Outside of my rondavel there is a plaque. It was put up in memory of Dr. Chris McConnachie, who came to South Africa over thirty years ago with his wife Jenny, to begin the work that would become African Medical Mission. One of Dr. McConnachie's, or "Prof's," favorite phrases is inscribed on the plaque. It reads, "Do what you can." At the beginning of my third month here in Mthatha, I'm beginning to more fully understand this statement. At times the level of poverty, lack of resources, high rates of HIV and TB that we see daily at Itipini Community Project seem overwhelming. I try to remember Prof's words when I start to feel as if there is little I can do to make a difference. I also keep Micah 6:8 with me, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” These are two phrases that have been on my mind lately, and I hope stay with me through the coming year. They bring me comfort, but also push me to act and learn from others.
I have also been thankful for the community of volunteers that live here at Bedford and from others working in Mthatha to do what they can. The picture I’ve posted is from one of our Wednesday night dinners that occurs weekly at Jenny’s house. This is a time for good conversation, great food, and to talk about how things are going in our lives. These gatherings and others like them are highlights of my weeks here. They also remind me that, “You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea, in church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea, for the saints of God are folk just like me, and I mean to be one too” (Hymn 293, BCP).
Happy All Saints’ Sunday!
Hope this finds you all doing well, and thanks for reading.