Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving and Grief


Happy Thanksgiving plus one to all. Thanksgiving is a holiday in the USA and not many other countries of the world, but the desire to pause, reflect and be grateful is universal, in my opinion.  This week I do it with a heavy heart.

My heart is heavy for all the violence, death, hate and fear – yes, I am thinking of the world, in general, but more specifically of the Central African Republic. The vast majority of people there want to live and eek out their often-difficult lives but continue to live with greater hardship because of continuing ‘insecurity”. (Bandits who steal and extort money.  People who kill because others are different than they are.  Those who think more of their own gain and greed than their neighbors or their country…) 

But I am grateful for those who work for peace.  Particularly, this week, I am grateful that Pope Francis will spend 25 hours in Bangui on Sunday and Monday meeting with Christians and Muslims and holding a mass open to all.  I hope his visit brings positive attention to CAR and hope to Central Africans who will know they are not alone.  (This picture of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Bangui comes from the website of Radio Siriri (Peace), a Central African station.)

My heart is heavy for the Centre de Santé Emmanuel Gallo, the health clinic that is one of the projects of the Evangelical Lutheran Church – CAR.  There was a terrible accident Tuesday afternoon as the chauffer and various health workers were leaving Bouar for Gallo and Baboua.  CSEG’s Dr. Marcelin, the doctor of the state hospital in Baboua, and the chauffer were treated at the Catholic hospital in Bouar, but needed to be evacuated to a bigger hospital in Bangui.

I am grateful that the UN operates air service for Humanitarian Aid workers and that they were willing to take the three to Bangui Thursday morning. 

My heart is heavy that Charlemagne, the long-time driver for CSEG died at the end of that flight. 

I am grateful that the two doctors are now at the hospital in Bangui receiving the care they need.  May their recovery be speedy. 

My heart is heavy that the two hospitals in Gallo and Baboua must live without their doctors during their recuperation.  Health resources were already spread thin; may the staff find ways to cope with yet one more major obstacle.

I am grateful to be able to travel safely in Cameroon.  I came to N’gaoundéré yesterday for a meeting and am grateful for the welcome I received.  I have decided to stay through the weekend am very grateful to have been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner Saturday evening with some Americans, most of whom I don’t yet know.   

My heart is heavy that I cannot be with family and friends this Thanksgiving.

But I am grateful for internet connections that made it possible for me to talk with loved ones who are distant from me.

My heart is heavy that travel in the CAR continues to be difficult because of bandits along the road.

I am, however, very grateful to UN Peacekeeping Forces who provide escort services to small cars/buses and convoy protection for large trucks.  Waiting for the escort takes time and adds complications to travel, but those who make the effort arrive safely at their destination.

I am grateful that President Ndanga-Toué and other EELRCA church officials were able to travel to Garoua Boulai to meet with Thore Ekland, partner from Mission Afrika, Denmark.  I am grateful, too, that I could piggy-back on that meeting to talk about some of the work I am involved with. 

My heart is heavy that so many people in Garoua Boulai, the region, and CAR have experienced such trauma and heart wounds. 

I am grateful to be involved with the Bible Society’s Trauma Healing program as we begin to help people learn ways to recognize and begin to heal the wounds.  On Saturday, November 21, 13 people finished the Trauma Healing Training Seminar. (I know, there are only 11 participants in the photo, but two had to leave early because of a funeral – again sadness in the midst of joy.)  Another 17 students at the Bible School in Garoua Boulai will be completing the training soon.  These 30 people will be working together in January to begin Healing Groups within the Lutheran congregations in GB.  As they increase their confidence leading participatory learning, I hope (and believe) they will continue to lead Healing Groups to ease the hearts and hurts of some people in the area. 

I am grateful that the Regional Bishop of GB is very interested in Trauma Healing and will be working with us to continue implementation of this much-needed program.  I am grateful that the Lutheran World Federation workers in Meiganga are interested is exploring the possibility of using this Trauma Healing program with Central African refugees at the camp near there.  (I am meeting with someone on my way back to GB to see what is possible.) 


I am grateful for the large doses of sunshine that we currently have as the dry season is now in full swing.  I know the sun is hot, especially for those who work outside, but the mixture of sun and shadow is gorgeous and the light is full of hope.

My heart is heavy that so many don’t have enough food or basics to live.  It makes me sad how many turn to theft or extortion.  I know they think it is the only (or at least the easiest) way, but my heart bleeds because we cannot love our neighbors as ourselves and live in peace.
 

I am grateful that most of my “stuff” that was stolen is being replaced.  It is taking time and effort, but I am rebuilding what I had – with some upgrades! 

I am grateful for the friends – here and abroad – who call or send messages that keep us connected. 

On Saturday evening, I will be grateful for turkey, stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie! 

As I reread this entry, I see that there is much to make my heart grieve, but even more for which I am grateful.  May you be able to also find many reasons to be thankful.

