Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Almost There

Hi Friends,
In just a few days I’ll be leaving South Africa for the States via England to visit good friends. As I’ve reflected on my time, there are plenty of triumphs, tragedies, joys, and sadness. I could paint a rosy picture of how my time here has been one huge joy ride, but the truthfully it is both joy and pain. Let’s not pretend, shall we?

Something that has really been apparent to me has been the necessity for beauty here. Granted I know that there is a certain amount of beauty in every situation, for those who choose to find it. However in a place where survival is the name of the game, beauty often gets pushed right out of the way. The appreciation of beauty is a sign that we are no longer just surviving, but truly living, in the fullest sense. I heard someone say, “ The job of art is to chase away ugliness.” Not just aesthetic ugliness or the reality of life, but the ugliness of just surviving and living for the tyranny of the immediate. Beauty reminds us that there is something more, “a deeper magic”, and that there is a God who is meticulously involved, pursuing, seeking.

Take time today to find God in the most unlikely place or person. Ask Him to make you aware. Ask Him to remind you of what is good and beautiful in the world.

Your Friend,
Dave Henry

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Hi Friends,
Just wanted to update you guys on how things are here. It’s hard to imagine but I’ll be back in the States in about a month. It’s kind of surreal how the time has passed here in Africa. It’s flies by because there is so much to do, but at the same time seems to creep along…sort of like watching the grass grow. That’s Africa I suppose.

(Sorry no pictures…for lots of reasons…but please keep reading)
Let me tell you about Roger (not his real name). I met Roger while doing home visits. These home visits are a foundational piece to what we do here. It is the most valuable and effective way that we can connect personally with the people of Masoyi. We hear their stories and respond in the best way we can. Whether it’s just a friend to listen or giving medical or food or giving whatever we can. In this case, a nursing team had already come to visit Roger’s wife who is battling severe TB. Even their newborn baby is very ill. Roger spends most of his day providing for his sick family, as well as caring for them in their illness. He is an incredible example to me. Especially in light of all the tragic stories of men who don’t act responsibly toward their families.
When we visited we notice that there was no food to go with the TB meds that nursing team had brought. In fact, there hasn’t been much food for the past 3 months. It has been very lean times for many people in Masoyi. (The grant we just received doesn’t arrive until October) This situation was looking grim for both mother and child. No food and plenty of sickness to go around. Being in Africa always reminds me how fragile life is.

A local volunteer, also named David, and I decided we needed to act right away. So off to the local shop to buy food. You should have seen the smile on Roger’s face when we returned – food in hand. It was bright and it was ear to ear! Granted there are several thousand more in Masoyi with the same problems, some much worse. This time it felt good to actually to do something for this one man and his family. Sometimes it just doing the good you ought to do for one person that makes all the difference.

Much Love,
Dave Henry