Church

Dumped, But Newborn ‘Hope’ Lives

There can be no excuse for doing this:

The tiny baby lay in a plastic bag in the veld, blue and ice cold, with no hope of a chance on life.

Her umbilical cord and placenta still attached to her, she would not have survived another hour.

But this newborn was given a new lease of life when municipal cleaners found her yesterday morning, wrapped in a plastic bag near the Centurion Cemetery in Hennops Park.

Frikkie Gous of LifeMed Ambulance Services said the workers alerted Monitor Net Security Service, and they called the emergency service just after 9am. Rescuers arrived less than 10 minutes later.

“The baby was still alive, but very cold and dehydrated. She was only a few hours old. The plastic bag was twisted, but not knotted, so she still managed to get oxygen. She was so blue, that only after she was given treatment, did her body colour return,” Gous said.

Had they arrived an hour later, the baby would have been dead, he said. “The emergency personnel treated and stabilised her, wrapping her in a space blanket for heat.

“They then rushed her to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. The baby cried a little bit in the ambulance, but only at the hospital, when she was put under the lights, did she really start to show reaction.”

Hearing the story of her short life, hospital staff named the baby “Hope”. She was assessed, put in an incubator and given baby formula, before being admitted to hospital for further observation.

Gous said little Hope was stable and doing well. He was sure the little girl would improve with the love from hospital personnel. “LifeMed also received many calls from people who wanted to donate clothes and nappies for little Hope.”

Once she is discharged from hospital Hope will be taken to a place of safety. Police Captain Bonginkosi Msimango said a case of child abandonment was being investigated.

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Church

A Neighbor Can Also Be Met Online

While involved in the digital world, we must never forget the question: “Who is my neighbor?”, and to really establish our presence in an evangelical sense. The Pope said this in a message entitled “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age”. The Message, for the World Day of Social Communications, was presented today at the Vatican. New technologies, writes Benedict XVI, allow people to meet beyond the boundaries of space and one culture, thus ushering in a whole new world of potential friends. This is a great opportunity, he said…

Church

High Stakes and Hopes for Egypt's Christians in Historic Protests

CNA reports:

Cairo, Egypt – As clashes between anti-government protesters and Egyptian police intensified on Jan. 28, some Coptic Orthodox Christians disregarded their church’s call for peaceful non-involvement – in hopes that the possible abdication of President Hosni Mubarak could advance the cause of their freedom.

Professor Emad Shahin, a political scientist at the University of Notre Dame, specializes in Islamic affairs and has been monitoring the Egyptian situation closely. He told CNA that many Coptic Christians were joining with Muslims to express their frustration with three decades of authoritarian rule.

“The different statements that called for today’s demonstrations were calling on participants to come ‘from the mosques and the churches,’ to go to public squares,” Professor Shahin explained. “We have seen evidence that some Copts have been participating in the demonstrations.”

The protesters, he said, “need an end to corruption. They need the rule of law. They call for freedoms, and dignity – for social justice, and of course, for democracy.”

Officially, however, “the Egyptian Church is taking a separate side – it’s not really participating, or encouraging its members to participate in the events.”

The unprecedented protests have brought hundreds of thousands of Egyptians into the streets since Jan. 25, prompting President Mubarak to deploy security forces and shut down the means of communication – including internet access, text messaging and phone service – within the country.

At least 26 people have already been reported dead, although some government troops have allegedly refused to act against protesters. As of Jan. 28, the president was holding his ground, while acknowledging a number of economic and political grievances and demanding the resignation of his cabinet.

“This is an uprising calling for profound changes,” Shahin said. “It has narrowed down the options for the Egyptian regime: either change, or leave.”

Professor Shahin mentioned a number of statements coming from officials of the Coptic Church –including its leader, Pope Shenouda III – asking Copts not to participate in the demonstrations. They were urged, instead, to attend church services and pray for the peace and the well-being of their country.

But for many Coptic Christians, the prospect of a future without Mubarak – notwithstanding the uncertainty about who would replace him – held more appeal than the Coptic Pope’s call for restraint…

The rest is here.

Who knows what will come to pass… Perhaps it’ll work out to be a matter of better the devil you know that the devil you don’t?