Tuesday, August 5, 2008


image found here

John and I entertained a very interesting guest for dinner on Sunday, our new pastor, Father G. He comes to us from Ghana, a country in West Africa. 

He told us a great deal about his home and spoke eloquently about it's strengths and weaknesses. Father G. spoke from experience as he told us about challenges such as the AIDS epidemic, and government control of the country's media. 

Even though he was candid about his country's problems, he also shared with us those positive things which made him miss his homeland: The tropical climate, this shared as he sat wrapped in a fleece sweatshirt borrowed from John in spite of the warm afternoon sunshine, the willingness of the Ghana people to work very hard and not shirk physical labor, Fr.'s large and hospitable family, and the small but tightly knit communities. 

The comparative wealth of Western countries leaves him somewhat frustrated at the abject poverty of many of his country's people. For all it's positives, Ghana has very little ability to provide programs to help it's poor. There is great need for social program growth, and also for building infrastructure for the country.

I wonder what medical resources are available to the poor in Ghana. I wonder what those with chronic diseases such as autoimmune illnesses have available to them. What would my life be like if I lived there? 

It seems on one hand that there are many differences between us, but as John and Fr. share memories of being the oldest son in a family with many sisters, they laugh and acknowledge that some experiences are the same, no matter where they occur. When we discuss our faith, I realize the importance of this common bond, as well. 

I look forward to spending more time with Fr. G. during his time with our parish. It seems that he will bring a new and valuable perspective to our community. 

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