3 comments:

  1. Amen. Well written!
    Keep up the good work!
    Prayers for you and your work in this turbulent time.

    Carl Johnson

    ReplyDelete
  2. Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one in every one of the big ranges that expand from Vara-Shikar (Annapurna Fang) towards Manaslu and Lamjung range that is roughly 60-70 kilometer of lateral distance. which has one peak over eight,000 meters, 13 peaks over seven,000 meters, and sixteen additional over half dozen,000 meters. The landscape of the region provides breathtaking sceneries. the first morning views of the mountains square measure majestic. The sunrise views from on the trail of the trek square measure breathtaking. The treks mix such a large amount of totally different landscapes and convey you, therefore, getting ready to the bottom of seven,000 and 8,000-meter peaks.Annapurna Base Camp trekking designed by Nepal Base Camp Treks is one in every of the foremost loved trekking destinations. throughout the trek except witnessing made cultural diversity, you'll additionally withstand remote farms still as villages occupied by Gurung ethnic tribes WHO square measure popularly celebrated everywhere the planet for his or her bravery. you'll be able to expertise the culture, previous traditions, and spiritual values of grunge individuals. To begin ten days Annapurna Base Camp, we are going to drive to Nayapul from Pokhara and walk right along the trail and keep on trekking downhill following a watercourse to Birethanti. Also, we are going to climb to Jhinu danda wherever we will get pleasure from tumbling within the natural spring. On the thanks to Dovan, we are going to be rewarded by the outstanding views of Mt. Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, and Huinchuli. Plus, we are going to pass Chomrong, an oversized Gurung village. we are going to additionally pass the tree-plant full of bamboo and bush trees beside the Modi watercourse and reach Donovan. Then we are going to walk for six hours to urge to Annapurna Base Camp lies at the elevation of four,095m via Machhapuchhre base camp that fantastically assaults the northern aspect of the very giant Mt. Machhapuchhre. Walking for around four hours we are going to reach Annapurna Base Camp that enthralls the North American nation with the putting views of the world’s tenth highest Annapurna I ( eight,091 m), Mt. Machhapuchhre Annapurna South, Huinchuli and additional. Trekking Guide Team offers a wonderful probability to travel for Annapurna Base Camp that is one in every of the foremost picturesque and exciting set within the heart of the nice Mt. Annapurna. we are going to cause you to feel the nice distinction if you choose to travel with North American nation since our good staffs and hospitable porters will certainly cause you to trek safe, comfy and unforgettable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everest Base Camp Trek is one of those journeys that create your vacation dreams return true. Hiking on the legendary foothills just under the mighty Mount Everest 8848m with exciting views of the master peaks will solely be found within the Everest Region. This celebrated trek is thought worldwide for its trailblazing routes & the landscapes speak to your senses. On this trip you furthermore Mera peak out at the celebrated Kala Patthar (5,600m/18,373ft) read purpose for a few grand direct views of the very best mountain in the world. Everest Base CampTrek additionally includes different celebrated eight thousand peaks like Mt mountain peak (8,516m /27,940ft), Makalu (8,485m /27,838 ft) Cho-Oyu (8,201m /26,906ft). The culture of this specific space is of nice notebook stuff & interacting with the native of us puts a lot of zest into your venturesome journey as you walk through the Khumbu region of the Asian country. This legendary path could be a psychological thriller for top & wild hikers World Health Organization want the tread the methods wherever legends walked before on their thanks to conquering mountain peak, some did some didn’t however the Everest Base Camp Trek path keeps those legends alive for many trekkers World Health Organization head to the present region. The trip begins with a stirring mountain flight to Lukla, one among the world’s highest mountains; & as shortly as you set down at that altitude, the remainder is history. Your hike takes you to the favored village city of Namche, referred to as the ‘gateway to the Khumbu’’ & from there on you rehearse quiet monasteries with the acknowledge Sherpa of us World Health Organization inhabit this region & their culture is price noting. On the way, we have a tendency to visit the Sagarmatha parkland, home to some rare fauna & flora, this additionally wherever we have a tendency to adapt for a few time. We head deep into the Khumbu hiking into the forest of shrub, birch trees & pine, with colorful villages wherever we have a tendency to square measure sincerely welcome by the Sherpa community. we have a tendency to square measure pleasantly stunned to return across a hospital-based mostly in Khunde and health post at Pheriche that shows this region not solely cares for the locals however also are able to look out of trekkers World Health Organization have altitude issues. Doctors square measure invariably at the post for aid treatment. The Everest Base Camp Trek is arduous however varied teahouses square measure found on the paths providing smart grubbed to shelter from the generally harsh climate. Our trek culminates at base camp so we have a tendency to create a path for Namche as we have a tendency to hike back to Lukla to rendezvous for our flight to Katmandu. we have a tendency to add an additional contingency day for inclement weather which will delay flights. It’s recommended to be pretty acceptable to undertake this journey; you only want some smart hiking exercise before doing this trip. And Nepal Base Camp Treks can do the remainder to allow you AN action-packed odyssey of a period.

    ReplyDelete