Rev. Catherine Boddie Bego

Our Spotlight of the Month for the month of April 2011 is Rev. Catherine Boddie Bego, who has been on the frontline of providing community service in the Washington, DC area for numerous years. She devoted many years at the DC Government’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA), managing a program to battle alcohol and drug dependency. We will talk with Rev. Bego about her work there, about her other life experiences and we will find out what she presently is doing and her future hopes and dreams for the communities of Washington, DC.

Destiny – Pride:  Good evening, Rev. Bego.  Thanks for accepting our invitation to be our spotlight for the month of April.  Would you please first give us a little background of your history?  Please tell us from where and to whom you were born and give us some background history about your family and your upbringing.

Rev. Bego:  Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this program.  I’m excited about it.  Let me just say that I was born in Franklin, Georgia, in 1942 to the late Pearlie and Calvin Boddie.  I moved to Washington, DC at the age of three, in 1945.  I have resided here at 1308 Emerald Street, NE, for the last 69 years.  I have been a part of this community and have been actively involved in it, as a matter of fact. 

I guess I got my first initiation in community organizations and community work under the Capitol East Community Organization, working as a community fellow, when urban renewal first started.  When it first came through, former Congressman Fauntroy and Doug Moore were in charge of that project through the Redevelopment Land Agency.  My job was to go out and to alert the people that urban renewal was coming through; invite them to meetings; plan, organize and coordinate the meetings at the various local churches; and make certain to explain that the government was not coming in, taking their homes from them.  So I think that was my first initial involvement. 

After that, we began to see an influx of drugs coming into this community.  I was then working with the DC public school system as an instructor.  I was asked if I would come and head up a methadone treatment center here in Ward 6 at 433 9th Street, NE [link].  I left the school system and worked for the DC government in that type of capacity for 39 years.

Destiny – Pride:  What year was that?

Rev. Bego:  I started around 1969-70. 

Destiny – Pride:  Was that around the time of Dr. DuPont?

Rev. Bego:  Yes.  As a matter of fact, Dr. DuPont was the one in charge.  There was a lot of animosity that happened as a result of our wanting to put a clinic here.  So I had to go to Capitol Hill; I had to go to the community.  By that time the community was beginning to change – blacks were moving out through urban renewal; whites were coming in, and they were determined that they were not going to have a treatment facility, even though we began to see overdose deaths.  We began to see young people who were raised in this community beginning to become addicted.  I served in my tenure as the first female clinic manager at 433 9th Street, NE – a couple of blocks from here – and from there, I served as the first female Division Chief. I also served as the first female Bureau Chief; the first female Deputy Administrator, and prior to that – under Vincent Gray [Director of the Department of Human Services at that time] – I served as the first female Administrator, which is a job that is synonymous with the Senior Deputy Director.  I was in charge under the Pratt Administration [Sharon Pratt Kelly, former DC Mayor].

This and the following photos show Rev. Bego and others during a COPS evangelistic outreach venture

Let me pause a minute and say this.  During that time, I was blessed with a husband – Emanuel Bego – who came out of West Virginia.  I didn’t have a local boy, I had someone out of West Virginia, and right in this home we birthed three children [Emanuel Bego Jr.; Sonja Paulette; and Pastor Orlando Bego].  My children are all grown and have moved on, but there’s something about this community that I love, and I’ve worked in it tenaciously all my life.  I have committed my life to working in this community.  I guess one of the most disheartening things that happened to me is when my supervisor walked in – after 39 years, 9 months, 29 days, 7½ hours – and told me that the government didn’t need my services any more.

Destiny – Pride:  We’re going to get to that in a moment.  What was your life like coming up as a child, because you have such great passion and I can feel your commitment through your voice and your actions.  What was life and your siblings like?

Rev. Bego:  Well, there were seven of us that left Georgia.  At this time, there are only three of us left.  They were very supportive.  They never did get involved in the community aspect as I did, but they were always supportive of my involvement.  I went to Pearce Elementary School; I went to Lovejoy Elementary School.  I taught at Kingsman Elementary School, right around the corner. [Also taught at Miner Elementary School; Armstrong High School; and Franklin School (adult education).]. 

Destiny – Pride:  Okay, now, what kind of child were you?

