Words of thanks from Patrice R. Sawadogo following his surgery in India

Dear confreres,
You might have heard that I was away to India for treatment. You surely have joined your prayers to those of my fellow confreres working here in Zambia, my community members, my parents, siblings and relatives as well as my friends, imploring the good Lord for a successful outcome of my worrisome knee surgery. I am very glad to write to you today to confirm that God has granted your prayers: the surgery went smooth and was successful. I am grateful to God and to you all for seeing me through this ordeal.
I sustained a complete anterior ligament rupture sometime in August, in Kasanka, while playing football with the youth of our Parish. For this kind of injury, the sole solution is to undergo surgery to reconstruct the torn ligament. But this kind of surgery is not yet available in Zambia. Owing to this fact I was then sent to India, amidst various possibilities for treatment.
Great fear and profound sadness overwhelmed me when I got the visa to India and it became certain for me that I will have to venture into this unknown Asian continent.  Great sense of fear crept into my heart when I thought of the many and frequent natural calamities, the political and religious upheavals, the various sorts of hardships that occur in that part of the world. My fear grew even higher when I was told that in India I will face loneliness if I am not rejected, that nobody will even want to shake hands with me. Indeed I experienced great fear and I was deeply saddened to go to India but in the end fear didn’t overcome me.
Patrice R. Sawadogo in India 00I eventually started off for Bengaluru in India on the 5th April where I reached safe and sound on the 6th. I was right away astounded by the extreme and never ever seen huge amount of people in Bangalore. Besides, the traffic comprising of cars, huge amount of motorbikes, three wheel cars for public transport, buses and trucks appeared to me very chaotic, highly risky and dangerous. At the very beginning I would always experience headaches and dizziness whenever we go on the road. Thanks to God and to the good community driver and the confreres, no accident, no harm whatsoever occurred.
I was greeted with a warm welcome in our missionary formation house. Students and confreres proved me right from the beginning till the end of my stay that I was their brother. They showed concern for what I was going through. They were very compassionate and supported me in a particular way that I can never forget. All, most particularly students, were eager to know something about Africa, about Zambia, about our apostolate.
Our neighbors as well were very good to me. Upon arrival in the community, the following day, while walking along our wall, there came an Indian couple with their grown up kids and they started a conversation with me visibly happy and amazed to see an African in the surroundings. I was flabbergasted when they themselves asked to shake hands with me. In the same way, our neighboring community of religious sisters was very much welcoming to me as they often paid me visit. I had the opportunity to visit the African community of students. I said mass for them in French as they usually have mass on every first Sunday of the month with Fr. Sabu. The students are mainly from Ivory Coast, Cameroun, Togo, Ghana, and Senegal. I felt very much at home in India following the good welcome and upon realization that there are many Africans in India. My initial fear disappeared. I was then ready to go to the hospital to start the treatment for which I was in India.
Patrice R. Sawadogo in India 01The hospital staff members, doctors, nurses and workers showed to me great respect, openness and kindness. My knee surgeon would explain everything to me before the surgery: what went wrong in the knee and the way he was going to perform the operation, the various steps I would pass through after surgery to reach complete healing. He asked for few lab tests and was able to discover that my kidney’s function is not as high as it should be for a young man of my age. He straightaway called for the nephrologists who came within minutes. They gave the green light for the surgery when they realized that the low function of the kidney was due to painkillers I have been taking in Africa. They were certain that this would not hinder the surgery process but I would need to treat it as soon as possible lest it worsened. The nephrologists’ observation was right. The surgery was a success and two days later I was discharged. I went back home where the physiotherapy doctor daily attended to me. I was able to walk upright, though limping, after two weeks of physiotherapy. I dropped my walkers and went back to the nephrologists to deal with my kidney malfunction. He was very welcoming and nice. He again explained what might have slowed down the performance of my kidney and the kind of treatment he is going to give me. He gave me nephrocaps. I was to take one tablet daily with a lot of water for one week to cleanse the kidney and then go for lab tests. I was very delighted to hear him say: “Only God knows everything and can do everything. I am not God but I am pretty sure this only tablet will be enough to solve your problem.” One week later I brought to him the results of the lab tests. They were perfect. I didn’t need any treatment except to continue drinking a lot of water and avoid pain killer tablets. Meanwhile my knee had steadily improved. The pain had gone down and I was able to bend it up to 90 percent. That is when the two doctors gave me the green light to go back to Zambia. Which I did without delay lest I start worshiping the “holy cows”! I was back to Lusaka on the 10th of May.
Patrice R. Sawadogo in India 02bI would like to express my profound gratitude to God and to you all for the success of my treatment. Sincere gratitude to the confreres who made it possible for me to go to India for treatment and to all who stood by my side day and night (even spending nights with me at the hospital) in Bangalore. My gratitude goes as well towards the confreres and all who shoulder the burden of driving me to the hospital daily for the physiotherapy sessions.
I found treatment in India very excellent and at very low price (even cheaper than treatment here in Africa). No wonder a lot of people from all over the world do travel there for treatment. At Narayana Hospital in Bangalore, I met patients from the Middle East, Algeria, Nigeria, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and so on. To me, India is an alternative possibility where confreres could be sent for treatment, if feasible and necessary. Our community, the Formation House, is at more or less five minutes drives to the above mentioned hospital. There would only be a need to think about appointing a confrere to care for the patients as I saw it to be a highly demanding task.
Patrice R. Sawadogo, M.Afr.

Address of Pope Francis to Ambassadors on the world of finance and economics – 16th May 2013

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCISQuotations from the address:
… Consequently the financial crisis which we are experiencing makes us forget that its ultimate origin is to be found in a profound human crisis. In the denial of the primacy of human beings! We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Ex 32:15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.
The worldwide financial and economic crisis seems to highlight their distortions and above all the gravely deficient human perspective, which reduces man to one of his needs alone, namely, consumption. Worse yet, human beings themselves are nowadays considered as consumer goods which can be used and thrown away. We have started a throw-away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules. Moreover, indebtedness and credit distance countries from their real economy and citizens from their real buying power. Added to this, as if it were needed, is widespread corruption and selfish fiscal evasion which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The will to power and of possession has become limitless…
there is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. This would nevertheless require a courageous change of attitude on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and farsightedness, taking account, naturally, of their particular situations. Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics…
Pope Francis Shakes up the Ambassadors Meeting and Addresses Economic Issues
Discours du Pape François au sujet de la dictature de l’économie