I am writing my letter on a very windy and rainy day, autumn is well underway, and, as we are ending what the church calendar calls ordinary time, we are moving forward towards the new church year beginning at Advent, a time of preparing, reflecting and waiting for the coming of Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
But this month of November is a time for remembering; children with their fireworks on Bonfire Night remembering Guy Fawkes and of course our Remembrance Sunday Service which will find us, with Gods grace, back at St Marks all freshly painted and with new lights and sound. On that Remembrance Sunday we will once again join together to remember those who lost their lives in the Great Wars and also all the conflicts since that time. As we read the news and watch television it is, maybe, sometimes difficult to remember that there are many wonderful people in the world. So I would like to share one person’s story with, an unsung hero of mine who through his passion is bringing hope and healing to nations torn apart by conflict.
You may have heard me speak of him before. Dr David Nott is a British surgeon who through his charitable foundation provides other surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world. Providing the best medical and local health care professionals; leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes. For the past twenty years, David and his team has practised surgery in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Liberia, Chad, Ivory Coast, Libya, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti, both in person, and through Skype, giving detailed instructions to local surgeons on the ground.
In Genesis 50:19-20, we read about Joseph (the young man of the multi coloured coat), who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Years later they came to him fearful that as he was now a powerful leader he would do them harm now that their father had died, but look what the bible says ’ but Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I am in Gods place. As for you, you meant evil against me but God meant if for good in order to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive.
I remember years ago my husband Paul, who is from Northern Ireland, telling me that if you were unlucky enough to be caught up in a serious traffic accident the best place to go was a hospital in Northern Ireland. Why? The medical teams had become very skilled and experienced due to all of the serious traumas they had dealt with in the troubles when there had been many injuries and much suffering through many decades, because of shootings and bombs. So, now they could help the most serious and life threatening victims in their traumas and give advice to others.
The knowledge that despite the bad things that happen God’s will for justice peace and love, will prevail is the hope we have. Because of Gods love for us despite all that we go through, be it a nuisance or the most horrendous and hopeless situations we face, God is right along side us, working his good, not just into our lives, but those around us and for future generations who will follow. We see this most clearly in the life, death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus the Christ who because of His sorrowful Passion to save us, suffered such an excruciating death (do you know that is where the word crucified originates from, so awful was this type of death?)
So in this month of remembrance will you remember in your prayers, Dr David Nott, his team and all those like him, in matters big or small, who shine as lights in dark places and to thank God for the good and the healing they bring because of their passions and visions.
God Bless You, Love Eileen
If you would like to know more about the David Nott foundation please visit davidnottfoundation.com.