Monday, April 28, 2008

Prayer To Remember

Daphne recited a prayer at evensong last night that really touched on a lot of things I have been thinking about and praying about. I wanted to share it with y'all.

O God, whose mystery is as deep as the mist that sometimes shrouds the hills round Grahamstown, yet who has shown yourself clearly in the love and teachings of Jesus, we praise you for the faith that has brought us together and for the great line of saints whose lives and witness have conspired to make believers of us across the years. Forgive, we pray, the busyness and indifference that have often characterized our spirits, so that we have not lived with either the joy or the commitment that might have marked our daily lives. Draw us back into your way that we may experience redemption as sick persons experience recovery, and show us how to redesign our existence in keeping with your eternal plan. We remember the desperateness of the world beyond our walls, and bow in prayer for the many peoples of our globe. (We remember particularly the people of Zimbabwe at this time - this World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe - we prayer for people who govern the world: our own government, and governments and all involved in political life; We pray for the affairs of the world, and the life of the nations, for peace among the nations, and peace within each nation) Some people have inadequate food and water and medical care, and many languish in ignorance and superstition. Teach us to share our own resources with them in such a way that the world may no longer be divided between those who have and those who don't. Remind us of the power of your Spirit to transform every earthly situation. Gift us with a word that will challenge our self-satisfaction and raise our eyes to new horizons of love and self-giving, that we may glorify you in all we think and say and do. for your are God and we are your people, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Joy of Advocacy!

The fun of living in a place with issues, is that you have plenty of time to think of creative solutions. I have been doing alot of that and been at times overwhelmed with all the possibilities to make positive change. Many of these ideas have not come into fruition as I have been busy with other things. The exciting thing now has been to watch ideas I have been thinking of coming into fruition without me. It makes me happy to see a community thinking creatively without outside help. I feel overjoyed just to be an advocate for ideas. By being open to helping, I am increasingly becoming a sounding board and network for others to plug into. I will tell more, but just wanted to share in the joy of seeing my little baby ideas growing on their own without me. I let them go greatful that I don't have to own the burden of things left undone.

Senza ukusebenza,
(my attempt at saying in xhosa, we are going to do work)

Matt Kellen

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wheel Chair Basketball and Riding in an Ambulance

A couple new activities have made their way into my odd life here. Today was my first day of wheel chair basketball. Every Wednesday at 11, a Thembekile and I pile into the school van and roll up to the indoor basketball courts in the township. It was a blast and has opened up an opportunity to maybe get a better wheel chair for him.

Tuesday, my buddy Shane and I went down to the local ambulance service to sign up as ride along volunteers. This was sparked after a rough encounter with an unconcious white male freshman at Rhodes University. My fried John and I had come home from the computer labs at the University and found this still unknown student laying in a fetal position out in front of our house. After John checked his vitals and breathing, we determined he was breathing. A car rolled up and offered to help. We called for an ambulance. After waiting 10 minutes and hearing that sometimes it takes an hour and a half to get an ambulance, we with the help of some drunk passers by were able to get the kiddo into the back of the kind stranger's car. Shortly after getting him into the car he started vommiting all over the seats.

Apon arriving at the hospital there were not docotors dressed in scrubs helping the victim onto a stretcher. Nope, we loaded the student into a wheelchair still not verbally responding or giving eye contact. As we rolled in the nurses glanced at our vomit machine and said we had to fill out a blue card at the other office. We rolled our friend to the other window where there was no one and the janitor said he would be back now now (meaning it would take 10 minutes). After 10 minutes of waiting a short fella said to us as he entered his office, why didn't you have the nurses help. The nurses (who told us to go to get the blue card) were just sitting around. Still passed out, we rolled the kid to a bed and John and I put him in ourselves. By this time it had taken about an hour from start to finish. We left him in unsure hands with no wallet to his name or i.d. to recognize him. WOW. So now I want to get involved and see what is the deal.

I am excited to see another part of Grahamstown. It gets bad here at the end of the month on when pensions come in. People get absolutely trashed and do very stupid things. I have always wanted to know more about first aide. What better way than hands on. At least hands on with layers apon layers of rubber gloves.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hogsback Thrills

I just returned from a 4 day trip to Hogsback. I had gone in December to spend time at an underpriveleged camp of 60 + campers. This time I went with students from the After School Program. With the help from the brothers of the Monastery who helped fund the trip, and the incredible help of Sarah and Ms. Myeki, a co-teacher and friend, we had an incredible time. Having to cook and plan and be responsible for 10 kids between ages 11 and 15 was a lot to juggle, but it all went well. To be able to open the world up to kids who have only been in Grahamstown and show kids how important teamwork and challenging oneself, and see tangible personal accomplishment is a true blessing. To see attitudes change and confidence build in a person never ceases to amaze me and give me hope. Every morning we went for a walk to a different waterfall, then would spend the afternoon doin team building activities, and personal challenges such as repelleng down a 9m tower and jumping from a telephone pole to a trapeze (while roped in to a harness).

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Front Page News

The following is a picture of the front page news of Cape Times (Cape Town Newspaper). If you feel up to it, play "Find the missionaries." My friend and fellow missionary John were at the enthronement of Bishop Thabo Makhoba. The other picture is of John and I overlooking the city of Capetown from Lion's Head a hilly mountain overlooking capetown. Pictures are taken courtesy of John Simpson.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Front Page News

Myself and fellow missionary John visiting from Uganda drove to Capetown to see the installment of the primate and Archbishop of Capetown. Bishop Thabo was the bishop from my diocese in Grahamstown before being elected to his new esteemed position. At 47 he is the youngest Archbishop of South Africa. It was a grand affair in the Capetown cathedral including such esteemed guests as the former Arch Bishop Tutu a major player in the reconciliation of post Apartheid South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize. Several times at the after party Tutu got in my way while trying to introduce myself to others. Just kidding. The man truly has a presence as does the new Arch Bishop Thabo. The president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki was very candid and funny when formally congratulating the new arch bishop saying he had many things to confess of mistakes he has made and that later he should discuss in private who should change their first name to avoid confusion and false blame on the new archbishop Thabo Makhoba. John and I made the front page news of Cape Times (Capetown Newspaper) as we observed Bishop Thabo's procession in the background.