Lection Connection

February 5, 2023: Greatness of Heart

From Fraser Macnaughton

 

It is so often the case that the media news round is just that – a merry-go-round. Important items are headlines one day and forgotten the next as the news machine moves on to the next story.

 

Meanwhile, across the world there are continuing examples of ordinary people being salt and light to those less fortunate than themselves, in many different aspects of life. One such piece of good news emerged from Africa recently. The country has suffered one of its most challenging Ebola virus outbreaks in the past five years. Since September, many have died and far more have been infected with the “Sudan” strain, which was one of the worst Uganda has experienced in two decades, and for which there is no vaccine. Two districts in central Uganda were put into lockdown in attempts to control the spread of the virus, which causes fever and vomiting, accompanied by internal and external bleeding, and which is transmitted via bodily fluids. Infections had also occurred in the major cities of Kampala and Jinja, fuelling concerns that the disease could extend well into 2023.

 

However, thanks to the efforts of many ordinary men and women in primary health care, government agencies, and the World Health Organization, Uganda has been able to declare an end to the Ebola outbreak. The health minister said, “Uganda put a swift end to the Ebola outbreak by ramping up key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing, and infection prevention and control.” WHO and partners supported Ugandan health authorities from the outset of the outbreak, deploying experts, providing training in contact tracing, testing and patient care, as well as building isolation and treatment centres and providing laboratory testing kits. This resulted in a community-wide effort that had the whole system working together, from having an alert system in place, to finding and caring for people affected and their contacts, to gaining the full participation of affected communities in the response.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, congratulated Uganda: “I congratulate Uganda for its robust and comprehensive response which has resulted in this victory against Ebola.”

 

Explore… Matthew 5:13-20

  • Can you think of other examples of community solidarity in the face of disasters, natural or human made?
  • What are the small victories your local community has made over the years, made possible by ordinary people?
  • Can your faith community set any challenges for itself to be salt and light to its wider community this year?

 

Prayer…

We pray for the grace of insight, that we may recognize ourselves as salt and light and be instruments of healing and transformation for our society. We pray for all who strive to be salt for the human family, that they may heighten our awareness of the needs and sufferings that exist and awaken in us a zeal for justice and solidarity.

 

Learn more…

 

 



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