firmly in their favour as Sophy’s brother gave his blessings too. So after a few questions from her brother it became official. Chidimma and Sophy were engaged to be married in six days.
On the rebound?
Last year Chidimma was engaged to another woman and the wedding was scheduled for December, but then that relationship fell apart in March leaving him dejected. As December approached, the disappointment of not being able to fulfil his dream of getting married made him put up the post, he said. In“I had the desire to get married, had date in mind, but no bride, decided to place an advert as a joke, but I was open and up for it.” Asked whether she knew about earlier engagement and her thoughts on how this seemingly rushed marriage might be seen as a rebound, Sophy dismissed any suggestions that her relationship was not well thought through. “I don’t care about that when you see what you want, you go for it.” They are friends on Facebook for more than a year, but had never met or spoken to each other until the advert. Am interested just DM me… lols” was all it took for the union to be formed. Sophy admitted her friends were sceptical about the whole thing, while some are still in disbelief, but as she said: “When you see the one, you will know he is the one.” And they got married on 6 January in a traditional Igbo ceremony, and posted photos of wedding day on Facebook of course to the amusement of the social media community. Chidimma put up a post saying people may have thought he had been joking but clearly wasn’t. And as expected there was mixed reactions, but mainly a lot of support for the couple. They hope to have a church wedding in April and honeymoon somewhere nice.
This article was forwarded to our group to discuss the matter of concept of how to become a billionaire. The major ideas that came up was to follow with passion any projects worked on. Many become billionaires through hardwork and most of all focus first on their ideas and then billions follow later. Some did not really expect to become billionaires but it was the reward of accomplishing the best they could do and the result was global. Result of producing consistently high quality product demands led to billions. Some have lucid reasoning concerning making billions according to following the article. A major secret of billionaires is their ability to find solutions to the challenges of humanity. All of them created the solutions that brought in the billions. Bill Gates spent so much time developing computers so uses millions of dollars now in search of renewable energy. By the time he finds one and become a major player in the electricity industry some may say he is lucky. But do not forget he did not pray for a financial breakthrough, he found a solution to a global problem to help humanity.
Wealthy people do not necessarily look for just money they create solutions and money will follow them! Larry Page and Sergey Brin have all helped humanity find things faster on the internet, and billions of dollars followed them. Mark Zuckerberg created the platforms for online socialization and over $71 billion followed him. Steve Jobs and also Steve Wozniak went all out to reduce the size of computer. What problem do you help solve for humanity? Some people spend lots of money thinking it will turn into more money automatically only to find it is a scam so business goes bankrupt.Too much greed or a love of money over their dedicated interest missed out on investing in something productive so lost money they had. The others spend weeks on the mountain praying for the financial breakthrough without really knowing what to do to be rich. They just want to be rich anyhow but it does not work that way. The real wealth comes through lots of hardwork and solving problems to help others. And so real wealth comes after taking critical look around to see challenges that surround the world to create solutions or discover solutions help to others.
One of the major reasons why millions live below the poverty line is the belief that magic wands will suddenly mint all the money. How many cups of mustard seeds did Mark Zuckerberg eat so that will make him an ‘instant’ billionaire? How many bottles of the anointing oil did Jeff Bezos drink that turned him into an overnight owner of Amazon? So this is how potential billionaires pray: “Dear LORD where there is electricity problem, health, sanitation or portable drinking water problem give me ideas and knowledge to solve it. LORD, bless me with fresh insight to solve these problems and connect me with to the right business partners to make things happen. Thank you LORD.” So God will definitely download creative ideas into their minds. It is Divine connections to search deeper to find Favour of God to be the best possible inventor, artist or whatever one honestly feels called to do to be fulfilled in life. On the other hand, the others may pray: “Oh LORD, command anyone who said I will not prosper to collapse and die by fire!” And another person will say: “LORD, I need financial favour so I need wealth transfer from the wicked laid up for the righteous. I need God’s financial breakthrough urgently. LORD please do send money to me today in Jesus Name. God listens to prayers and does look on the humble supernaturally to help them through enriching others to bless them. In the Kingdom of God wealth creation is based on giving and receiving. God look from HIS balcony in heaven and wonderfully provides as Jehovah Jireh. Those who understand wealth creation opportunities also surround themselves with similar minded people willing to collaborate together. It is God who gives power to get wealth and enjoy wealth. It God who owns all the world’s resources but people work hard to manifest their talents and abilities. So do not belittle prayer, but pray specifically for wisdom to design the perfect product at the right time and to market it successfully.
