NEWS FOR END OF APRIL 2009
Death and funerals often become a key part of my experience of re-entry into Africa. This time is no exception. I went to visit a sick lady, only to find that she died while I was with a neighbour. We went to the home, soon to be surrounded by wailing. The lady had been sick before, but then took ARVs (medicine for AIDs), I was told. Nine months ago apparently, she resolved to discontinue the ARVs. The prospect of death seemed more attractive than the daily swallowing of masses of medicines. Others, I am told, have made similar decisions.
We are in the middle of the hungry season. Food is difficult to come by. ARVs are free. Imagine though - having to swallow a pile of pills, and you have nothing to eat. The UN provides the medicines - so they are available. Local farmers are supposed to provide the food - that is in short supply.
Some of the teaching of YTC seems to have collapsed in my absence. Those who I have met so far directly or indirectly attribute this to my failure to invest financially into the programme. We hope to re-open in a few weeks with the remnant - whoever is ready to engage in theological education without being paid for the privilege. I have yet to travel to all the centres or meet all the people concerned.
At home all are well - despite over-frequent intrusions of malaria. A four-month old baby has become the latest noisy addition to the household. We just had (since my arrival) a massive storm that has felled piles of trees. A large tree fell two metres from my house! Give thanks for protection! Hail has destroyed crops in neighbouring regions, I am told.
The political situation in Kenya seems to be worsening rapidly. There is now a lot of talk of fresh elections. That prospect has many people concerned.
Hear one of Jim's sermons, entitled 'Windbag Revisited', from Norwich Central Baptist Church, on 5th April 2009.
An Easter message in a secular newspaper!