Its 8:00 am here and just beautiful! We had a good rain last night. The thunder was so loud. I have never heard it as loud and it just echoed through the hills and valleys! It was tremendous. I have so much to tell you all, but want to tell you first what has been happening in my own heart.
Africa is like no where you can ever imagine. It’s a beautiful country, tropical like Mexico, green and luscious; the possibilities are endless except there are not the resources to develop it like in other places. There is no cement, everything is dirt. When I go home in the evening to shower and dry off, the towel is still dirty. It seems you never get it all off. I feel like I could blend in with the natives in time! There is burning always everywhere and the smoke of the burning stings your nose. It was the most memberable smell from last year and yet the stinging doesn’t bother me. Pollution is so bad. When you blow your nose it’s black from all you breathe in. In spite of all that, I have had no problems with my asthma.
I have been praying for some time for the gift of tears. I feel like I have lost touch with so many things and even worried about things like my memory. My heart has become hardened and callous. Since I have been here, I have found that I can’t stop crying. They say tears are a silent language, and for me I believe they are healing. I have found that when I talk to people here, I remember their stories and problems. I am so busy at home in the states; so much of it is that, just busy. We are like ants in the ant farm, always moving about and looking for things to do. The easier we make life, the more we find to do to occupy our time. We tend to focus first on our own needs and somehow miss the needs of others. People talk to me and then I don’t remember their needs the next time I see them. I realize it’s not my memory; it’s just that my brain is on overload!! I think I am in defrag mode here. I don’t have to worry about clothes, or makeup, or a car, or house. These are all part of our life and I can’t come home and ignore it all. It’s western civilization. But I am learning that I worry about so much that is unnecessary! The people here have nothing and I mean nothing. And yet, they are content and joyful and happy!
So as I see the enormous needs of the people here, food, water and shelter, and then mine seem so insignificant. Anyway, I thank God for this insight and pray when I return I can hang on to just a shred of it!
Yesterday we went to the village Buganga. It was where we fed the people last year and helped the old man who lost his house. We had a glorious time with them and distributed 1300 pounds of food! Over 200 dresses and about 75 t -shirts and shorts. Today we will go back and our pastor will be teaching a seminar to pastors who will travel by bike and foot, some for days, others for miles to hear the teaching and words of encouragement. We have a surprise for them! We have purchased study bibles for the pastors, and 12 bicycles for the most needy! It will be such a joy to see them receive the gifts. This will enable them to minister in places we can’t begin to imagine! It definitely is more blessed to give than receive. I wish you all could experience it.
We will go to the huts of the older people in the village and the sick today and bring them their portion of food and encourage them. We had an encouragement service yesterday for the sick. I can’t even begin to tell you of the problems here. But one that was so painful was a womann who was pregnant and the baby died about 5 years ago. She never passed it and she still looks like she is about 8 months pregnant. They say the baby calcifies in the body after so long and now to remove it would kill her, because the calcification attaches itself to other organs. Only if she could have had it removed at the time of death! But if you can’t clothe yourself or buy food, health care is definitely not a possibility. We began treatment on a child at the orphanage for malaria as well. We are hoping to hear of her progress, if she doesn’t get well in a few days, we will need to get her to a doctor. It’s overwhelming to see and hear of all the needs. We can’t begin to meet them all. Not even a fraction. But I thank God for all he is allowing us to do.
Kathleen and Bill, First Baptist Archer City