Soon another 365 days will be gone and, boy oh boy, what a journey it’s been! It’s hard to even begin to imagine what can happen in the space of 365 days. Recently, we published an article here on 1Africa in which we looked back at 2014 and found that there are many good things to be grateful for in spite of the negative experiences we may have had. Since this is a season of reflection, I’d like to bring up – to no one’s surprise of course – that 2014 has been a year in which we saw an unravelling of tragic events in our world. A good number of these changed the landscape of many people’s lives: buildings collapsing leaving dead bodies under the rubble, the Ebola outbreak carrying off a thousands lives in West Africa, school girls in Nigeria being abducted and, more recently, children in Peshawar, Pakistan being murdered ostensibly for reasons of revenge. These are but a few of the tragedies we saw happen in 2014. Our world is in quite a state and the thought of several families having to spend this time – which is supposed to be a happy and joyous time – grieving the loss of their loved ones breaks my heart.

Looking at all these events is painful, and those who specifically lost a loved one in this month of December while the world is gearing up for Christmas celebrations have a pain that is unimaginable. And it’s in this time of reflection that I realize once again that being alive is, in itself, something to be grateful for. Because where there is life, there is hope. So sometimes Christmas makes me cry tears of thankfulness and tears of HOPE. I’m thankful for life because it’s not a right but a gift. Nothing is guaranteed and anything can happen at any time. I am thankful for every good thing. As I reflect upon 2014 and see so much pain, I also see HOPE. Even though hearts are broken because of the many things that seem to go wrong all at the same time, there is a promise for a better life, one in which we can still find joy even in our most difficult moments and one in which peace is not dependent on how good or bad a state our world is in. No matter what you have been through this year, make a decision to choose a path that offers peace, hope and joy in a hurting world. We want you to be introduced to such a life and invite you to click on the banner below!

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