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WSSN Stories

“A Mother’s Tears”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

“…. Let my distress and the tears I shed in consequence of it be ever before thee, 0 Lord” [Psalms 18:6].

For those that don’t understand why it is hard for a mother to let go of her child no matter what they do, I want you to know that a mother called by God will never relinquish the title. Mothers never relinquish the title, even if the child is rebellious, harsh, and cruel or has gone wayward. Her heart just will not allow it; not when she is called by God. A mother loves her child no matter what they do or have done. Yes a foolish son brings sorrow to his mother, and the pain of seeing so much time, expense, effort, and affection go to waste sucks the life from her soul. It tears at her heart and spirit. Like David, she cries for her foolish son and wept, “O my son, my son, my son” [2 Sam 18:33]. Like Mary, she just doesn’t stand stoically and passively by at the foot of the cross, as if she were already made out of stained glass. No, she crumples at the cross. She falls down to the depths there, moaning and wailing and begging the God of heaven to stop her hell on earth. If a son will consider these things and be wise, his father will rejoice. [Proverbs 27:11] and his mother will have gladness in her heart [Proverbs 23:25]. But a Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble [Job 14:1].

How many mothers’ hearts have been broken by willful and wayward children? My hand is raised! But only the LORD knows such large numbers! The heart that almost daily burst with pleasure and affection caring for the newborn is torn deeply by the willful disobedience and foolishness of the sinful child. Mothers shed many tears. When you look into any mother’s eyes and see them glistening with tears, when you look into any mother’s eyes and see them about to brim over, remember that the love there is a reflection of a much higher love. It is a reflection of the love of God, “love divine all love’s excelling.”

Some of you know all too well what I’m talking about, or perhaps I am the only one with a prodigal son… by his own admission, he chose the path of worldly pleasure. The grief that I feel – grief over the foolish choices that bring consequences to him, pain to others, and reproach to God’s name. The fear – fear of the future and what will happen to him and to my family. If you know the sorrow of a wayward child may I encourage you to — lift up your eyes and look to God? Receive his comfort in your grief, His joy for your fear, His forgiveness for your sin, His righteousness for your shame, His hope for your future. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one recipe for the curing of all their ills, ‘Bring him unto Me” says the Lord.

I tell you we must never cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No matter how far gone they may seem do not give up hope for them. Lay them at the feet of Jesus, and then intercede for them! Go to God on their behalf, and plead with Him for their lives! Don’t give up, and thereby miss the opportunity to see God work a miracle! Regardless of their age; from young to old, unsaved to backslidden, rebellious stricken to criminal, or indifference, prayers based on God’s Covenant Promises will prevail because the Lord has bound Himself to the Word of His own lips… So don’t let Satan drag your kids through Hell… or to Hell. You have a covenant with God! FIGHT IN PRAYER [Nehemiah 4:14]. Ever since God announced in the Garden of Eden, that the woman’s seed would be against the serpent, Satan has been trying to steal and destroy the seed of God’s people. He is so terrified of our children that he often works overtime against them. This is because he knows that the next generation might just be the generation that is his undoing, ushering in the return of Jesus. The need of the hour is for parents to become skilled in SPIRITUAL WARFARE! There are times when the only thing standing between our children and the enemy is prayer, the key to winning the battle. No matter what the enemy determines to do in the lives of our children, he is no match for our Almighty Father. “The battle for our children’s lives is waged on our knees. When we don’t pray, it’s like sitting on the sidelines watching our children in a war zone getting shot at from every angle. When we DO pray, were in the battle alongside them, appropriating Gods power on their behalf. It’s time to go to War! Pray without ceasing!

Letter to the Editor: Experience Is the Best Teacher

By Mildred D. Henry

In this year of unprecedented politics, there are those who would tell me how I should think and feel as an African-American. I ask, if the African-American experience is so bad, what have you personally done to alleviate the situation? What is your personal experience with the African-American community? I have a few personal experiences I would share.

  • On a visit to Little Rock, Arkansas, shortly after Bill Clinton was elected president, I personally met with key administrators of his transition team decision-makers, which were African-American. African-Americans have been employed in his administrations throughout Bill Clinton’s political career.
  • President Clinton appointed Rodney Slater U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Rodney is an African-American married to the daughter of my schoolmate, Henry Wilkins III, who attended all-Black Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • Hillary Clinton worked with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) which was founded by African-American Marion Wright Edelman in 1973. CDF is the leading nonprofit advocacy organization in the United States for children’s rights. A leading coalition is the Black Community Crusade for Children.
  • In 1968, when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, Hillary Clinton worked with the African-American student organization at Wellesley College to organize a two day strike.
  • On October 16, 2016, while visiting the Museum of Black History and Culture at the historically Black AM&N College/University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, I met an art major graduate who is currently employed as an archivist in the Clinton administration. This young lady is responsible for preserving artifacts, and making restorations, such as she did on the broken nose of President George Washington’s face. She is employed to also be responsible for archiving memorabilia, such as Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe. I have found African-Americans involved at all levels of the Clinton’s experience.

