Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday for May 3, 2022: Free Gym Memberships for Teens, Turning Sewage into Green Energy, a Congolese Nun with Special Skills, and the Mysterious Journey of a One-Eyed Cat

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Planet Fitness Offers Free Summer Memberships to High School Students

Teenagers 14-19 can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. If they register early, they’ll have a chance to win a scholarship. Younger teens can sign up with a parent. According to their website map, Planet Fitness has gyms all over world. You can read more about it here.

Oregon Town Turns Sewage into Green Energy

Treating wastewater consumes a lot of energy, but a town in Oregon is turning wastewater to green energy. The process “creates heat for five of the buildings on site and an estimated 4,324 megawatts of electricity, providing about half of the facility’s energy usage.” I learned a lot from this article from Reasons to be Cheerful.

Congolese Nun Creates and Maintains Hydro-electric Plant

A Congolese nun became an electrician and raised money so her town would have more consistent electricity.  Through her work, Sister Alphonsine Ciza helps provide reliable electricity for convent, a church, two schools, and a medical clinic. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

One-Eyed Cat Shows Up on an Offshore Oil Rig after Missing for Five Years

Here’s a mystery with a happy ending. A friendly black cat named Dexter went missing five years ago. Turns out he’d been living at a prison in Scotland where he was fed and loved by staff and inmates. Dexter had a habit of hanging out in shipping containers and was accidentally shipped to an offshore oil rig in the North Sea. The folks at the oil rig put his picture on Facebook which got him shipped back home to his original owner who plans to take him to visit the prison.

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My Review of The Twisted Circle by Rosaliene Bacchus

Spiritual Courage in the Face of Toxic Harassment

The Twisted Circle tells the story of Sister Barbara, a nun who has just transferred to a convent in the northern jungle region of Guyana to teach school. Like the other nuns, she cares very much about the students. Her sudden promotion to the position of headmistress of the school infuriates the antagonist, Sister Francis, a white woman from the US, who believes she has more experience. Sister Francis has an inappropriately close relationship with the priest, Father Goodman. She thinks of him as more than a friend and is very possessive of him. I find the choice of names (Francis and Goodman) interesting, perhaps supporting the realization that people are not always as pious as they appear.

It’s helpful that we get to read the thoughts of both Sister Barbara and Sister Francis. The additional perspective allowed me to see Sister Francis as more than jealous and spiteful. Her journal entries reveal that the antagonist is overcome by paranoid delusions. This of course does not excuse her behavior as she attempts to destroy Barbara’s reputation. Reading as a white woman from the US, it was humbling and enlightening to experience Francis through the eyes of Barbara who is of East Indian and African heritage and often referred to, by herself and others, as Black.

Barbara struggles with self-doubt but shows admirable courage as she strives to do the work God has given her to do in a toxic environment of conflict, betrayal, and sexual harassment from men in religious and political authority. We feel how sad and frustrating it is that her colleague, Francis, craves the attention of a man at the expense of integrity. If Barbara and Frances could have been friends, they would have been able to support each other, but Francis’ twisted delusions prevented this. Meanwhile, the nuns in charge of the convent do not want to challenge the patriarchy or reveal its secrets.

Despite the lack of support from the church, Barbara remains faithful to God and finds comfort in the beauty of nature. When she stops to admire a velvet rose, she thinks, “God had to be a woman to create such beauty.” She also finds comfort in the forest spirits believed to live in the surrounding jungle. She shows spiritual maturity in her devotion to God while being open to the message she receives from the forest spirit to “walk in the light of the moon goddess, … feel the wind caress (her) weary body” … and “refresh (her) wounded spirit in the bosom of Mother Earth.”

While Sister Barbara, being a well-developed character, is not perfect, I greatly admire her strength and perseverance and enjoyed cheering her on as I read the book. I also admire the author Rosaline Bacchus, a former nun and a native of Guyana, for bringing us this story with compassion and courage. It is an enlightening story that nudges spiritual growth.

To see more about The Twisted Circle on Amazon, click HERE.

Visit the author’s blog HERE.