God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Speaking up… that’s what we need in our work to combat the pandemic, and not to forget the blessings coming along with a fight like this one…

 

Speaking Up!

Dear HIV,

Today is 16 years I have learnt that I share my life with you. What a shock it was. At the time, it was difficult to imagine I would be alive today. Here we are in 2013 and it looks like we will have many more years together. It is pointless to think what would my life had been without you.I will never know.

I know that thanks to you I had to take a very good look at myself, and the world. I had to look straight in the eyes of death and illness. Thanks to you I stopped taking my life for granted. I had to ask difficult questions to myself. Recognise my fragilities, and my responsibilities. What was most painful: I had to question the possibility of love and intimacy. How difficult closeness becomes, when your body is a potential threat to your loved one…

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Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

Compliments of the Season

It’s never too early: I am taking this opportunity to thank everyone who made 2012 a fabulous year…
Hoping 2013 will be a blessed and best one for all of us – Somebody shout Amen!

For all those I’ve made promises to and never kept – Ek is baie jammer, it was not intentional but I will do better in 2013.

Those that I owe lunches, kisses, dates, etc. eish, I’ll do my best to fulfil.

 For those that have supported me and made me smile through all my hardships… I truly appreciate you – May God bless you!

For those I’ve disagreed with, argued with and just never got along with…… well, 2013 is another year, pasop!

Those that I’ve hurt… unintentionally/intentionally… I’ve probably apologized – “I’m Sorry” again…

For those that stuck a knife in my back… oppas, ek het ‘n gun gekry…. Nah, relax… 4giveness is the best revenge!!! 

For those that have let me down… DANKIE….’twas just another stepping stone closer to my destiny!!!    

To all my real friends … I bought us some superglue

But all in all, you have made 2012 a great year; I wish you and your loved ones prosperity, good health, wealth, happiness, greener pastures, abundant blessings…and a  Wonderful Festive Season

May 2013 be the year you achieve wonderful things and grow in maturity and wisdom..

Blessings & Peace

 Fr Stefan

Now @ sea till mid January

Now @ sea till mid January

Filed under: Catholic Church, Center of Healing, General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, HOPE Gala Dresden, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Religion and Ethics, SA-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

11.11.2009 Suicide goalkeeper…

He was famous, still young, happily married – a star for many soccer fans and expected in South Africa for the Soccer World cup 2010 – and he ended with suicide. TV pictures showing fans laying flowers and burning candles in front of the stadium of Hannover 96, the cancellation of a National soccer match, tears and bewilderment. A rising star of the soccer heaven ending smashed by a train.

It ones again shows to me, how little we often know about people, how little we really care about what people going through. We take the life clippings we like to see and on the other side we produce for the world and the people around us the life clippings we want them to see. And sometimes, there is always a variety on such clippings, depending whom we meet. And very often, we ourselves believe that these cuttings are the real person, the real life.

He was scared of losing his child when he would come out in the open with the depression he suffered. And once again: how often do we think I cannot come out with this or that because.. because I am scared that nobody will understand, that people draw the wrong conclusions, that the reactions will hinder the blossom of life.

I also know this feeling to hold back, to give only life clippings, to hide some parts of the person I am – as we all know I guess… and sometimes one only wants to scream and shout and say: Here look at the real me – look at me  in a holistic way, look into the eye of a real life, which always has so many facets from dark till light colour. But we don’t do and we are becoming artists and experts in hiding.

Exactly at this point I think that our Christian faith can give us the possibility, at least in front of ourselves to be honest in presenting ourselves – this unconditional love of God we are talking about in almost every church service could liberate us from all hiding. And if we only start to be honest to ourselves and our significant other – but there already it starts.
I do remember a chat with a friend of mine where we reflected on how we are able to communicate our lives to others – and we asked ourselves who, except us, do know all major facets of our lives. We share with different people different parts of our life – but who, except God, does know it all or at least most of it?

