Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Cheers Ben

Ben came to us last Sunday evening.
He is a Zimbabwean who had run from a crowd of township youths intent on beating him up. And had landed up with us, having heard via the grapevine that there were displaced people with us. He is articulate, funny, and deeply religious. He led the Thursday evening prayers, and offered to preach on Sunday.

His trauma was deep – having first run away from political persecution in Zimbabwe, and now having run from Xenophobic hatred in Cape Town. Each of our “guests” fills in a registration form, which asks them to tell their story. He needed two full pages to get it all out of his system.

From this form we discovered that he is a diabetic, and requires a special diet and medication. So we sent him to the clinic around the corner to check his insulin levels. The clinic nurse kept him for the day, as stress was causing his levels to fluctuate dangerously. Finally, the contacts of my circuit treasurer got him into hospital: this allowed him to jump the queue and receive emergency treatment. Having spent the night on a drip, he was discharged from hospital – with the well-meant admonition not to allow himself to get so stressed again.

He came to me yesterday to say goodbye. One of his work colleaguea has invited him to say in his home. And he shared a prayer with me, thanking God for the blessings of the past week. Truth be told – I am blessed for his brief encounter with us.


digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

Hi Pete,

This is inspiring! The core of the Gospel is Christ's justice and mercy.

I am so encouraged by these testimonies. The Church has done such wonderful work over these last weeks. We have much to give thanks for.

Thanks for the chat on Saturday.

Rich blessing my friend.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Yes, thanks Pete. It is good to hear first hand what churches are doing. Our church is collecting donations and taking them to a central point, but we don't have any hands-on contact with the situation. Personal stories makes things seem so much more real.
I do hope that the stories will soon be of reintegration or repatriation!