Aircraft seat or hospital bed?

Things happen. We had thought to travel to Ghana and PCC by plane but suddenly I found myself in a hospital bed.

That is why I will start this column with a somewhat more personal story. Immediately after having celebrated Christmas together with our children and grandchildren in the Netherlands, Jeannette and I would travel to PCC to celebrate New Year’s Eve, however, things didn’t exactly work out as we had planned….
Since August 2018 I have taken various courses of antibiotics because of repetitive bacterial infections. During Christmas I fell severely ill in spite of the antibiotics I was taking. I found myself in hospital with a high fever instead of on the plane to Ghana. In hospital I had to be nursed in isolation because my infection was caused by a multiple resistant bacterium.
Nine days of isolation is absolutely entirely different from arriving in the warm bath, which is PCC just before New Year’s Eve.
Luckily for me there was one antibiotic left that the bacterium wasn’t resistant to and which could only be taken intravenously. And fortunate enough it did make me feel better. So after 9 days of isolation I was able to leave hospital cured to a certain extent and 4 kilograms lighter in weight, which was not a real problem considering my build….. But as an outpatient I will still have treatments and check-ups for quite a while.
And that is why Jeannette (who is, by the way, an excellent caregiver!) and I are at home in the Netherlands and not in Ghana. That’s how it is.
Fortunately, all festivities around Christmas and New Year’s’ Eve have taken place in perfect order. We were continuously briefed on what happened by the pictures and videos that were sent to us. We are much delighted by the fact that in the course of time PCC has developed a steady and positive rhythm with regard to daily life and health care. It is reassuring to know that there is such continuity.
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What struck me was how people differed in the way they showed us their compassion when I was in hospital.
From the Netherlands we received signs of empathy from many people who said mostly things like: “Get better soon; We wish you much strength; A speedy recovery; All the best” etc. etc.. There were also people who said that they would pray for my recovery.
From Ghana we received signs of compassion which were put into words like: “We will pray for you; God will heal you; May God be with you; You are in our thoughts and prayers.” etc. etc..
One cannot but notice the difference in how people in the Netherlands/Europe on the one hand and Ghana/Africa on the other hand experience and react to illness and suffering. We felt warm and happy because of all the different ways in which compassion was shown to us. We feel tremendously supported by such a large circle of good people around us, both in Europe and in Ghana. How fortunate we are!
The residents of PCC have not only prayed for me during this past time but they have also thrown a few parties. Have a look at the various photographs we have received.
Life is not always predictable and cannot be controlled, as we have personally experienced the past few months. Of course, we already fully realize this because of the life stories of the residents of PCC.
How wonderful it is that there are always people who are prepared to support others if need be. It is what God meant society to be like, what Jesus taught us. We are grateful that this has applied for the PCC Community for years, as it will in 2019.
We wish everybody a happy and healthy 2019.
It is not something by all means self-evident, we all realize that, first and foremost it is a blessing from above!