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Burdened by a Leading

Friends in the Southern Appalachian region are talking about leadings. I want to share a bit of my journey with Asheville Meeting as I struggled with the pull to leave the United States and venture out to the island of Hispaniola, “where no Quakers had ever been before.”

(In fact, as I found out, in “ancient times” Friends were responsible for sending freed slaves down to the Samana Peninsula, and American Friends Service Committee has had a project in Haiti. And when I picked up my Kryeole dictionary, I found “Sosyet Kwakes: Quakers Society of Friends,” so, at least, in some part of Haiti I am not where Quakers have never been. But I do miss the company of Friends here.)

Back in 1999, when I was in Vieques, off Puerto Rico, which, you may remember, the U.S. was using as a bombing range, I became involved with a witness and eventually went to prison—but not before I had spoken at length to my meeting, and had a minute of support and a statement for the judge.

What I learned through that process is that the type of Quaker who is likely to respond to a leading—at least

Elizabeth Eames Roebling, a member of Asheville (N.C.) Meeting, lives in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She wrote "An Invitation to Hispaniola," which appeared in Friends Journal in August 2006.

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