Rev. Bego:  I was never ever a child that created problems.  I just think that I was a gift from God.  In everything I do, I give Him all the praise, the honor and the glory.  In my reflection and meditation, I wondered sometimes why did the community always come to me for everything.  I don’t care what the problem was.  The lady next door used to come and borrow money because her roof was leaking.  The lady down the street got a notice that she would have to leave her home.  She didn’t have a lease, but she had to leave her home; so she came to me.  Another lady down the street adopted a son.  She was up in age and was too old to raise him; so she came to me and asked me if I would help raise this boy she had no business adopting anyway [laughter].  I said, yes, and my husband and I took him under our wings.  I was always one that was involved in the community or involved in activities. 

Of course, I had fun coming up.  As most kids, I shot marbles out here and I played the games that children played – Hide-n-Seek; Simon Says.  Hop Scotch was one of my favorites.  I still had that kind of joy – I had a lot of joy.  We weren’t “rich,” but we were always blessed.  I went to the small local church around here, 13th and F Streets [East Canaan Baptist Church], under Pastor Cora Davis [deceased, 2004].  I didn’t go off and join big churches; I stayed right here.  That was my commitment. 

Destiny – Pride:  What was it that steered you to the area of public service?

Rev. Bego:  Well actually, I had finished Howard University and I was teaching in the DC public school system.

Destiny – Pride:  What did you major in at Howard?

Rev. Bego:  My major was in Administration and Supervision and Urban Development.  Aside from doing the kinds of things that I was doing in the community, I was sought after by Robert DuPont, Clifton Mitchell, and others.  They came to me and said they needed someone who had been raised in this community, who had been active in this community, and who knew this community, to assist them in putting together this substance abuse drug program, and would I consider coming to be a part of it.  Of course, because of my love, and because I felt I could do more for the community in that area than I could in the DC public schools, I tendered my resignation – and didn’t feel any shame.

Destiny – Pride:  Later in this conversation, I want to pick up further on that, because you didn’t make a 100-degree, but maybe a 90-degree turn from substance abuse, moving more on the “faith-based” side. 

You spent a large number of years with the DC Government’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration, also known as “APRA.”  Tell us about your work at APRA.

Rev. Bego:  Let me just say that it’s probably known as “APRA” now, but in the beginning it was known as “NTA” – Narcotics Treatment Administration.  Then it was known under Dr. West as “the Substance Abuse Administration.”  Then it was known as “Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Administration,” which was “ADASA.”  Then it was known as “APRA” – Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration.  I worked for 18 Administrators, and I’m proud to say that I found favor will all of them, except the last one.  My work there entailed a great deal. 

One of the things I learned is that you had to be compassionate.  For instance, I just officiated today [March 5] at a service for Luther Melvin.  I don’t know if you know him or not, but he was one of our former clients.  You’ve got to be compassionate. You’ve got to have to the mind that Jesus had.  When you look at them, you’ve got to look at them with love and you’ve got to know that there’s potential there; that they are not bad people, they just made bad decisions.

Not only do you have to be “compassionate,” but you have to be “competent” and you have to be “committed.”  Those are the three “C’s” that you have heard me talk about.  You have to have them.  You can’t just get anybody out of Harvard, Yale, or Duke to come and take that job; you have to have those three “C’s.”  You have to work long hours.  Their families and they have to become a part of your family.  And I thank God for my husband, because there were times when these people had nowhere to sleep.  Some of them had stopped using drugs, but their families wouldn’t accept them back, so they slept at my house.  They slept in the basement.  They slept upstairs. 

I thank God for the Holy Spirit convicting my heart to do that, because some of those people now have their masters.  They are licensed evangelists; they are social workers; they are missionaries.  But it takes that extra step.  You have to stay prayed up and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in helping the people that He’s put in your life.  My work there entailed working seven days a week, sometimes 14 hours, sometimes 15 hours.  As I said, you don’t become just attached to that patient, you become attached to the family. When the mother is sick, you’ve got to go to the hospital to see that mother.  When you do that and show that type of love, it keeps that person from relapsing.  You have to “circle the wagons.”

Destiny – Pride:  Didn’t they mess with you back then, at ADASA, when they tried to downgrade your position.

Rev. Bego:  Yes.  As a matter of fact, this is my third stint with the court [laughter].

Destiny – Pride:  That’s what I’m talking about [more laughter]!  You were successful with the other two, so I’m quite sure you’ll be successful with this one.