We both opened up at that time and I must say that was the beginning of a liberation I did not experienced until then – the beginning of a deep friendship without hiding, a feeling of being accepted as one is – no need for selection. I am very grateful to this friend until this very day, he is a blessing in my life and for my life and I am grateful for every time, we meet and can share. In certain moments, he was a life line in the last year.

Our life is to precious as that we waste it or waste our energy in covering up and hiding. Surely, there are matters, we don’t want to read in the headlines of the newspapers; but I wish for everybody a circle of friends and trusted persons who represent the unconditional love of God in their respective life. And the courage, to expand this own limitation of truthfulness and open acknowledgement of own realities as much as possible. It would indeed in my opinion make the world a better place for all.

Also in the fields of HIV and AIDS, this unconditional love, this truthfulness to one’s own diversity and all shadows of grey in between is a major topic when it comes to combat stigma and discrimination.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

04.10.2009 Big plans and little plans..

It was a good day, a marvellous service, brief speeches and I am at the end of the day very happy and grateful for this final accord in a life’s chapter.  Two friends who happened to be actors wrote me a message, saying that they are in thoughts and prayers with me, and then they added:  “Wenn Gott Grosses mit uns vorhat, dann muessen wir das Kleinere eben lassen” – translated it would mean: if God has big plans with us, we have to leave our little ones..  I am not sure why, but this sentence, which they took from Hildegard of Bingen, a saint of the Middle Age, accompanied me through the whole day and comforted me a great deal. As did the “Halleluja” from Haendel during the service, sung by a choir and accompanied by an orchestra. Music is an amazing tool, it can lift up the hearts in a way which leaves me very often speechless.

This evening I can say that I know amazing people,  I have amazing friends and I am blessed with so many good people around me. I am blessed in so many ways that I hope I can give back of all these blessings in the years to come. To feel blessed, to count his/her blessings and to be a blessing for others – what more can describe the way a Christian life should go? But not only a Christian life, I think everybody has the right and the duty to cherish his/her blessings and to be one for others. Enough now of blessings.. 🙂

After this day, I am prepared now for the new page in my life…

Filed under: General, Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , ,

25.09.2009 Makwan. A letter from Paradise

On Facebook I am part of the cause: “save the iranian gays Hamzeh and Loghman from being executed
On the cause side one can see the youtube clip: Makwan, a letter from Paradise – which shows the hanging of a gay person in Iran and brings to live the life of a person who’s only guilt it was to love a man as a man. It is touching, shocking, moving, going to heart.  It is unbelievable that there are still countries where people are executed because of their sexual preference.  And religion is the cause for the death sentence.

I makes me aware of how powerful religion can be, that it can be a cause of life or death, a blessing or a curse for another person with a different ethical view and living condition. And it makes me so much more cautious about how I judge and talk about other people. Also in our Christian believe system is homosexuality intransic evil as I have read in one church paper. Working in the fields of HIV and AIDS, the gay issue is of course very often attached to it, specially when somebody is coming from Europe. Here in South Africa, the virus has no “gay” connotation, many women and heterosexual persons are infected. Nevertheless, when it comes to the history of the virus in the 80′, it was in the gay clubs of North America were the virus was prevalent and spread.

So sexual orientation is on the agenda again and again, when dealing with my portfolio. For me personally, I don’t think, that the sexual preference does not matter and I guess, that for God it also does not play a role – whether somebody has a good heart, develops his or her talents, is doing good, is a blessing for others – that might be rather criteria in his or her eyes. Well, I guess, even “his” or “her” means a limitation to God. But unfortunately our language needs a gender to express itself.  Having in the moment the big discussion about our South African female runner, it shows clearly how careful we should be with gender determination anyway.

Anyway, this film-clip about Makwan, yes, I would say Makwan has touched my heart and my soul this eve, and I will never ever forget what I have seen – and will be always in my mind, as a person, as a Christian, as a priest.

Filed under: Networking, Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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