It is time to change thinking and prayer pattern. There are no shortcuts to the hard-work required to get to the top. So start looking for the problems you can solve for humanity. Money is actually a reward for solving problems for people. Keep soaring! Whether instant success overnight from unexpected fortune one inherits or wins the lottery or a product that went global, viral online business it good success. Thanks to all those wealth creators who solved problems. Thanks especially to all those who remember to give back society to help solve problems through charity to bless less fortunate. Give thanks and Glory to God for you helping solving problems of humanity as an instrument of change.
Coconut oil classified is considered a superfood according to Coconut oil is high in saturated fatSales of coconut oil are rocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements and claims that drinking the stuff will cure everything from halitosis to digestive disorders. Actress Angelina Jolie-Pitt is said to have a tablespoon or so with breakfast most mornings, while model Miranda Kerr says she not only adds it to salads and smoothies, but she cooks with it and splashes it on her skin as well. The health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists. Coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%). The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein). LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.
So is coconut oil a cholesterol-busting wonder food, as some claim, or is this all dangerous hype? Despite all the sound and fury that surrounds coconut oil there have been surprisingly few human studies carried out to test specific health claims. So for the current BBC2 series of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, we thought we should help organise a trial. The Trust Me team started by contacting Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nita Forouhi, both eminent Cambridge academics. With their help we recruited 94 volunteers, aged 50-75 and with no history of diabetes or heart disease, and designed a study to assess what effect eating different types of fat would have on their cholesterol levels. We began by randomly allocating our volunteers to one of three groups. Every day for four weeks, the first was asked to eat 50g of extra virgin coconut oil – that’s about three tablespoons full.
|Type of oil or fat||Polyunsaturated (%)||Monounsaturated (%)||Saturated (%)|
The second group was asked to consume the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is widely seen as being extremely healthy. And the third was asked to eat 50g of unsalted butter a day. Again, that adds up to just over three tablespoons. The volunteers were told that they could consume these fats in whatever way they pleased, as long as they did so every day for the whole four weeks. On the other hand others think that Coconut oil ‘as unhealthy as beef fat and butter’ so the Diet debate: Is butter back and is sat fat good? They were also warned that, because they were consuming an extra 450 calories a day, they might well put on some weight. Before our volunteers started on their new high-fat regime we took blood samples to get baseline measurements, focusing mainly on their levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (the “good” cholesterol) The importance of these two measures is that your heart attack risk is best calculated, not by looking at your total cholesterol score, but your total cholesterol divided by your HDL score. NHS Choices suggests that this figure should be below four. So what happened? As expected the butter eaters saw an average rise in their LDL levels of about 10%, which was almost matched by a 5% rise in their HDL levels Those consuming olive oil saw a small reduction, albeit a non-significant drop, in LDL cholesterol, and a 5% rise in HDL. So olive oil lived up to its heart-friendly reputation.
Early Stages of Studies
But the big surprise was the coconut oil. Not only was there no rise in LDL levels, which was what we were expecting, but there was a particularly large rise in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, up by 15. On the face of it that would suggest that the people consuming the coconut oil had actually reduced their risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is seen as particularly healthy. I asked Prof Khaw, who was clearly surprised by these results, why she thought it had happened. “I have no real idea,” she candidly replied. “Perhaps it is because the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid and lauric acid may have different biological impacts on blood lipids to other fatty acids. The evidence for that comes mainly from animals, so it was fascinating to see this effect in free-living humans.” So should we be hailing coconut oil as a health food? “I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just the health effects” she said. “This is just one study and it would be irresponsible to suggest changing dietary advice based on one study, however well conducted.” This was a very short-term study and compared to olive oil, research on coconut oil is at an early stage. So the claims about coconut oil being a superfood are premature. But if, like me, you enjoy putting coconut in your curries, there seems no very good reason to stop.
The new series of Trust Me I’m a Doctorcontinues on BBC2 at 20:30 GMT on Wednesday 10 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.
