Suffering. A noun. A noun I remember hearing when I was little to describe an animal that was in pain, or old and dying.
Starvation. A noun. A noun I am not familiar with because I grew up in a country where we have too much, and eat til we are full. I always remember people telling me about it or seeing images about it on a commercial. Really, people can die because they don't have enough food? I had never seen them.
Depravity. A noun. A noun that describes human corruption due to sin. Something I saw on the news and in toddlers :)
Hopeless. An Adjective. A feeling when you have no options. Something I have really never known. Not only did I grow up in country where people are full of hope, I grew up with resources. If I needed medical care quickly I dialed 3 numbers, and within minutes help was there.
Suffering is all around us. You can't get away from it. You can smell it. Death. Need. You can see it and you wish you hadn't. It is in my backyard. Literally and figuratively. It knocks at my gate. Lingers. Its in the streets, in the land, in the animals, in the village. It is inescapable and indescribable.
Starvation I have now seen. It is like nothing you have ever seen, nor want to. It is no longer an image from a commercial but lives among us. It is twins that came to our gate, it is a woman who is all alone.
Depravity at its finest, is what we deal with. Women using their starving children to get food to only sell it for their addictions. Unnecessary tribal fighting. People oppressing people for their own gain.
Hopeless is what these people are without Christ. The people will never change without the hope of Christ and the knowledge of the Savior. The NGO's around here are a perfect example of working in vain. Have some of their efforts worked? Maybe, but they are not lasting. The only thing that is going to change the suffering, the starvation, the depravity, the hopelessness, is God. That is where I am finding hope to move forward.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the suffering. At times I feel I am in a small rubber life boat, and there are thousands of people in the water who can't swim and want in my boat. I am only able to pull a few in. But God is good in spite of all of this and He has a purpose and a plan even if it doesn't always make sense to me. I am thankful. I am thankful that we are able to help. I am thankful that we have made a small difference in a small group of people. I am thankful for the people who are living with us. I am thankful they are receptive to hearing the word of God. I am thankful for God's hope. I am thankful that I am His child. I am thankful for what God is going to do with the Karamajong.
Thankful. Adjective. Description of being grateful. Something I haven't always been good at, but something God continually teaches me to live by.
There is a lot going on at our house right now (hopefully next post). I don't have time to explain all of the situations but will ask you to pray for a family that came to our gate 2 days ago. The mother has a set of twins that are around 8 months old. They were starving and the mother was desperate for help. She had gone to the local clinic and they told her it was too late and there was nothing that could be done. We are now helping the mother but we ask you to pray. My biggest prayer is that through all of this God would get the glory regardless of the circumstances. The baby girl is in better condition than the boy. She weighed 8 lbs. 13 oz and so I am not sure what the boys weight is, and I don't want to know. We have been helping the mother keep the baby girl at night. The mother has been very grateful and will be staying at our house until the kids are healthy. I am excited that she will be able to be a part of the Bible study we have at our house with the 3 other women living here. I am excited to see what she thinks about Jesus and the gospel.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
When we were in Kampala I composed another slideshow. It is somewhat of an overview of our time here thus far.
This last week has been good. God continually in His grace is teaching us many things. I am hoping to compile my thoughts about this into a blog next week. Lucia and Lucia (if you haven't been following Lucia is the elder lady living with us, and Lucia is the mother who is living with us) have been doing very well. We have been doing Bible Study with them every day. We are seeing some fruit from these times, the largest being gratefulness. Please continue to pray for them. My prayer is that God will continue to transform their lives, and their hearts. That this transformation would pour into every crevices of their existence, and radiate into others around them. We also started teaching them a trade in hopes that when their time here is up and we take them back to the villages they will be able to earn money on their own.
Oh and Nimrod (the orphan puppy) is getting fat as ever and doing well also. His eyes are opened now. The only problem is that he thinks we are his mother. The kids are a little worried about him going to to "good" home because the people don't treat animals well here.
The kids are all doing really well. It has been so nice having Nikki help me with school. We are done in record time, and it has been super helpful especially since we have so much going on at the house.
