We have these friends, Locuge (Lo - chu - gay) and Nakapwon, whom we first met through the Mercy Ministry. They are quite an inspiration to us so we thought we'd share their story with you. Locuge and Nakapwon are married and have 7 kids. They are HIV positive and live outside of town. Awhile back they came to Rainbow Mike and asked him if he would promise them to take care of their children when their disease takes their lives. He agreed. They are both lacking strength of normal people but they manage. The borehole where they get water is a couple miles from their house. Nakapwon broke both her tibia and fibula last year (bones in her leg) and is not able to fetch water, so Locuge does it. He carries a jerry can per day. For income they find used burlap sacks, and used mosquito nets to make these little bath scrubbers. They sell them for 25 cents and can make up to 2 a day per person. They take these things with them wherever they go and they are always working on them.
. Locuge is a different kind of guy. In Karimojong culture, the women do all the work while the men mostly sit around under trees and talk about life. Locuge is a kind of servant leader in his family. He and his wife are always together. He peddles her on the back of the bike wherever she needs to go and generally takes good care of her. He does this so much that I am told people around town have taken notice and comment on it when they go by.
This couple is an inspiration to us of the human spirit that God has endowed in each one of us, determination, an uprightness of character, and a continual joy. They work together, make less than $1 a day, and are filled with joy and in turn fill us with joy. It is such a privilege to be around people like this and to learn from them. Shalom Home has recently offered them a job to move onto the property and cook for and help raise the children. We are going to be building them a house (really more of a yurt styled hut), getting started this week. Keep our friends in your prayers.
As I was looking back over my journal for blog ideas I was overwhelmed by the harsh circumstances that we are confronted with daily. We are often jaded to how difficult life is here because we can no longer look at life objectively. We are so immersed in this culture now that peoples' pain and suffering have become almost normal for us. However, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. My heart breaks daily as I hear various stories from friends and strangers, and I just hope that I always remember to never take my blessings for granted.
Apparently word is getting around town that we are taking in orphans. This is not exactly true as we are only planning on taking in one orphan. However, that part has not gotten around town. Yesterday we had a visitor, a man we had never met. He is from a large village near here, and is struggling to raise his six children alone. Both of his wives died, and he is afraid he will not live much longer because he has HIV. He heard from a nurse in his area that we were taking in children and decided to drop one of his off at our house. You cannot imagine how forlorn and terrified this little boy looked, sitting on our front porch. He had probably never even seen white people before, and now his father was planning on leaving him with us! We tried our best to explain to the man that we are NOT taking in orphans, but would try in help him in any way we can. Thankfully he was very happy and satisfied with a huge bag of beans and a shirt for his son. Not exactly what he came for, but we are becoming good negotiators!
Amazingly enough, this is not the first time we have been offered a child. Last week Kenneth was running errands, pumping gas, etc, when he was approached by a woman who wanted to show him something inside her shirt! He, of course, tried to tell her no and push her away, but then realized she was trying to show him something. She was suffering from breast cancer and had a huge tumor growing on her chest. She told him that she had recently seen a doctor who confirmed that she has breast cancer and will not live much longer. She is a widow with no family and only one child, and had approached him to give him her child! Kenneth once again tried to explain that we are NOT taking in orphans but would try to help her in any way we can. So far she has not come to our house, but who knows what this next week will bring?
Last week our gardener and friend Zachariah's daughter was seriously burned on her leg. She was removing boiling water from the fire (she is about 7!) and spilled it on her leg. He took her to the clinic where she received several injections to fight possible infection. However, they did nothing else for her leg! I am not a nurse and don't claim to know much about medicine, but it seems unwise to me to leave a child's third degree burn completely open, especially a child who rarely has access to clean water for bathing and spends all day cleaning and cooking outside in the dirt. We (meaning Andrew) have taken on the task of cleaning and bandaging her burn daily and are happy to see new skin growing! I don't know if we are doing everything right, but God is caring for her and healing her wounds despite our lack of knowledge. Please pray for continued healing for little Ludy.
These situations we face daily have taught me so much about my role in this world. I used to think that I had too much...I almost felt guilty for the things that I had, even though I strove to live simply and give generously. This place has taught me that the things I have were given to me for a reason. Just as God blessed Abraham He has blessed us. To whom much is given, much is required!
And so we continue to strive to live simply and give generously, but oh, what new meaning those things take on here! When we live simply we can afford to give generously, and the difference that makes here is often life or death. Please continue to pray for us that we will not only share physical things but can share also the hope we have in Christ! The physical and the spiritual are so closely intertwined that we cannot share one without sharing the other.
We love you all and are trying hard to begin blogging weekly, so you should hear from us again very soon!
It's been awhile since we posted but not for lack of things to share, but rather because of a lack of electricity. We've had some problems with our portable solar panel lately. December has been filled with things to be done, things like going to obtain a new visa in Kampala, buying presents for those at Shalom and the women in our mercy ministry, visiting each of them and much more.
Our first Christmas away from friends and family and familiarity of the United States has been testing but we have also found moments of joy. There are the small disappointments of not having the food you love at Christmas, not seeing the decorations everywhere, not hearing Christmas music around town but it is not being with friends and family that makes this time so difficult. We got a little joy in sitting on our front porch Christmas morning drinking tea in 70 degree weather. The highlight of Christmas was buying gifts for the ladies in the mercy ministry, women who are widowed, handicapped, etc. and have no way to earn a living for themselves. We bought clothes, cups, bowls, washing soap, cooking pans, for every family for Christmas. We gathered them together and distributed the stuff. Everyone was so happy and thankful to receive the much needed items.
Finally, Kristi and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on December 16th. We have been blessed to enjoy a great marriage and see how God has grown our family. He has brought us through so much together and we are thankful for every day he has given us in one another's company.
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Kenneth and Kristi Williams
The Williams Family
Kenneth and Kristi
Nevaeh, 20 years old
Rikot, 19 years old
Ezra, 19 years old
Zion, 17 years old
Izzy, 16 years old
Selah, 13 years
Acuka, 12 years
Benaiah, 9 years
Jubal, 6 years
Jireh, 2 years