Contrasts

Tragedy and Harmony

A lot can happen in one day.Unfortunately I was reminded of this just yesterday when I was told that the brother-in-law of one of our workers had committed suicide and that a new life was starting for two people who were getting married along our street. The young man was found drowned in a river earlier in the morning, possibly having jumped off a nearby bridge. We went to give our condolences to the family that afternoon at the nearby pagoda-but what can you say in such a tragic situation?He had a Buddhist funeral this morning and our prayers go out to his family and friends. Later on that day a young girl who lives just along the road from us got married. As is the way with Buddhist weddings the ceremony and celebrations are held in the house,grounds and nearby roadside.A canopy is put up in the road for the guests, and tables and chairs hired for the many who are invited. Like most wedding days it tends to be a long day. By 7.30 in the evening the party was in full swing. The live music was loud(or am I just getting old?) and finally finished at 11.30. The humming generator was switched off at 12.15 and  finally there was peace…

New Life

Last Sunday a young baby was dedicated(or as other denominations would say-christened)in our Church. She is only a few weeks old and has two loving parents who want to give her the best start in life they can. Earlier this week I went into one of the worst slums I have seen where our organisation is working with some of the dwellers. The point of the trip was to try and follow up on a lady who was working as a cleaner but had not been seen for a while. She was not at home but while we were there  another woman came up to us with her young baby in her arms. The woman has HIV and did not want to breast feed her daughter for fear of passing it on so she was asking for money to buy powdered milk. Her daughter was 12 days old and she has two other sons. They earn about  30 pence a day collecting rubbish and soon one son will start attending school. The father left a long time ago. Two new lives come into this world and one has a better start than the other-life just isn’t fair is it….                                              

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