This month I decided to write you a very personal letter, because on the 11th of March (10:30-12:30 at the West Kirk Hall), I will be holding my 3rd annual coffee morning to raise funds for my brother’s medical expenses. Now you might wonder why I do this… Because I feel it’s something I can do for him. There are so many things I can’t do for him: I can’t go visit him in hospital, I can’t take him to appointments or keep him company while he is on dialysis, I’m not around to be a shoulder he can cry on… It’s a difficult position to be in – because I believe God called me here to minister in the Church of Scotland. My wee family and I are so happy here, we have a safe and free life (something that isn’t guaranteed in South Africa), and we are so well supported by our congregations. But I miss my dad and brother in South Africa, and I worry about them all the time. So that’s how I came to the conclusion that something I can do from here is to raise money to take one big worry away from my brother – the fear that he won’t be able to pay for his treatment.
For those of you who don’t know his story: Emuel’s had type 1 diabetes since he was 4 years old. This made his health deteriorate very much over the years, and he now has kidney failure too. He gets dialysis 3 times a week, and this can sometimes last for up to 6 hours at a time. He is a little younger than me, and one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met. He’s not been able to work for many years now, he is in a wheelchair and can hardly see anymore. But he keeps going, always with a smile on his face. And the money we raised for him at the previous coffee mornings was almost enough to pay his medical aid for a whole year. Because there is no NHS in South Africa, if you can’t afford to pay for your treatment, you just can’t get it…
One of my favourite passages in the Bible is Esther 4:14b: “Yet who knows—maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther became the new queen in a time when her people really needed someone to stand up for them and make their lives better… And although that was not the reason she became the queen in the first place, she grabbed that opportunity with both hands and changed so many people’s lives. And that’s my motto in life too: “Who knows – maybe it was for a time like this that I had to come to Scotland, to West Calder and Polbeth…” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love, support, and generosity; for making it possible for me to reduce the stress in my brother’s life and at the same time for adding more days to his life.
May God bless you all.