As I write this I am sitting in a queue waiting to be able to request a telephone line for my house. This is the fourth time I am here already and I have not yet even managed to find out if they have a line available for our house, let alone make the formal request. I estimate today I will be waiting for at least an hour. The other day it was two. I dread to think how many more visits I will have to make until I have a telephone line – and internet, skype, direct contact with my family from the comfort of my home. It is better not to think about it.
Sometimes I am tempted to give up. Sometimes I do. Sometimes the obstacles put in my way seem insurmountable yet unavoidable. It would be easier to go home to the UK. But then I remember the Bible tells us “Do not grow weary of doing good”.
My patient Mrs A does not give up. She is 44 years old, and has had breast cancer for 4 years. She has had a mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and kept fighting bravely. Now the cancer is eroding her skin in a smelly, painful mess, and she knows she is losing the battle she has fought so long. With simple measures I can at least dress the tumour so that it does not smell and give her medicines to control her pain. I can help make her days liveable still. And she inspires me daily with her positive attitude and determination to make each day count. Why should I give up?
Mrs V does not give up. Her husband of many years has abandoned her for a woman 20 years younger who is expecting his 9th child. She is left with the other children they had together with no income. To add insult to injury her simple 17 year old daughter is pregnant by a married man who was bringing them gifts of food “to help”. Her daughter is still only in her second year of high school. But Mrs V keeps fighting for her children. She does not give up. I will not give up lending them a helping hand, ensuring the children are able to keep going to school, giving them the chance of a better future.
So instead of feeling sorry for myself or frustrated today in the small challenges I face, I lift my head and determine to keep on going, by the grace of God, and I bring these dear people I know who face much bigger challenges to Him. Let us not grow weary of helping the poor, sick and oppressed. Let´s keep on fighting.