Category Archives: Africa

Women as Weapons of War

It happens in the Congo. Disturbing, a bit graphic and so sad. Check out this episode of 60 Minutes.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Jordon.

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Filed under Africa, In the News

Processing the Lewis Speech

We heard Steven Lewis last night – a privilege. One comes away from a talk like that with many things to process. And I must be a bit of a slow processor. I need time to mull it all over in my head and deal with some of the information we were given. And not just for the sake of processing but to somehow respond in an appropriate way.

The Virus of Inequality I think we are all infected with it to a certain degree – and it can drive us mad with despair or paralyze us with hopelessness. I think it can probably cause us to jerk with spasms of frantic activism as well, thinking that our efforts will make the world change overnight by our own efforts. And of course that leads to hopeless despair as we come up against powers that are too big for us to budge. Or we can become deluded into a sort of selfish haze of indifference where we tell ourselves that we have worked hard for all we have and if only the rest of the world would shape up and share our political systems and economic ideals they would pull themselves out of the pits they are in. And above all we must protect what we have worked so hard to acquire.

What is a Christian to do?
I think we are called to something more like health. Even to a place of joy – not happiness, but a deep sense of wellness within that frees us to give ourselves in service to others. Nouwen says,

Ecstatic living entails a constant willingness to leave the safe, secure, familiar place and to reach out to others, even when that involves risking one’s own security. On an international scale this means a foreign policy that goes far beyond the question “How can our nation survive?” It would be a policy primarily concerned with the survival of humanity and willing to make national sacrifices. It would be a policy which realizes that idolizing the security of the nation endangers the whole of humanity….

…As long as national security is our primary concern and national survival more important than preserving life on this planet, we continue to live in the house of fear…. Nouwen, Lifesigns, Image Books, p 95

There is an inner joy that comes from knowing God – the “ecstatic” life that Nouwen talks about here that changes our relationship to the world around us. As he says, it exists in “the house of love” where we as Christians are called t o live. Loving and being loved frees us to serve others and the world and should send us out into the world around us almost like antibodies to this “Virus of Inequality” that Steven Lewis spoke so eloquently about. We do what we have to do in the areas we are placed. We stand for justice and honesty in our lives and in our politics. We do as Jesus did in standing for the oppressed. We have lots to do just in our little radii of influence but we also need to hold our leaders accountable for our actions as a nation and for the promises of our nation to the world.

The talk last night by Lewis was a great challenge to me. I will not be paralyzed into despair by the horrors that have been perpetrated on great segments of the world’s people, especially the women and children in countries at war. Living in the freedom of a deep joy that comes from knowing who I am in Christ, I will work in as many ways as I can to share the love that I have experienced with the hurting of the world. And I will renew my efforts to pass along these concerns to my children.

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Filed under Africa, Dealing with stuff

Ebola

Seems there is another outbreak.  It is probably not far from the hometown of a friend. 

An old friend – he used to be our pilot at Karawa – sent a bit of a report/prayer request.  Here it is:

The news today is that there is a confirmed outbreak again of the Ebola virus in western Kasai.  The most cases have come from the Luebo area which is about 380 nautical miles southeast of Kinshasa and around 80 miles north of Kananga.  Last count I heard was 180 have died.
 
At this point we / MAF did one flight last week with some supplies and to take some blood samples for verification.  There is a possibility of doing one flight on Thursday and also Friday in the Caravan then we will need to do a mini – check on the Caravan which, at this point, will take place Friday afternoon and Saturday morning then return to Kinshasa Saturday afternoon.
 
SANRU which is kind of an umbrella organization overseeing many health projects in the country and is also connected to the Protestant Church in Congo is overseeing some of the responses along with CDC and MSF. (Center for Disease Control and Doctors without Borders ).
 
Last time the response from MAF lasted about six weeks.  We / MAF are already quite busy with other flights so we’ll need to be flexible in adjusting our schedules to meet the needs this disease is bringing.
 
At this point Ebola is not communicable through airborne means, but is communicable through fluids.  So in that respect it is similar to AIDS, but much more virulent.
 
Prayer requests to go along with this include:
 
1. Ability to keep the airplanes maintained and flyable.
 
2.  Good judgment with the airstrips that we will need to use.  Luebo is seven hundred meters long with an up an down slope to it.  You cannot see one end from the other since the hump is too high.  It is only ten meters wide and is built in the middle of town with houses all around it.  The other airstrip is longer but very soft so to take any kind of a load out you have to be down quite a bit on your fuel.  Bulape is also a little short at eight hundred meters long with a slope on it and it can also be a bit soft.  It also has some rough areas on it now.
 
3.  Pray that God will intervene and get this epidemic stopped.
 
4.  Strength for the ones going in on the ground to check out the surrounding villages for other cases.
 
5.  Understanding hearts for those who had flights scheduled and now may get bumped because of this epidemic.
 
6.  Availability of fuel to keep everything going.
 
So pray as you feel led.  We are willing and want to be used by God to further His Kingdom here.
 
God Bless,
 
Daniel R. Carlson

 

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Filed under Africa

Well, actually, it is possible to wash up without hot running water. 

Our furnace/boiler has done it again.  Heating plate has a hole.  Pressure vessel cracked.  No end to the problems with this one.  Parts will have to be ordered from Ontario so it will be Tuesday at the very earliest before we have hot running water again.  The girls are not too happy.

If you see one of my family members coming to your door towel in hand please have mercy on them!

We may actually break down and put in a new boiler and separate hot water heater.  If the cost doesn’t kill us.

This furnace has been nothing but trouble and now winter is almost here.  There was frost on the grass this morning.

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Filed under Africa

Well, actually, it is possible to wash up without hot running water. 

Our furnace/boiler has done it again.  Heating plate has a hole.  Pressure vessel cracked.  No end to the problems with this one.  Parts will have to be ordered from Ontario so it will be Tuesday at the very earliest before we have hot running water again.  The girls are not too happy.

If you see one of my family members coming to your door towel in hand please have mercy on them!

We may actually break down and put in a new boiler and separate hot water heater.  If the cost doesn’t kill us.

This furnace has been nothing but trouble and now winter is almost here.  There was frost on the grass this morning.

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Filed under Africa

Well, actually, it is possible to wash up without hot running water. 

Our furnace/boiler has done it again.  Heating plate has a hole.  Pressure vessel cracked.  No end to the problems with this one.  Parts will have to be ordered from Ontario so it will be Tuesday at the very earliest before we have hot running water again.  The girls are not too happy.

If you see one of my family members coming to your door towel in hand please have mercy on them!

We may actually break down and put in a new boiler and separate hot water heater.  If the cost doesn’t kill us.

This furnace has been nothing but trouble and now winter is almost here.  There was frost on the grass this morning.

Comments Off on

Filed under Africa

Well, actually, it is possible to wash up without hot running water. 

Our furnace/boiler has done it again.  Heating plate has a hole.  Pressure vessel cracked.  No end to the problems with this one.  Parts will have to be ordered from Ontario so it will be Tuesday at the very earliest before we have hot running water again.  The girls are not too happy.

If you see one of my family members coming to your door towel in hand please have mercy on them!

We may actually break down and put in a new boiler and separate hot water heater.  If the cost doesn’t kill us.

This furnace has been nothing but trouble and now winter is almost here.  There was frost on the grass this morning.

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Filed under Africa