Doctors For Life May 2017 Newsletter
From the CEO’s Desk
The beginning of the year is always a very exciting time. 2016 ended on a high note with much being accomplished and we are looking forward to working with all our sponsors, friends and members in 2017. We are prepared to accept our responsibilities. As always, we take this time to look back at the year behind us, and with great anticipation, to the year lying ahead of us and as to what will come. Thus we begin the New Year with confidence. We are aware of the fact that as in the past, the New Year will have its obstacles and victories. Challenges make us stronger and we are blessed by our victories. We thank God for helping us with both.
Our Legal Corner
The only case which Doctor’s for Life (DFL) is involved in that has not been finalised is the long outstanding Dagga case. To summarise, two persons sued six State Departments to have dagga consumption legalised. Subsequently, more than a year later, a third person joined the case as an applicant who is tackling the legalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes. This is the first court process where the medicinal use is being looked into and gives DFL an opportunity to lay bare the true and real scientific facts about marijuana, it’s addictive properties and the dangers that ‘medicinal use’ will pose to society.
The Dagga case is also DFL’s most challenging legal case to date. Firstly, we are piggy-backing on the State, having applied to become a respondent in the matter. and we are bearing the brunt of bringing the best expert evidence to court. This presents us with a further challenge, that as our experts are overseas, there are huge logistical and financial implications for DFL. Our legal team have informed us that if we cannot raise one million rand to provide for legal fees (the case is long and complex with so many parties involved and is booked in court for 15 days), they won’t be able to run the case all the way to the court hearing which is set down for July 2017. The advocates and attorney just cannot sacrifice 15 days of their time in court without some remuneration; one advocate told us it would have huge negative financial consequences for him.
However, should DFL be “forced” to withdraw from the case because of a lack of resources, it would cause untold harm for South African citizens due to a changed and liberal drug policy, if the court grants judgment in favour of the applicants.
Stefan Sneider – DFL Lawyer
DFL 2016 AGM
DFL had a very successful AGM in January. The different departments reported back on progress made during 2016 and the situation at present. See some of the reports below.
DFL CEO, Dr. Albu van Eeden, gave a very insightful presentation on dagga and the dangers concerning its legalisation. For the sake of all South African’s we hope that it will never happen.
DFL in the Media
In 2016 Doctors for Life International (DFL) sent out nine press releases on the topics of prostitution, the ‘International Aids Conference’ held in Durban, and the euthanasia court case ruling that assisted suicide remains unlawful in South Africa. We also sent out four quarterly Newsletters and nineteen Lifealerts Newsletters on ethical issues.
DFL participated in a number of radio interviews on euthanasia, prostitution, dagga and abortion on various radio stations. Dr. Van Eeden and Dr. Vlok opposed the decriminalization of dagga on Newsroom at SABC TV. Dr. Murisha Ledwaba spoke on The Big Debate at e.TV on unplanned pregnancy, rape and abortion, and Dr. Moses Thindisa spoke on SABC-TV on the integration of traditional practitioners into the medical system.
DFL wrote a submission to the Portfolio Committee of Communications at Parliament opposing the ‘Films and Publications Amendment Bill’ which proposes legalising/decriminalising the online distribution of pornography to adult internet users. We also attended the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime National Dialogue on the “Prevention of Substance Abuse among Young People” and the Central Drug Authority, National Experts Group for the development of the National Drug Master Plan.
In 2016 Doctors for Life was joined by 56 new Medical Members and 74 new Friends of DFL. We wish you all a hearty welcome! There are now a total of 3321 individuals and organizations on the DFL database comprised of 1531 members, 1380 friends and 10 full time office staff. The difference of 400 is made up of interested parties such as media and government departments.
Martin Coltman – Advocacy
Prostitute Relief Project
Almost every Friday night the Prostitute Relief team gears up to go out onto the streets of Durban or Pietermaritzburg where we minister to girls and women trapped in sexual exploitation. We break the ice by giving them a small gift (usually a snack) and a tract which explains their situation and the hope of breaking free.
If they would like to be helped we take them to a safe environment where they are introduced to a new way of life. After they are settled we move them to a home where a family looks after them. They also learn skills such as creative painting and over the years 50 girls and women have been helped.
We are joined by Mr. Werner Graf who reaches out to boys living on the street to help them change their circumstances. Mr. Graf does not go empty-handed but gives them a well needed meal they would otherwise probably have to beg for.
The team is always eager to go on these trips and they stay out late in the hope of finding someone who wants to be helped!
We had a wonderful time with the children in December with an end of the year Christmas Party sponsored by our donors. A team went out to the Emthaleni Care Centre to spend the day with the children and prepare a braai for them.
To the older children who were already able to read we decided to give Bibles as Christmas presents. They received their presents joyfully and started covering them with the wrapping paper they came in. The younger children who couldn’t read yet received a colouring-in book and crayons which they enjoyed very much!
The team had a wonderful time which they and the children will always remember. Everyone got involved in the preparations, whether it was cooking, preparing salads, blowing up balloons, laying the tables or enjoying a game with the children. The smaller children had a lot of fun decorating the tables with chips, biscuits and sweets. DFL takes care of a total of 234 children.
EJ Lombard – LifeChild
11th Hour Abortion Counselling
DFL has a very active team which counsels women who are considering an abortion. They advertise helpline numbers on the DFL and Alliance Website. Communication takes place through platforms such as Gmail, WhatsApp, telephone calls and SMS’s.
