Day Eleven

"Gracious God, we thank you for creating us in your image, women and men, children and youth of every nation and of one race - the human race. Help us to see your image in every person we meet, to have respect for the dignity of every human being, to work for justice and peace among all people, always loving our neighbors as ones like ourselves. Inspire us to move beyond the labels and categories to which we cling - of race, of gender, of sexual orientation, of culture, of religious practices - to embrace You by embracing the diversity of Your creation. We thank you for bestowing upon us the gifts of language and reason:  enliven us to use these gifts to work for equality in the economic, social, political, and religious systems of our lives, so that poverty, discrimination, and divisions may end once and for all. Open our hearts to the truth that reconciliation and love are the most powerful forces in the universe and the only way to find true and lasting peace. So guide us in our search for a greater knowledge of Your will, that our human efforts may, with the help of Your Most Holy Spirit, bring justice to the systems of our society and true respect and understanding to all our relationships. All this we pray in Your Holy Name." - Lorraine Ljenggren [divider scroll_text="SCROLL_TEXT"] Day 11 As the crow flies Canzibe hospital is not far from the Malungeni area, however roads are such that it is an hour's drive.  This is our last stop to deliver medical supplies and newborn clothing many of you so generously donated. One of the doctors spoke with us about the challenges of TB and HIV/AIDS.  They see the old and the young,  but it is the people between the ages of twenty and forty who are still dying of AIDS.  They see grandmothers raising babies because their mothers are either deceased or working in the city. The doctor also said they recently ran out of the medical gloves we gave them last year.  She was very appreciative of more gloves as well as all of the medications. The hospital is staffed with 4 doctors from Holland and the UK.  Her concern was that without foreign doctors the hospital would close. In the the maternity  ward, we welcomed four new babies and congratulated their mothers with a gift of blankets, onesies and Mother Bears. Upon return to the Malungeni neighborhood we set out to "walk about."  We visited the home of two families who very recently lost a husband/father/ son at the age of 55 to a heart attack.  Tradition here requires a year's mourning period, with family members wearing mourning colors (black, green, brown) for the entire year.  We joined hands in prayer at each home and offered comfort and condolences to the families. Many of you are familiar with our friend Olga, who is our main hostess here in Malungeni.  Olga's nine year old daughter died last June as a result of drowning. We honored her life at her gravesite which is traditionally located on the family property. Photo Mar 01, 8 09 07 AMOne of the highlights of our visit is to honor the birth of the youngest baby with the gift of a handmade quilt and a personal note from the  seamstress.  Virginia Melecha, who is Karen Dalebroux's mother,started this beautiful tradition a number of years ago.  As the youngest member of our delegation, Teigen  Staloch presented the quilt to 3 month old Nqobile and as his mother, Noneka. Our day ended with a beautiful starfilled night as can only be found in the Southern Hemisphere.  Our group gathered to reflect on our day's experience knowing that tomorrow will be our last day in Malungeni. Peace, The 2014 Delegation