Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Africa, cont...

More from my journal:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Yesterday we painted the clinic. As I was painting I noted that in some places the wall was simply crumbling away. The chief was so appreciative for all we were doing. She is so excited to get a fresh coat of paint and not one bit concerned about the fact that her walls are crumbling away.

We got about half the clinic painted yesterday and we hope to finish today. After painting we returned to our base camp to clean up and prepare a program for the children of the village. Our team kids performed two skits - "Noah And The Flood", and "The Sin Chair". They did a great job.

Two of our kids shared their testimonies. Anabelle shared the pain she is dealing with right now over her father's affair and the apparent break up of her family. She is going through a tough time, but is still finding peace. Kyle shared too.

After the program the kids played a fun game - one that I remember playing years ago in a drama class, but had forgotten about. Everyone stands in a circle and one person is chosen to leave the room. Then a person is chosen from the circle to lead the group in a physical movement. The whole group begins to chant and clap and when the leader changes his/her movements, everyone follows and the one who has left the circle comes back in. The object of the game is to see how long it takes for the one who had left the room to figure out who the leader fun.

We had nsima and beans for dinner last night.

Now, about today....

This morning after breakfast 1/2 the team went back to paint the chief's clinic. I believe they would have finished, except they ran out of paint.

I was with the other 1/2 of the team. Our job was to relocate a very large pile of VERY heave home-made mud brinks from the drying area to the location of a soon-to-be building. The work was very hard, especially on the arms and back! Everyone, however, worked great together and got the job done.

After working hard all morning we went into Blantyre where we could shop and eat at Jungle Pepper Pizza. We were SO looking forward to pizza. Sadly, the pizza place had relocated, so we ate chicken and fries. My chicken was raw on the inside! So, no chicken for me. But, the fries were good :)

We shopped for souvenirs on the street in Blantyre and we heard, "Hey sister, sister! Don't forget about me!" It was an adventure! I stuck to Gia as she can hold her own with the aggressive peddlers.

After dinner (beef, rice, and greens) it was time for worship.

John encouraged us to pray over our newly purchased trinkets, as the craftsman may have created the trinket with evil spiritual intentions – in hopes of transferring an evil spirit to us. John also shared from Zechariah 8:16, 17: "These are the things you are to do: speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely I hate all this", declares the Lord.

This is what I know - God HATES what happened to my family and He hates the things that have been said to me, about me, and even by me. There is NO justifying what happened - at least not in God's eyes.

John told the story of a group of people finding someone struggling in the flooded waters. The struggling person is helped to safety...that's kindness. Some days later, another person is found struggling in the flooded waters, and is helped to safety. Again, this is kindness. Finally, after several people are rescued from the floods, someone suggests they go up stream and figure out what is causing the flood, and then fixing the problem - this is justice.

God wants problems FIXED. We can't just keep pulling people from the floods. We have to find a way to stop the flooding. Well, I'm not sure who will dam the floods, but I do know it is the heart of God that we should treat one another differently.

Observation: When a vehicle drives down the dirt road here in the village (which is extremely rare), the children all move to the side of the road and stand still. The vehicles DO NOT slow down AT ALL! The children have respect for the thing that is bigger than they are. In town the many, many cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians all share the road equally and with respect. There are no stoplights and although I did see one stop sign, our driver went right through it - respectfully of course.

There is no sense of entitlement. No, "I've got the right of way and you can't make me move" kind of mentality. Amazing! Oh, and while we were in Blantyre, Gia, Catherine, Gina, and I went to a wonderful hotel and had coffee - really good coffee. They served pound cake with the coffee for no extra cost. The bathrooms were fabulous - granite sinks, running water, and a real toilet....awesome!

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