God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

22.10.2009 Berlin ice-cold…

It is freezing cold when I arrive in Berlin, thanks the “Deutsche Bundesbahn” with a delay. A Korean taxi driver with a typical “Berlin accent” is driving me to the hotel, through all the construction sides – I feel like Cape Town or Johannesburg…

A first “hello” at the hotel by a friend of mine who happens to be the HR manager of this hotel. In the afternoon then a first meeting with an employee of the German Bundestag. I know her since a long time and we have to catch up a lot as we have not seen us for a while. But also we explore possibilities how to engage with the new government, specially in the health sector and I am confident that I am able to meet the right people next time I am in Berlin.

A talk with a representative of the Lutheran Chuch in the representation of the EKD for the German Government  – also here a briefing and some discussions on future cooperation in some fields.  Back to the hotel and then meeting a journalist: preparation for a trip to Cape Town, a visit to HOPE Cape Town and a report for radio about our work.

This evening I will meet a MP for dinner – also here it will be an exchange of ideas and possible cooperation. But at the same time I can say that all people I met today are people I know since a longer time. There is trust and the will to assist – and after such long time, there is this feeling of a growing friendship, which I appreciate a lot. One knows each other, one trusts each other – a fine way of working together in an appreciative surrounding.

It will be late before I will be back at the hotel, a short night, as I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow morning with some people – again planing on quite a substantive level to bridge the realities of South Africa with Germany, but even more:  to bridge realities on several continents, amongst them one reality,in which more than 30 mil people can tell a separate tale, where thousands of people are called to higher services every day and end their life premature, where hope and future are theoretical terms with no real value.

Last but not least: a feedback from Rome and the papal council shows me that our visit at the beginning of the week was appreciated.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Networking, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , , ,

29.08.2009 It feels good…

It simply feels good to know where you are heading. And I feel good because I know that I can continue to work in a field which is close to my heart and I guess I collected some expertise. And I am also happy because this shows that even in our church, we can find ways after a disaster, which benefits all parties concerned.It feels good to know that I can remain in this church and serve this church and the people in the fields of HIV and AIDS. I feel, it is a privilege to be able to do so. After 12 years of the privilege to be a chaplain to German speaking Communities abroad the next privilege. Or should I call it blessings?

This blog will accompany me in my new chapter of life – and it will continue to report about my work, my life, my thoughts – I hope it will be a good way in keeping in touch with many people I have learned to know in the last years and kept contact. It should stimulate discussion – and I already can see that it serves the purpose of getting in touch with people all over the world with similar or other thoughts.

I am grateful for everybody who gave me feedback so far or encouraged me to continue writing. Modern media and modern communication is indeed so helpful to exchange ideas and to meet people, one otherwise would never meet in a lifetime.

Five more Sunday services as the chaplain of a German speaking Catholic Community – the last being the farewell one. Besides all the good feelings I just described there is also sadness – of leaving this communities. For me, the personal contact with people of different back ground as you find them in a Catholic parish abroad was indeed a blessing. I learned so much – yes, I would say, that I learned more from all those who crossed my way in the last 12 years than they could learn from me… 🙂

It is 1.30 am in the morning, time to go to bed and I hope that today will be another splendid Capetonian winter day: 28 Degree Celsius, blue sky and no wind..  Another blessing…

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

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