Rev. Bego:  In all of them, our God is the Chief Judge and Lead Counsel.  He’s fought them for me.  That was back in 1980 – the first one – when I first became the Deputy Administrator.  That was predicated on sex discrimination, because, as related in The Washington Post, it was the “old buddy” network – you hire your buddy, if he’s a male.  Now I had a master’s degree, and I thank God for that.  But they would select people – some who were high school dropouts – for the same position that I was “overly qualified” for.  They would hire them as Bureau Chiefs.  So that was the first time, and we were successful in that.

The next time, I had spoken out about some things that were happening, and I took them to court based on violation of my First Amendment rights.  So we won there.  Now the third one is based on age discrimination.

Destiny – Pride:  That’s the current one.

Rev. Bego:  That’s the current one that we will be receiving the victorious announcement in April.  Praise God!  Praise God!

Destiny – Pride:  You also worked a lot with faith-based and community-based entities.  How did they factor into the services you rendered?

Rev. Bego:  Well, let me also give credit to Marion Barry [former Mayor for the District of Columbia, presently serving on the DC City Council].  One thing that I noticed about him is that he always felt that faith-based, spiritual principles had to be involved if these people were to be rehabilitated or made whole.  I thank God for one of my supervisors whose name is Larry Siegel.  He was a Jewish man by birth.

Destiny – Pride:  I remember him.

Rev. Bego:  He came to me and he said he had a drug strategy whereby he wanted to collaborate and coordinate with all of the faith-based organizations as well the community-based organizations.  Even with him being Jewish, he knew that man was a spirit that had a soul that was encased in a body; and that if we were going to see total deliverance, you had to get involved in all three of them.  So it was based on that that he gave me the assignment that I was to organize the faith-based community.  At the time of my departure, I am very grateful to say that we had about 100 churches – ecumenical – that were involved in doing something in their church as it related to substance abuse.  I also worked very closely with Jasper Ormond who was overseeing CSOSA [Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency].  He has one of the best faith-based models that I’ve ever seen.  I had to collaborate with Dr. Susan Newman.  She was over in the Mayor’s office.  They always knew that there was something to be done.

So not only did I have to try to pull together a collaboration of faith-based institutions, to encourage them, “that you need to have something in your church, in your facilities, responding to this [substance abuse].  If you want to take a Sunday a year and proclaim that we have to get involved, then do so.”  We were able to go around and set up what we called “Overcomers Meetings” in the churches.  You came to one with Ralph Luckett.  I was doing that.  I feel that for every church that calls itself a church – or whatever you call yourself – there ought to be some reflection of you reaching out, either through prison ministry, outreach ministry, or whatever.  So that was my responsibility.  I did that under Dr. Siegel. When Robert Siegel left, and subsequently died, Robert Johnson came on.  He was so impressed with the work that was being done – how the churches were participating – that he asked if I would continue to do that work.  Also ministers knew of me in the faith-base area.  They would call me, 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and say, “Look, I have a parishioner who’s having substance abuse problems.  Can you help?”  As a matter of fact I got calls from you . . .

Destiny – Pride:  I was going to say that . . .

Rev. Bego:  . . . H.R.[Crawford]; Dorsey [Charles Bill Dorsey – deceased].

Destiny – Pride:  I miss him terribly.

Rev. Bego:  Yes.  But that was where I was.  You had to sleep with the phone by your side. 

Destiny – Pride:  I was trying to get someone into detox one time and I had to call you because they were equivocating, and you made a call over there.  I was working for the government at the time. [Laughter]

Rev. Bego:  But that’s the kind of thing that you have to do.  If I could not have done it through a telephone call, I would have gone and located the person.  That’s what I had to do.  I had to walk that person to detox, and say “Put this person in detox.”  So the churches knew me – the Wednesday fellowship; the Monday fellowship.  Individuals’ siblings who were addicted.  I had to go get them.  So you do those things.  It’s like some of the other professions – always 24/7.  Like what they say about the police.  That’s why they wear their guns.  You’re on duty at all times.  And that’s the way it is working in this field:  you’re actually on duty at all times!

Destiny – Pride:  What faith are you and how has that impacted your life’s journey?

Rev. Bego:  Well, I’m a Baptist.  I was born a Baptist.  I was reared a Baptist.  I was baptized a Baptist, and I came up under the Baptist faith, meaning that I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  I believe Jesus died on the cross.  I believe he was resurrected from the dead.  I believe he sits now at the right hand of the Father, soon to come back. 

Destiny – Pride:  You have a nonprofit organization called Community Organized in Prayer for Salvation (“COPS”).  Tell our visitors about it, your present activities, and what you hope to achieve with it.

