Saturday, April 3, 2010

All in a week

It is striking to think about how the things that are so “not normal “are becoming normal to us and the “normal” things we are used to are now becoming, “not normal”.

So many little and big things. All happening in just a week. Sometimes in a 24 hour period.

We started out the week on Saturday finding out little Jack had Malaria. Heard some stuff about how the clinic doesn’t really tell the patients much and sees them and sends them on their way. Heard her older son Richard went to the clinic in Kitwe and the nurse there was drunk and gave the wrong prescription for medication.

Then Sunday we went back to Macdonald’s farm. To think of the great work this family is doing in the lives of boys who used to live on the street. It is truly amazing. As we talked to them before, they mentioned they never would have expected to be doing this 8 years ago when they moved to Zambia. Christine said if they knew maybe they would not have moved. But we then talked about how the Lord moves us in “steps”. Bringing us to where we need to be for right then. If we saw the whole plan it might overwhelm us and we would think how can we get “there”.

We met another man while we were there named Uncle Bernie. He was staying there while his work visa was renewed. He is a 75 year old man from the UK. His wife died about 5 years ago and he didn’t know what to do with himself. So an opening for janitorial work at a place in Zambia became available and he moved here, I think it was initially short term. Today he is married to a Zambian lady and they run an orphanage out in the bush. Just recently they got electricity. Just recently! Can you imagine. With his pension from the UK, about 550 pounds, he supports his family and about 30 orphans. He laughed with us and said can you believe it. I couldn’t even live on my own in the UK or the USA on that amount of money. But here I can live and support 30 other kids!
This man is 75. And still working to see people’s lives touched with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

With tears in his eyes he told us some of the stories of the children and of those there in poverty. Of the women who literally have nothing to support their children with who then turn to selling themselves for food to eat. He told us of one baby was found in a shoe box in the bush.

Then there is the Orphanage that we have been visiting. I have already told you about that. But this time as we were helping out, we saw them take a few babies bundle them up in a blanket and walk out of the room with them. When we were leaving we saw the babies with relatives in a waiting area outside. They were holding the children. Sarah said, “their babies look so cute, so why don’t they just take them home with them?!”.
Many of the orphans in there are not fully orphaned. Some have family members that come and visit them there. That is very sad. Because then though they can’t take care of them, they still have contact with them and then the child is probably even more confused. Not to mention those kids then are not available for adoptions. Not that Zambia is adopting very many.

Wednesday night James and I went to an evangelistic outreach ministry at the College of Health and Sciences in Chainama. It was good to see all the youth and meet with them and the Kabwata cell group that had the outreach in that area. James preached and the message seemed to be well received, though you never can know outwardly.
The young people there sang in vernacular. At the end of the long time of singing and everyone but us knowing what they were saying, they sang Takwaba Uwaba. One of the 2 songs we know! I was excited to sing along and even in singing that when we finally got to the part where we sing it in English, it struck me how important it is to sing in your own language. There is something about singing Praise to the Lord in your “mother tongue”. So even if you know what you are singing, when you actually sing it how you know, it means more in your heart to the Lord. Which is helpful for me to be experiencing, because I am sure that feeling is the same on the other side of things for the Zambians.

While at the meeting afterwards I was sitting down and a young man came and sat down right next to me. Like right next to…he pulled a chair around and sat down so his knees were touching my knees. A bit uncomfortable, but James was just a few seats over and I thought, surely this guy knows we are together we are the only 2 white people in here. Personal space is different here. I guess it has to be that way. Like when people squish in together in minibuses or in rows at church. We will sit down and think the row is filled now with our family. It is hot so it helps to have a bit of “room”. Well that’s not how they do it here. People will just keep coming in the row!

But back to the young man. He introduced himself as Joseph and then started asking me a lot of questions about America. We talked a few minutes and then he told us that he is supported by a lady in Michigan to go to school here. He is actually from Ndola and was an orphan. I asked him how he met this lady and he said it was a long story, but in short…God. As we finished talking he told us he is always eager to talk to Americans because of this support he has received. I left that conversation thinking something very basic. Help and Support from individuals does make a difference. A tangible difference in the lives of orphans.
This was an encouragement to me, because I am working on plans for sponsoring the orphans in Ndola. And then here I met one that has had his life changed. (More on those plans later)

The other day I was home and heard a knock on the gate. I went to answer it and there was a man asking for work. Any piece work. Or maybe what we would say odd jobs. Just something to do and
Earn some money. Back home this would not be normal. To have someone come up to your house essentially saying, “Will work for food”. But here it is.
I told him we didn’t have anything right now, we actually had hired a man with a lawnmower that very day to cut the grass and we had Enock. He then said, please some assistance or even food. I told him wait there and came into the house and got a banana and some crackers and a snack. I gave it to him and then he said thank you. God bless.

Then at the store outside, a little boy leading his blind mom around, with a watermelon on her head asked if we wanted to buy. He looked about 8 years old. No thank you I said. I went back there to the store today and saw him again. He asked me again. I said no thank you again. He looked so little. But he is just helping his mom to sell what they have to earn money.

And these situations literally are endless. Sometimes I buy sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do just because I know they are trying to make a living. Other times I do because I want what they are selling.
A woman at church , a single mom with 4 or 5 kids asked me for assistance or a job. I told her I would try to think of something and we are currently working on that. When someone asks for a job and you know there is truly a need for them to have one, you want to help. You want to provide them with a means to support themselves. But obviously we can’t help them all. So we pray for wisdom and resources to help those that the Lord brings along our path.

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