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  • Count Your Blessings: Day 36


    Malaria is a preventable disease, and yet a child dies from it every 45 seconds in Africa

    Give 50p if you know at least one way of preventing malaria.

    Well, I think I do know some of the answers, but to be certain I wasn't peddling misinformation, I did a quick Google, and found this helpful A-E...

    • Awareness of risk.
    • Bite avoidance.
    • Chemoprophylaxis (taking preventive medicines if you are travelling to or living in a malaria region).
    • Diagnosis made promptly with early treatment of an infected case.
    • E can be considered for remote adventure trips. The E stands for 'Emergency treatment with safe drugs', such as Artemesin combined with Lumefantrine.
    That's all fine and good for western travellers, but for indigenous people, especially those experiencing poverty, the key is bite avoidance - which means mosquito nets, in good condition, used all the time.  The pledge of 50p is about 10% of the cost of a mossie net... so I hope lots of people are pledging.
    Typing and researching this post has probably taken about ten minutes... so on average 10-11 children will have died from malaria whilst I've been preparing it.  I guess it takes about a minute to read - another one whilst you read it.  With an average of ~200 hits a day on this blog, that's equivalent to a small UK primary school wiped out... salutary.
    My pledge
    Today - 50p
    Total - - £30.55, seven prayers, some thoughts and one e-petition signed
  • More Privileges

    Last week was lots of ministerial privilege of the tough kind. 

    This week is looking like it's about ministerial privileges of the wonderful kind.

    One does not cancel out the other, but it is lovely to some happy things to share in.

    "That is all" :-)

  • Count Your Blessings: Day 35

    Five weeks!  Not long to go now until the egg-fest for those who eat chocolate.


    Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, HIV has orphaned more than 14 million children in sub‑Saharan Africa.

    Pray for children growing up without parents because of HIV/AIDS.



    Climate change is causing the weather around the world to change.  Some places are getting hotter, others are getting more rain and some places are getting very dry.  This is affecting people in poor countries more than us, as they often rely on the weather to grow enough food.  Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases, which we add to in lots of ways, including using electricity.  Switch off any lights in your house that have been left on by mistake.  Give 5p for every item in your bedroom that uses electricity.


    Well I find that a tad confusing - adults and shildren being focused in totally different directions.  Is it too distressing for children to know about HIV/AIDS?  Especially when many will have watched children and babies near death last Friday as part of Comic Relief broadcasts?  Or is it just a focus deferred from last week.


    A Baptist minister friend of mine, who began his ministry with BMS in Africa, left his role as a Regional Minister to become part of an organisation in Africa that support children called the SHINE Foundation this is not a charity focused on HIV/AIDS but arising from a commitment to safeguard children, especially those who are the most poor and disadvantaged. 

    I can pray, in abstract terms for children affected by HIV/AIDS; I can pray with a little more understanding, for the work of SHINE, and I can pray for families I know/know of where one parent has died for any number of reasons.


    Parent God,

    I cannot imagine what it feels like to be a child whose parent has died,

    I know what it is like to be a young adult, but not a child.

    I cannot imagine how it feels to face the stigma of the cause of that death

    I know what it feels like to have a life-threatening, potentially limiting condition that makes others cringe or use euphemisms, but not to be stigmatised because of it

    I can imagine how it feels to live with the possibility that you will inherit a parent's condition

    But not what it means for that to inform the opportunities I am permitted here and now

    I do not know what or how to pray

    But I commend to your perfect care all whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS

    And addiction

    And mental health issues

    And cancer

    And life-limiting conditions

    I trust that you are trustworthy, will hear and answer the prayers I cannot formulate

    God who is more than mother and father to me



    My pledge

    Today - one prayer

    Total - £30.05, seven prayers, some thoughts and one e-petition signed

  • Count Your Blessings: Day 34


    2.5 billion people in the world do not have somewhere safe, private or hygienic to go to the toilet.

    Give 40p for every toilet you have in your house.

    This one is nice and simple!  No semantic games to play, no deep thinking needed, just straight forward.  Two toilets, 80p.  Simples.  Of course one person does not need two toilets, but it does come in handy when I have visitors.  I'm certainly not going to waste energy feeling guilty about it!

    My Pledge

    Today - 80p

    Total - £30.05, half a dozen prayers, some self-indulgent scribble and one e-petition signed

  • Happy St Patrick's Day!

    After the 'interesting' results I got from using Google to find out how to say 'goodbye' in other langauges, I am fearful of finding something dodgy if I search for Irish Gaelic!


    On reflection it was quite appropriate to use Rubik Snakes in church on St Patrick's Day... and this little cartoon it quite fitting...

    st patrick snakes.jpg