Rev. Bego:  COPS is an organization that’s close to my heart.  My husband is a part of it.  My son is a part of it.  This organization came about some years ago, when there was an infiltration of drugs in the community, and five young men were killed in this community – drug related.

Destiny – Pride:  And what year was that?

Rev. Bego:  That was around ’92, I think.  We came together right here, in this front room – six of us:  it was my mother; it was Rev. Cora Davis, who was the pastor of the little church around the corner [East Canaan Baptist Church]; it was Rev. Chester Bigelow, who is now a member of New Samaritan; his mother; and Pastor John Hayes, who was the Pastor of Washington Community Fellowship at 9th and Maryland Avenue; and me.  We sat here in prayer.  We tried to come up with what could we do in order to bring about some closure.  Ike Fulwood [former DC Chief of Police] had said that he had no answer to this problem.  Chief Ramsey [former DC Chief of Police] had said you can’t “lock up” spirits.  So we came together and we said we’ve talked about things like: “let’s take them on trips” and those types of things.  But that was recreation.  The midnight hoops didn’t do it.  Opening up the schools for disco and things didn’t do it.  So what is it?  Then we came to 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  We said, “That’s it:  Prayer,” and we came up with “COPS” – Community Organized in Prayer for Salvation.  So once a year we’d give a big gala affair on the street.  Then we would go around to the little church on 13th and F Street, NE [East Canaan Baptist Church] every Saturday for bible study, for discipleship, to teach you what it means to “surrender” – that third step:  make a decision to turn your will and your life over to God.  You’ve been going to NA [Narcotics Anonymous for 15, 20 years and you don’t know what it means.  So we taught them what it meant to surrender to the God of your understanding.

Destiny – Pride:  Who would you say has impacted your life in influencing you to be who you are today?

Rev. Bego:  I don’t think there’s any one particular person.  First of all, I give all praise and honor to God, in the spiritual realm, but in the natural realm, there have been several persons.  It was my husband, who has been supportive.  He’s like the “quiet storm.”  He’s there supporting me in my bringing these people in and doing things.  And then there was my mother, of course.  There was Pastor Cora Davis [East Canaan Baptist Church], who was my first pastor.  She married us.  She had us baptized.  She did all those things.  She had a love for the community also.  Then there also was Apostle Betty Peebles [Jericho City of Praise, Landover, Maryland], who taught me that Word; who helped me to grasp it, and to get a real understanding of what the Word means – what it says.  What does it mean when you say you’ve turned your will and your life over to the care of God?  Who is God?  What can He do for you?  I had to know those things in order to convey them to the people.  So those are the people that have been instrumental in my life. 

Destiny – Pride:  What would you consider to be among your greatest accomplishments?

Rev. Bego:  I think, in the spiritual realm, it is when I, too, made the decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, and to really be committed to it.  In the natural realm, I believe it was when I was able – through all the obstacles, all the challenges, all the difficulties – to put that clinic at 433 9th Street, NE, for this community. 

Destiny – Pride:  Let me do a follow-up on the first part.  For our visitors, please explain what you mean by your statement that you made the decision to turn your will and life over to the care of God.  I ask because I know what I meant when I said that both of my feet are planted squarely in my faith.  What does that really mean to you to feel that you are truly in the bosom of your belief?  A lot of people say with their mouths that they believe, but their actions and their personas are not consistent with their statement.  You speak about “really” being committed and that Pastor Betty Peebles “really” taught you.  I want our visitors to truly understand what you mean by that.

Rev. Bego:  It’s whenever you have the mind of Jesus, and whenever you allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you in all truth and understanding; where, when you wake up in the morning, you ask the Holy Spirit to “show me” who it is that I can help today?  Where can I go?  Is it to the jail where I go every fourth Sunday?  Or to the youth?  I go first to the adult and then I go to the youth, and then I go to the nursing home.  But I pray that the Lord will give me a praying spirit and give me the impetus, not just to pray, not just to read His Word, but to go, and carry out the Great Commission [Matthew 28:19-20].  I believe that when people hear not only your words, but they see your deeds, they will believe you.  But if we just talk it all the time, it’s heard for people to see.  But when they see your deeds, when they see your deeds, I believe that’s it.

Destiny – Pride:  On the opposite end, what would you consider to be your major disappointment?

