The wonderful and kind comments from yesterday's post were more than comforting; they stirred a little voice inside me -and many others too. Thank you so much- it was nice to feel connected to all that again. Sometimes I am inclined to be quiet about the personal and world history that made me who I am, and still shapes the way I think about things. Everyone came from somewhere, lived through events unique to their experience. Some thrived upon those, some were devastated beyond imagination. Which brings me to a difficult subject that I can never quite get to here: the desperate crisis in the Congo and the atrocities suffered by women and children. The humanitarian research center that Erin works with operates behind the scenes of disaster relief, assisting organizations with the tools for crisis management and effectiveness. Currently they are sending medical teaching teams into the region- specifically to the Panzi Hospital to help save the lives of many victims of rape and torture. Teaching doctors share surgical techniques and perform surgery on women and children whose bodies have been savaged beyond their own ability to heal.
John Paul Doguin accompanied the last mission as a documentarian and took a series of portraits there. The subjects volunteered and chose their own settings in and around the grounds of the hospital. Recently when we visited, the images were the backdrop for a seminar held for world health leaders and professionals. The portraits are beautiful, large in size, illuminating the faces of men and women and children who live or work at the hospital, in many cases, because there is nowhere else to go. There is sweetness, anxiety, bravery, sadness, resilience, hope, the open expressions of those who have suffered and of those who defiantly refuse to.
Watching Erin as she admired John Paul's work, I thought of the world our children must experience and engage. We were certainly not the only generation with voices raised for compassion, truth and peace. They speak now with their own articulate, insistent passion for change, one person at a time. As parents, we are in awe, proud and grateful.
Tomorrow I'm going to go back to crafts, cooking, enjoying the visits of these two in from Boston...and also my mother who arrives for a few days. With Erin and John Paul heading off to adventures in the city, our creaky old couch is just big enough for Mom, me and a basket of yarn between. Pretty much the kind of quiet, simple home life that any of these women prays for on a good day. Countless blessings here in my little scene. A very small part of the whole. Hope for peace. Make it so.
Donations that will assist this mission can be made here.