- one took part in group singing
- another took part in in creative play sessions
- a third group received their usual care, which could include family support, antidepressants or mindfulness
The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood. And those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups. All the groups improved over the 10 weeks, but in the first six weeks, singing group already reported an average 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. The Principal investigator Dr Rosie Perkins said the study, although small, was significant because it was important to tackle the symptoms as quickly as possible. “Post-natal depression is debilitating for the mothers and their families. As research indicates some women think accessible singing with their baby helps speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” she said. The lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt at University College London, said singing is another useful therapy to offer women. Many mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breast-feeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low,” she said. “These results are really exciting as suggests something as simple as referring mothers to this community activities could support their recovery.” Dr Trudi Seneviratne, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal Faculty, said: “It’s exciting to hear about the growing evidence base for novel psychosocial interventions like singing to facilitate a more rapid recovery for women with post-natal depression. “I look forward to more work in this area in the future, as it will be enjoyed by both mothers and their babies.”Since the study, Breathe Arts Health Research has started running singing workshops in partnership with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for women with post-natal depression across the south London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Community and socialising helps overcome isolation and loneliness of new mothers. The feel good factor of singing with the babies is definitely a win- win situation lifting the mood and going out of the home helps to lift their spirit too. Isolated mothers can organise own singing sessions with friends in communities and their babies benefit too from a calm, happy, relaxed mother. If child raising is recognised or considered as a valid hardwork and to celebrate mothers and carers the world will become a better and safer place. So families must be prioritised and to help mother’s like Finland pays both parents to raise their children. Depression is caused by loneliness, pressure, stress of modern living without extended family support and children become depressed too. So it is good news to help mother’s and also to improve motherhood as an honourable collaboration with God’s idea to multiply to replenish the earth.
A North Carolina Gospel Minister Sows Seeds of Hope in a Food Desert in USA. The Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Conetoe, NC, exhorts his congregants to strengthen their community. First, the Reverend Richard Joyner got mad. Then he got a trowel. Sick and tired of seeing his congregation suffer from poor nutrition, the North Carolina minister sowed seeds of hope in a food desert. ABOUT A DECADE AGO, the Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church realized he ministered to a congregation of people often hungry and living in poverty but never complained. He came up with an ingenious use of land that helped keep the young ones involved in learning about nature first hand. The Church members unfamiliar with farming in the city are educated on how to grow own good produce. The pastor found it difficult to comfort grieving or contain his outrage: “How do you tell someone who’s just lost a child to poor nutrition that this was God’s plan when it was totally preventable? Who would hang out with that God?” Each Sunday, Joyner felt like a hypocrite, urging congregants to worship a deity he doubted. During the week, he was forced to confront the community’s health problems constantly as a hospital chaplain. After one particularly trying hospital shift, Joyner pulled his car over and began to pray. “I heard a voice saying, ‘Open your eyes and look around,’” the 64-year-old remembers. All he saw was farmland. His parents and grandparents had been share- croppers; his great-grandparents, slaves. That moment fields blanketing Edgecombe County represented not untapped opportunity but a painful reminder of the region’s racist past.
Young people enjoy outdoors activity so this roadside epiphany directly inspired the church’s now-bustling nonprofit agriculture and education center might construct a tidy narrative. It would, however, be inaccurate. Back in 2005, when Joyner first equipped area youth with seeds and spades on a borrowed plot down the road, he simply hoped to engage kids at summer camp. The campers consumed their initial harvest, but the following year, they started delivering free boxes of ‘Hen Pecked’ mustard greens, ‘Puerto Rican Red’ sweet potatoes and the vegetables to local senior citizens. “One 97-year-old lady, she was so excited, she kissed the children,” Joyner says. “That was the first time in a long time I witnessed anybody speaking a blessing over our troubled children.” Not everyone welcomes bounty. Only a generation or two removed from sharecropping, some church elders questioned the wisdom of participating in any sort of agrarian pursuit. They remained uncomfortably familiar with Edgecombe County’s role in the South’s antebellum cotton economy. Henry Toole Clark, a Civil War–era governor of North Carolina, owned a vast plantation—and dozens of slaves here. Joyner explains prevailing concern: “Do we really want our kids going back to that?” He empathized. Then again, he’d witnessed satisfaction junior parishioners derived from the soil. Less encumbered by Conetoe’s complicated history, they were free to dig in the dirt. “They’re bringing food to people who need it,” Joyner says. “They enjoy the process. They’re playing out there.” Meanwhile, various activities on the farm like preparing beds, selecting seeds, tending crops, selling produce, tracking digital data impart valuable lessons in science, technology, exercise, economics, math, and nutrition.
Joyner thunders from the pulpit in stereotypical Baptist fashion, but heed his words. They’re less fire and brimstone than sweet rain for parched souls. Ponder this passage from one rousing sermon: “Friendship is deeper than what you do. Friendship is deeper than your actions. Friendship is deeper than the story told. That’s how we are going to transform this community. Not by being churches. Not by being preachers. We are going to transform it by being friends! heightened dramatic effect.] Can I get a witness?!!”Adept as Joyner may be at casting visions, he admits to shortcomings in the arena of organizational management. At the outset of the farm’s second season, the preacher petitioned Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, where he volunteers as a chaplain, for a grant. “I wrote application, with my dyslexia, and it was terrible. I prayed over it: God, please help them understand what’s going on.”