Rev. Bego: I will be very candid with you.  When I saw this neighborhood change.  This neighborhood – right here on this street – we had a neighborhood where we could go into each other’s home; where we would eat out of each other’s pots.  We could come together and talk about the goodness of the Lord.  I’m living almost now on a street of strangers.  And I’m not saying this negatively, but mostly now, this street now has become 90% white.  It’s only about 10% black.  And they are strangers; I feel like a stranger here – I tell you the truth – in a foreign land.  And I’ve prayed out it, I really did.  My neighbors next door, I’d been neighbors to them for 30-35 years.  Two years ago, he died; five weeks later his wife died.  We all grew up together. 

On the other side, they’re white.  And I prayed and I said, “Lord, maybe there’s something more I can do to reach out.  I sent them Christmas cards.  They never acknowledged that they received any of them [laughter].  When they moved in, I’d go and introduce myself; invite them to fellowship with me; ask them if there was anything I could do to help them.  And it’s like that.  For the most part, they’re really a strange type of people; strange to the point that they’re thing is to come out – they don’t really bother anybody.  They go to work; get their dogs and they walk the dogs.  Sometimes I have to say “hey, don’t you let that dog do anything there.” But that’s been my disappointment.  When I went back to Urban Renewal and I saw what these houses that now have a tax value of four hundred and some thousand dollars; they were sold for thirty-two thousand dollars.  This one here, my mother and father bought for eight thousand; but after we went through the urban renewal, it was worth thirty-two thousand.  But they [gentrifiers] came in and stayed a minute, and then flipped it.  And they sold it to these people.

What I did – I’ll tell you how the Lord answered my prayer – was I started sitting on my front porch.  I even told my husband, “Won’t you sit on the front more and get to know the people.  I wasn’t looking for a social life, because I’ve got that, but “I don’t know who you are.”

Destiny – Pride:  I experience the same thing where I live.  It initially was 100% black.  I feel we are “invisible” to them in that they can be walking down the street, and they will drop their eyes or look the other way as if they don’t see us.  I can appreciate your candor.  The frustration and the sad thing about it is – and I usually don’t interject myself into these conversations because this is your spotlight – because of the God I serve, it’s not optional for me to come to help you.  It’s mandatory.  I jog early in the morning and if I came out and you were being accosted, and you hollered, “Mister, mister” – they don’t even know my name, so they have to call me “mister.” But I’m your neighbor.  Now that you’re in trouble, you can “see” me; and it’s not optional, but mandatory, for me to come to your aid, where potentially, my life is at jeopardy.  But when the sun was shining, and there was no danger, you couldn’t even see me.  So I feel your pain and that level of disappointment, and I don’t know what we can do.  We do engage in the process, but what else can we do?  They just don’t see us sometimes.

Rev. Bego:  That’s right; that’s right.  And the man next door, they were nice people – they’re a relatively young couple.  They used to speak all the time.  Then I noticed the man stopped speaking.  So I prayed about it.  He was standing out there one day; his wife was coming out of the door.  I said to him, “Hey, I want to ask you something.”  He said, “What?”  I asked him, “Why did you stop speaking to me?”  He said, “Stop speaking?”  I said, “Yes.”  He said “No, I never stopped.”  I said, “Man, just two minutes ago you came out your door.  Mr. Bennett was standing over there.  You waved and hollered to Mr. Bennett, and I was standing right here and you didn’t say anything to me.  But let me tell you something, I’m alright with that.  I just want to know if it’s something that I need to correct, because I don’t know why you stopped.”  So every now and then, he will speak, but it’s always, “Hi, Rev.” – with his head down.  He speaks, and he keeps going.  And I want to tell him, just like you said:  “Your wife comes out the door with two children.  If somebody would hi-jack her or do something, you would expect me to do something.”  And I would.  I would.  I know one time she was locked out, and I allowed her to come in and use my telephone.  When he came home from work, he said “I want to thank you for what you did for my family today.”  I said, “That’s what neighbors are for.”

Destiny – Pride:  What grade would you give for the work that is being done in our communities now and where would you place the need for emphasis in effectuating positive attainment by the residents?  Now that’s Nancy’s question [laughter].

Rev. Bego:  Why did you make it so long [laughter]?  You have to give that to me again [laughter].