I could go on and on. If my African American experience is as bad as you purport, you have not walked in my shoes, and if you provided no jobs or shoes for my feet, you cannot talk to me, or for me.   Sorry, “I can’t hear what you say for seeing what you do”.

On Tuesday November 8, I will cast my vote for proven experience.

Black Woman Thrives in Washington’s World of Cigars

By Michael H. Cottman, Urban News Service

Negest Dawit, a savvy businesswoman from Ethiopia, steered her 1998 Mercedes Benz past a vacant building on 9th Street near downtown Washington, D.C. and gazed into her future.

“I looked at the building and said ‘This will be my store,’” Dawit told Urban News Service.

That was 10 years ago. Today, Dawit — affectionately called TG — owns a cigar store. TG Cigar Lounge is at 1118 9th Street, NW.

But her journey from Ethiopia to entrepreneurship was not easy.

She moved from that East African nation to Canada in 1996 and worked as a housekeeper. That job paid the bills, she said, but not one she wanted for long.

“I only had $50 when I got to Canada,” she said. “My mother gave me the money.” Dawit sat in her modest apartment, talked to her sister, and, during meals, discussed her future.

In 2000, Dawit packed her bags and moved to Washington, D.C. seeking better opportunities. She spent four years at an Ethiopian restaurant on U Street.

Even as she waited tables there, she planned her next move, next job, and next challenge.

“It was very hard moving here,” she said. “I had to learn the streets, the Metro, driving. It was a lot to learn. I moved here and started from scratch.” 

And there also was the language: Dawit learned English at school in Ethiopia and speaks it well. But her thick accent reveals her African heritage.

Dawit took a job at Presidential Cigars at Union Station in 2004, and it changed her life.

“They taught me everything I know about cigars,” she said. “I worked in sales, and I learned the business. And the owner encouraged me to open my own business.”

And that’s just what she did.

“I was a housekeeper, a waitress, a cigar saleswoman, and then I opened my own cigar store,” Dawit said. She now is Washington’s only female cigar store owner. 

“Customers ask if they can speak with the owner, and they are surprised when I tell them I’m the owner,” Dawit said.

Dawit opened her business in 2006 after standing inside the dusty storefront building and imagining what how her operation would look after she renovated. 

“It was formerly a T-Mobile store,” Dawit said. “It was dirty, and it needed a lot of work. But it was mine.” 

Mark Jackson, Dawit’s store manager, recalls meeting Dawit as he strolled through Presidential Cigars.

“I was checking out local cigar shops, doing research to launch my own line of cigars, ‘Blacksmoke,’ which I eventually did,” he said.

Jackson said he was immediately drawn to Dawit.

“She was absolutely beautiful and very knowledgeable about cigars,” Jackson said.

But opening her own store had its unique challenges, Dawit said. She required inventory — $30,000 to start — and needed people to vouch for her, tough things for someone just getting started. 

“They were asking me for referrals, but I didn’t have any,” Dawit said. “It was a challenge. I built relationships with sales people and wholesalers, and they helped me build my inventory, and some gave me credit.”

Dawit now has a $500,000 inventory and is arranging to buy the property, which she now leases. She has more than 3,500 customers, some of whom pack into the shop seven days a week to smoke cigars, sip Scotch, and network with other smokers.

“My customers include businessmen, politicians, and cigar club members,” Dawit said. “One third of my customers are women.”

She said the three cigar clubs that loyally meet at her store help her business flourish.

“They feel like they are at home,” she said. 

Dawit proudly points to the 2,000 cigar brands for sale inside her state-of-the-art glass-case humidors

The aroma of cigar smoke fills Dawit’s spacious location. Next to the well-stocked bar is a roomy lounge with comfortable seats and a large flat-screen TV.
While nearly 13 billion cigars were sold in America in 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control, Dawit is not the typical cigar store owner: She doesn’t smoke.

“I don’t smoke cigars, and I don’t drink,” Dawit said as she walks through her stylish venue, and cigar smoke hangs in the air. “But I do offer my customers a great deal of knowledge about cigars.”

Dawit is friendly, attractive and formidable. She has a sly smile, long black hair that flows over her shoulders, and a sultry accent that hints of mystery.

“TG’s gift is certainly her personality,” said Jackson. “She hugs people, shakes hands, it’s a genuine passion for her business and it brings folks back.” 

Dawit agreed.

“I haven’t had a vacation in 10 years,” she said. “I work seven days a week; I’m always here.”

Dawit says her store also offers a full-service tobacco shop with house-blended tobaccos, cigar lighters, novel ashtrays, vaporizers and hookah pipes. 

And she drives to work in her 2017 Range Rover.

“I know everything there is to know about cigars,” Dawit said. “I can smell cigars, roll them, merchandise them, and sell them. I just don’t smoke them.”