Although a phone conversation was required to clarify intent, the hospital ponied up $2,000. Two years later, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gave Joyner $15,000. And in 2011, The Conservation Fund donated $7,500 through its North Carolina–based Resourceful Communities initiative, which emphasizes the link between socioeconomic and ecological strengths. “Richard can sweet-talk people out of tractors,” says the initiative’s director, Mikki Sager, “yet the whole effort seemed random.” So she made further funds dependent on proper managerial oversight. “We weren’t trying to be controlling,” explains Sager. “We wanted them to have the pieces in place so they could articulate a good plan and deliver on it.”Joyner’s magnetic charisma and missionary zeal have attracted a wide base of fervent fans. Among the converted: Garrie Moore, a retired vice-chancellor of the City University of New York, who signed on as executive director of the program three years ago. Ruth Little, an assistant professor of public health at East Carolina University, has pitched in by training a number of Edgecombe County citizens as lay health advisers over the years. Tes Thraves, of North Carolina State University’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems, immediately thought of Joyner in 2010 when she founded the Food Youth Initiative, a statewide effort to bring teens together to explore food justice issues. Of the Conetoe delegation, Thraves says, “They grasp the power analysis of the world around them. They’re raised with integrity and empowerment. They believe in something.”
Today, the Conetoe Family Life Center—a name befitting the farm’s beyond-the-field ambitions—encompasses five different plots that together total 21 acres. Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, the Edgecombe County school system, and a number of area restaurants pay in advance to secure salad greens, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and other crops. The center’s 150 hives generate $10 jars of honey, as well as an alternative income stream from local farmers renting the pollinators. Proceeds are reinvested in the program. A single market-rate cabbage puts 10 cabbages on the tables of needy families. Approximately 25 percent of the produce is distributed among church members, with those who can afford to contribute subsidizing others who cannot. Health-related outreach continues year-round. The results are nothing short of dramatic. Since 2012, visits to Vidant’s emergency room—the de facto primary care clinic for underinsured parishioners—have decreased by 75 percent. Collectively, the 250-member congregation spends $4,000 less on medication per quarter than it did a decade ago. Joyner’s many accolades include the 2014 Purpose Prize (honoring the social work of citizens over 60) and a 2015 Hero salute from CNN. Last year, when he accepted a Local Food Hero award from the nonprofit Farm to Fork North Carolina, the pastor did not stand alone. Two of the program’s participants—Tobias Hopkins, 19, and Marquon Pettaway, 20—were also honored. Pettaway thrived in the apiary. He’ll talk endlessly about the hives, about honey’s merits, about how he made beeswax candles for a school project. “The bees have a job, too. They have an everyday job,” he says. “That made me motivate myself to keep pushing.”Before getting involved with the farm, Pettaway viewed the army as his only option, but he now attends community college. “The program,” he says, “changed things for me.” Still, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging in Conetoe, a food desert that lacks a single full-size supermarket. Pettaway’s mother works at Bojangles’, where fried chicken and biscuits anchor the menu. “I get the grilled Cajun Filet Biscuit from Bojangles,” he insists. “I get the grilled.”
Last September, I visited the Conetoe Family Life Center with a delegation from Princeton Theological Seminary and helped plant 10,000 cabbage and collard green seedlings. Three weeks later, on October 8, Hurricane Matthew hit the Carolinas. Conetoe and the neighboring towns of Tarboro and Princeville occupy low-lying, flood-prone terrain (shortcomings that explain the relative ease with which rich whites ceded this land to poor African Americans). The Tar River overflowed its banks and destroyed most of those plants, 100,000 others, plus 120 beehives and all the honey in them. Joyner was apoplectic. “I was not angry at God,” he clarifies. “I was angry at those of us who add to global warming. I was angry at people who will not take ownership.” For centuries, his community has wrestled with the compounding consequences of others’ sins, and he considers climate change another variation on that theme. When I spoke to the pastor again in June, the church had recently buried a 29-year-old woman after she succumbed to renal failure. Several of her relatives had also died of kidney disease. But Joyner noted that this funeral was one of only a handful he’d performed for people under 40 over the previous 12 months. And he mentioned that the woman’s 13- and 19-year-old cousins currently work on the farm. The fields, at least, “were flush green and full,” he said. “You can become hopeless real quick around here. But things are improving. I’m totally hopeful about these children.”