We have four main goals during counselling:
- telling the truth about the spiritual, physical and emotional harm
- motivating women to think clearly and take responsibility
- encouraging them to repent and seek forgiveness
- inviting them to stay in contact
- The team consist of 18 ladies. They do counselling, provide prayer support, crochet blankets and provide other assistance.
- On average between 15 and 20 people per day make contact via Gmail and WhatsApp.
- Many women have decided to change their lifestyle
- We make contact with people from all over the world such as India, the UK, America, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Bangladesh and South Africa.
- A parcel with baby clothing and a blanket are sent to encourage the mother after the birth of a baby.
- Approximately 150 women have chosen life and to date 20 babies have been born.
Quotes from testimonies
I know I never planned to be pregnant. I wanted to abort the child but I accepted that I am pregnant. Then what happens, I lost my baby. It’s so sad it’s like the world could swallow me. I will surely change my lifestyle. I’m sure that’s the best I can do right now.
I went to see a Doc…. They say I might lose the baby… I know it’s my fault… I had anger… But since I started speaking to you… Things have changed. I received forgiveness when Aunty Susan prayed with me.
- Thank you to DFL for all the encouragement, support, advice and prayer.
- We also acknowledge Dr. Manuel, Founder of Global Alliance for making it possible for Pro-Life Organizations to reach out to people all over the world through the website.
- Above all, we give thanks to God for the privilege, blessing, provisions and strength to continue.
Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2016
It is with much appreciation that we share with you this 2016 annual report for the Medical Outreach Program and the Sihane Clinic and Maternity Ward in Zavora, Mozambique.
The work impacted thousands of lives in Southern Africa during the past year. We are sincerely thankful to God that we were able to play our small part in this. We are also thankful to all who assisted us to make these outreaches possible.
We were able to make a difference in the lives of people by supplying free medical examinations and treatment, dental care, pre-and post natal care, vaccinations, optometry and eye care.
The eye surgery program has become one of the main focus areas in conjunction with the other medical services we offer. The goal here is preventable blindness, for example, through cataract and trachoma surgery. Through the program we are able to help many blind people see again which changes their lives in a dramatic way. By curing blindness through surgery people can do basic things again like, cooking, eating, walking, planting, washing, reading and driving. They are also able to work again, teach and live productive lives in their communities, while making meaningful contributions to the society.
We would therefore like to thank God for another fruitful year where we could help so many needy people. With your and many other’s assistance we were able to render a quality medical service to the under-privileged in remote regions, while bringing them the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Johan Claassen – A2A
We reached out to 3 Southern African countries, Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique.
We examined and treated about 21 486 patients at our Zavora clinic during 2016.
The quarterly reports showed:
1st quarter = 5748 patients
2nd quarter = 5962 patients
3rd quarter = 5405 patients
4th quarter = 4371 patients
Devotion Dr. Albu van Eeden
Matthew 20:1 – 16
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard……… (KJ Version)
Many people who work for the Lord have the impression that it is God standing at the market place waiting for us to come so that He can use us. And if we do something for the Lord we have the impression that the Lord must jump up and down because we have offered to do something for Him. Or if we have given a lot of our time to the Lords’ work that He should feel very privileged that we are ready to dedicate so much time, because look at ninety percent of people in the world – they do their own thing and do not care about the Lord. But because I feel I would like to do something for the Lord, surely the Lord is impressed with me.
If I spent my whole life in the service of the Lord then the Lord should really feel blessed. But what I have learned over the years at Doctors For Life is that things are the opposite. You can go into God’s work, you can do something for the Lord, you can work hard for the Lord and still the Lord is not really using us. You know the old expression, “we get so busy with the things of the Lord that we miss the Lord of the things”. I have become very aware of the fact that we can easily become extremely busy in the Lord’s work but the Lord is not really using us. In our minds we are in the fields and working but actually we are still in the market place. He is not really using us.
Over the years I have also realized that it is an unspeakable privilege if God should use for something. It is something that we do not deserve and which we cannot force. We are basically standing at the market place, waiting, with our hands folded – unless the Lord stretches out His Hand and makes us sensitive to hear His voice when He calls. When He tells us to do something and we can do just what He asks. And what made me realize this are the finances. You can start a project and then when you run into financial difficulties and you go to the Lord and say “this is Your work Lord, we need funds please” and then (I say respectfully) Him asking: “Oh yes – and who told you to do this project?” Then you are stuck. Financial matters are one of the things that keep you sober, with both feet on the ground. It is one of the instruments in God’s hands to test if we are truly in His hands or if we are just busy with our own initiative.
What we did last year is a testimony of God’s work, who allowed us to work in His field. We count it a privilege and we thank the Lord for making use of us.
South Africa’s two day conference on the use of medicinal cannabis
Pornography, The Battle for your soul
Doctors For Life – Medical aid to the remotest parts of Africa – Rivungu
The Abortion Law and Your Rights
The following interpretation of the law expresses the views of senior legal council to Doctors For Life International (DFL) Read More >
Operation Life Child provides care within the community to orphans and vulnerable children Read More >
Membership for Doctors
Medical membership is available to medical doctors, specialists, dentists, veterinary surgeons, and professors Read More >
Membership for Friends
Medical membership is available to medical doctors, specialists, dentists, veterinary surgeons, and professors Read More >