Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wow, wow, wow

I'm not sure where to start... I can't believe today is only our second day in Soweto as I feel as though we're among dear friends already. The staff have been so welcoming and inviting. We're greeted with smiles and hugs. The nursing sisters were overjoyed with the medical supplies we provided. I was overjoyed how easy it was getting the supply bags through customs at the airport! The customs officer did question me as he saw how many bags we had. I smiled (as much as I could after being up for most of the last 24 plus hours-didn't sleep much on the plane- but that's another story!) and told him we were visiting Jo-berg for two weeks and thankfully he waved us through.

We spent most of Monday visiting patients. I think it will take us awhile to sort through the myriad of feelings we have in order to share all of them with you. Our sister hospice is doing amazing work, providing food parcels, and lots and lots of love to patients who are living with so little. Hopefully soon we'll have more pictures on the site for you to see.

Someone on our trip asked me if I saw much difference between this trip and our trip in 2007. Soweto is changing some. They are so proud of hosting the 2010 World Cup soccer and there is much road construction to to prepare for this. Hotels are being built in order to meet the expected demand. That is very good for the economy. Unfortunately the extreme poverty and needs of patients is no better. I am very proud to say, though, that our sister hospice is working very very hard to slowly chip away at this.

We've had some very interesting conversations with our South African colleagues about this. The reasons for this poverty and suffering are very complicated- political, social, personal- etc. I'm not sure that it is up to us to solve or even truly understand. We're here to lend a hand and make a difference. As one patient said to us yesterday when Roxie, Laura and I were visiting with Sister Maria, "Don't forget about me."

How can we...

More to come,


  1. These little glimpses you are providing with your posts really help snap the mission into focus in my eyes. Thanks for sharing... Dan

  2. Please let the patients know that we will not forget them and they will remain in our prayers and our hearts. Thanks for bringing us their message. Stay strong my friend. You remain in my highest thoughts. Forrest

  3. It is so wonderful to be able to follow this blog and vicariously share a tiny bit of the big picture through your eyes and hearts. We know that you are all working so very hard to provide care and share resources while you are there. I really appreciate being able to read these updates, so thank you for writing, especially since your personal time is quite limited. Hugs to Roxie, my sister!