A Travellerspoint blog

things are getting better...

(Are they?)

One of the popular songs we hear often here is a chorus which says umpteen times ‘things are getting better’ which is of course accompanied by lively dancing and super enthusiastic singing and clapping. In some ways I admire the optimism and positivity, but this week we were visiting the TB ward (codename for HIV ward) in the local hospital, and we look at death and hopelessness in the face, I couldn’t help wondering how people can see such desperate and bleak situations so frequently in Africa and still maintain that things are getting better. These patients aren’t getting better, and even if they leave the hospital alive, their lives back home probably won’t get much better.

If I’m honest, it makes me wonder how our Christian message of hope, love, peace and joy can trump all of the sadness and desperation that we see around us. I ‘know’ it has to, otherwise it is the most depressing thing ever. I guess I am realising more and more that our faith has got to impact peoples’ physical situations as well as their spiritual needs.

Unfortunately for Bighair, his time in remote S Sudan is not ‘getting better’- his stash of toilet paper is running out, and there is none to be bought, there are rats in their bedroom, which nibbled his team mates foot in the night, and 2 of the team stumbled across snakes in the accommodation. So, I am thankful that me and Amelie are not there- (on a shallow note, potty training using local leaves would be messy and gross) but it does make me think about the people who live there and face these challenges every day of their life.
I hope that their lives here on earth will get a bit better, I don’t know what ‘better’ might look like for them- employment maybe? Or health? Or simply having enough?

On a brighter note, doing our local outreach here is going well (minus David's absence) and I am enjoying it much more than the lecture phase. It is refreshing to be out in the community and involved with the local kids...


Posted by africraigs 07:39

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Hi Em!
It's so good to read your posts. Hope Bighair gets used to using his hands for doing more dirty work than he'd planned.

I can understand what you said relating to the people in Africa with HIV in 'desperate and bleak situations ... and still maintain that things are getting better'. I thought you might be encouraged by work going on in a different country. In the past three years the National Churches Fellowship of Nepal have recruited Christian volunteers with HIV to do hospital visits to meet with people recently diagnosed with the virus to assure them that they can still live and work in society. They also provide skills development workshops to mobilize peoples skills so they can generate an income for their families through envelope making, soap making, candle making etc. They also educate church leaders and congregations to remove the stigma attached to HIV so people are not made to feel like outcasts in society.

Hopefully for these people things are getting better each day. One woman said "I'm not alone now!" and has recently set up her own cosmetics shop. A very different life to the day her husband died of the illness and left her infected and her son affected by HIV.

Maybe things can get better by a shift in perspective when a change in diagnosis seems bleak and hopeless.

Much love to you guys. We miss you out here in KTM but one day we look forward to all being together over some not too spicy curry. God bless you all. we're praying for you :)

by Paul

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