Destiny – Pride:  Okay, here it is again:  “What grade would you give for the work that is being done in our communities now and where would you place the need for emphasis in effectuating positive attainment by the residents?”  I think what we’re gleaming from that is, looking at your journey and your contributions in that process – you’re no longer with the government, and you’re battling the court now – what grade would you give what is happening now in the community that is around us, that we’re not doing right?  I was up at Howard University just recently with you and Dr. [Edwin] Chapman, and you were very passionate about what is “not” happening.  I think that’s where Nancy’s question is coming from.

Rev. Bego:  Well, basically, I go back to the faith-based community – and that is a community.  When you are local in the community, the people basically come from within the community.  I think we ought to maybe do more.  I don’t know what grade I would give them.  That’s a question that I really can’t answer, because I do know that you do have some involvement; but people are not as involved as they used to be.  A lot of times I find that some of the churches are involved only if a grant is attached [laughter].  I try to tell the faith-based leaders, “You can’t expect the government to do what the churches are obligated to do.”  You can’t do it.  Reginald Luckett [St. Paul Christian Community Church], around here, opens up his church for Overcomers Meetings every Monday.  He never charges a penny.  Then, on Saturday mornings, he allows RAP to come in with the NA [Narcotic Anonymous] meetings.  He’s a real community-based person.  More churches need to do that. 

Destiny – Pride:  Give our visitors a brief description of what RAP is. 

Rev. Bego:  Rap stands for “Regional Addiction Prevention,” with Ron Clark. [For Destiny – Pride’s conversation with Ron Clark, President of RAP, Inc., click here].

Destiny – Pride:  What brings you joy when you are not focusing on community problems?  Do you have any hobbies or other activities that help de-stress you?

Rev. Bego:  Yes I do, and it may seem strange to you, but I like to watch poker on TV. 

Destiny – Pride:  Go ahead! [Laughter]

Rev. Bego:  I’m not a big football fan; I’m not a big baseball fan, but there’s something that intrigues me about watching poker games.  They don’t come on that often that I know of.  It’ll be on tonight, I think.  I like to watch old man Doyle Bronson, with his big cap on. 

Destiny – Pride:  Big cap; him and his son.

Rev. Bego:  Yes, his son is on it now.  There are a couple more that I know by name.  I just like it. 

Destiny – Pride:  Do you ever play it?

Rev. Bego:  No.  Let me tell you:  Poker was one of my addictions.  I picked it up later in life when I married Orlando.  His family, out of West Virginia, was a gambling family. 

Destiny – Pride:  Okay, so you put it on your husband [laughter]. 

Rev. Bego:  It hurt my mother so bad. 

Destiny – Pride:  He’s saying, “No it didn’t.”  [Laughter]

Rev. Bego:  His whole family gambled.  And I liked it.  We’d all go to Atlantic City; we never won anything.  We’d go up there and just have fun.  We were in a club with thirteen women called Las Amigas [the Friends] and we played Bid Whist – which is something else I like to play.  I play that maybe four or five times a year, when the family gets together.  They get together for every holiday.  We go from house to house.  And whenever we go from whatever house, we know that we have to have a Bid Whist game. 

Destiny – Pride:  Have you any last thoughts or insights that you would like to leave with our visitors?

Rev. Bego:  I would like to say that I know that we will never have a total community on one accord, but we should get together more to do things – to do more volunteer work.  My passion is for the hopeless, the homeless and the hurting.  It’s not with the children; that’s somebody else’s passion.  I just believe we could do more by volunteering our time to go and show some love, because love – as scripture says – covers a multitude of sins. 

When I go over to the DC jail every 4th Sunday, I don’t carry to them a big message.  The message that I always carry is a message of love.  Then I leave there and go over to the youth population at CTF [Correctional Treatment Facility, DC Department of Corrections].  Those kids are sitting over there with plastic expressions.  Some of them have never heard the word “love.”  What would it cost you to go over and just put your arm around one of them and tell them about love?  Mostly “agape” love; not “eros”; not “philos”; but agape love.  If I could just instill love into the people, I believe that I will have made a contribution, because that’s the reason God sent his Son, Jesus.  Why?  Because He loved us.  And that’s what we have to do.

Destiny – Pride:  Rev. Bego, Destiny – Pride thanks you for being our Spotlight of the Month for April.  We support you in the efforts you are making in the Emerald Street and other neighborhoods to effectuate positive changes in the hearts, minds, souls and spirits of our DC residents.

Rev. Bego:  Well I thank you, Sister Nancy and Brother Rufus, for allowing me to share.  I just pray that something I’ve said will help others and inspire others to get involved.  Each One Reach One!  Thank you.

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