Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pics from Plett

The bridge I bungeed off of--216m high!

Falling about 180m down. Into the abyss. SOO scary. And crazy.

This is from one of thee of the hikes we went on out at Rocky Road. The beaches here are beautiful.

These are two sweet boys that Mckinley and I met while hanging out at the clinic. We played with them and two girls for about an hour. They were just precious. The boy in the plaid is Inga and the other boy is Yollo. So sweet.
Photo courtesy of McKinley Follett. Thanks!

That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed. :)


Life in Plett has continued to be full and busy since my last post. We are looking at our last seminar on Monday as well as the last week of work. Only two more weeks here in Plett, and only three left in South Africa.
Time is flying.
I am finding as I work on my media project (a composition of personal writing pieces based on my thoughts and experiences here) that there is a lot for me to process here. A lot more than I anticipated after being here for a couple weeks. I don’t really know where to begin or what it is that I want to communicate about my time here.
I guess I’ll just put it simply: there is great need here. I saw greater poverty in India for sure, but I believe I see greater suffering here in South Africa. And that is what makes it so difficult. There is a need for better healthcare for everyone in the townships. People need treatment, and they need it to be easily accessible. That’s a difficult task for the tiny, understaffed clinics that are packed full of patients. There is a need for jobs—unemployment is a huge problem here. There just aren’t enough jobs.
It takes a lot out of you, working here. And I feel as though I don’t even have the difficult lot. Many of my friends see multiple HIV/AIDS patients every week. I only have one HIV patient who is 2 years old and whom we visit only once a month. While I am seeing suffering, I would say it is relatively less than what my friends are seeing each day.
And yet it is still difficult. I talked to a friend here who made me ask myself, “What if these were my friends and family struggling to get care?” For my aunt who had lymphoma, there would have been nothing the doctors could do. For my Granddaddy who gave up smoking, he would have died a long and even more painful death. My Granny, who suffered from Alzheimer’s would have wasted away without the same care that she received in the States.
It’s hard to think about, but that is the reality for these people.
Since Cambodia, and all throughout India, I asked myself, “Why? Why them, and not me, God?’ I could just as easily have been born in Kurland village, have several siblings, and a father who drinks away any money we have. So why wasn’t I? I could be a street kid in Jaipur begging for money every day. I could be a landmine victim in Cambodia who has to work in the rice paddies every day.
Why them and not me?
I’m not writing this to say that I have all the answers, because I most certainly do not. But I have come to realize that all I can do to answer or find peace in these questions is trust in and rely on God’s grace. It is by his grace that I discovered it was about his grace. In India I was seriously struggling with this issue. I sent an email to my mom who forwarded it to friends and family, and I shared my struggles. I was overwhelmed by responses from people who have asked the same questions and have continually found God faithful. I wept as I realized that God did not have to extend grace to me, but he did—praise God! And while I may not understand why I am so blessed in so many ways, I do know that God is always good and that his ways and plans are perfect.
So as difficult as it is to be confronted with suffering here, I am choosing to trust in my good and sovereign God. I was reminded yesterday that his grace is limitless. Unlike my ability to keep going through trials, God’s grace doesn’t only go “so far.” It abounds, it overflows, it is always there. And he will not cease to give us his grace.
I hope you are resting in the grace of Christ. It is a glorious place to be.
Oh and thank you to all of my friends and family who sent me those sweet responses when I was in India—God used them so much to calm my heart, and I am so grateful that I know each and every one of you. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to thank you, but I suppose it’s better late than never.