Monday, June 13, 2011
This blog entry is about a woman who I have felt very led to help in some way. Local pastors were trying to help this woman and soon after we moved here she left town. I felt very led to pray for her. I have been praying for her almost every day and at times felt very burdened for her. She has lived a very rough life, as many have here, but her situations and lifestyle seems exemplified, or at least I felt extra compassion for her. So I prayed. It was hard to know how she was doing because she was not living in town. I kept asking different people that knew her how she was doing only to get little information. And so I prayed.
This woman has 4 children, one has been in the care of our local friends here. I had heard that she was pregnant making her due sometime this summer. I then had heard rumors that she had aborted the child. I prayed to God that it would not be so and in my heart I felt that it was not.
As time went by my concern became greater, and I shared this concern with the same people that had been helping her before. We all thought it best to go try to visit her. Last Saturday morning we had quite an eventful trip of driving in the muddy bush to several different villages, finally finding her.
Once we found her I can not tell you the joy I felt. Especially because I saw that she was pregnant and later found out she is due in July. I was overjoyed. We looked at the condition of her daughter seeing that she was very thin and fevered, but in better condition than I had expected. Thank you GOD!!!
We sat down with the woman, the elder of the village, her husband, the 3 people who came with me, and myself. After talking for quite some time we all decided that the best thing was for her to come to our house with her children.
Her time here will consist of several things, number one being teaching her about the love of Jesus. We are starting to do Bible study with her as well as Lucia. Another goal is to disciple her in parenting. She will also be learning a trade while she is here in hopes that when she goes back to her village she will be able to work to help provide for her family. We are not entirely sure about the time frame but will keep asking God for His provision.
Since bringing her home things have been going good, however her daughter had malaria but is doing much better. Please pray for her and this situation. Especially for the baby she is carrying.
Oh and after the long and crazy day of driving and being out in the bush, and bringing 5 people home with me.....
This is Kristin holding/feeding Nimrod. Someone left him outside our gate. He is 10 days to 2 weeks old. Once he is old enough we will be looking to give him away as a gift :). And yes that is a bulb syringe we are feeding him with.
The region we were in is much more lush than Kotido. Crazy that it is only an hour and half away (Abim). Once off the main road the roads became very muddy and difficult. I was extremely thankful for our Land Cruiser, 4-Wheel drive, and our tires designed for mud and dirt. I was driving with Eliana strapped to my front (Cody stayed home with the kids), in deep mud. God helped us through it and the 3 people I took with me were praying the whole time.
When I got to the first village a woman went inside her mud hut and brought out this visitor's book for me to sign.
Where's Eliana? Not hard to find :)
Me doing laundry with this mother, and Lucia sitting with us listening to the Proclaimer. She is really enjoying listening to the Bible in Ngkaramajong.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
It's good to be home. Having Nikki, Kristin and Marcia here has already been a huge blessing. I enjoy visiting with them, and learning more about them. Really just having their presence has been refreshing.
Since coming home things have been rather busy. We left for Kampala sooner than expected, leaving our to-do list unfinished. We have also had a lot of visitors, to welcome us back.
Getting away from Kotido was good for me emotionally. It was good to get a break from the constant suffering, and depravity. My compassion has been renewed but it also leaves me heart broken. More than ever I see that the Karamjong need Jesus and apart from that there is not much hope. This is evident in the different situations we find ourselves in, and the failed attempt of different organizations to help them. I try not to get discouraged, so I press on, and look to the word of God for comfort. Left with a lot of questions unanswered right now about some different situations. I don't have enough time to explain all of the situations. I am praying that God would continue to give us a vision for spreading the Gospel here. That it would penetrate the hearts, and transform lives.
I will give you a little insight into one situation, but will leave out much of the detail. It's complicated. Visited Apeyo. Didn't end up being as good as I thought it was going to be. He has shingles, and the effects of malnutrition are creeping back. We are hoping we can continue to teach his mother how to care for him properly and be able to share the Gospel with her, but it is not easy. We keep asking God to lead us and guide us daily on what His desire is for this people group.
I feel God has been teaching me so much about helping the one, and not getting overwhelmed with the multitude but being obedient to what He has put in front of me. So I press on.