Wednesday, October 19, 2005

stephen lewis

Stephen Lewis, Canada's former former ambassador to the UN is speaking out again on AIDS in Africa. Lewis who is one the most passionate speakers I have ever heard certainly lives out part of the biblical call to "act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Lewis, speaking on CBC last night, talked about being in Malawi which has only 2 pediatricians in the entire country. He told of seeing a nurse on the 9hour overnight shift - working alone - caring for 70-75 patients - all of whom where in advanced stages of AIDS - all of whom would be in intensive care in Canada.

"I have spent the last four years watching people die."
With these wrenching words, diplomat and humanitarian Stephen Lewis opens his 2005 Massey Lectures. Lewis’s determination to bear witness to the desperate plight of so many in Africa and elsewhere is balanced by his unique, personal, and often searing insider’s perspective on our ongoing failure to help. Lewis recounts how, in 2000, the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York introduced eight Millennium Development Goals, which focused on fundamental issues such as education, health, and cutting poverty in half by 2015. In audacious prose, alive with anecdotes ranging from maddening to hilarious to heartbreaking, Lewis shows why and how the international community is falling desperately short of these goals.

We need the tireless work of people like Stephen Lewis to remind us of the needs. Sadly, the response of too many (including Christians - which is even sader) is that of racism, indifference and accusation. Lord, forgive us.

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