Things I Have Learned
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!
1/14/2011 12:46:03 am
It must take great courage to confront such suffering face to face on a daily basis. I wonder how it has changed you. Are you angry at the wealthy nations of the world for their inaction? Their lack of concern and attention? Or more specifically, the inhabitants of the wealthy nations of the world? Are you occasionally overwhelmed by despair, or are you buoyed up by your companions and your steadfast faith? Do you find the harsh realities of life there wear you down emotionally and mentally, or are you rejuvenated and made alive by the constant opportunities to give of yourselves and what you have? Do you wish you'd ever gone to nursing school? :)
1/14/2011 01:31:13 am
Jonathan, I don't know about it taking courage. It seems like you just do what you have to do to make it through. I wonder also how it has changed me. I don't know that I'll really realize the changes in myself until I am not here for a while. I haven't felt any anger at all at anyone, mostly just sadness that I am from a nation of so much that cares so little for others. Not across the board, of course, but in general. I don't feel overwhelmed by despair, it's not a very worthwhile pursuit :) I think I just feel more of a responsibility to do something about peoples' suffering since I have so much. The harshness of life definitely wears me down daily! Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, all of it. I need a vacation right now, actually :) I don't feel rejuvenated by the opportunities to give. Maybe I would if I could actually feel that I am making any sort of difference, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. There is SO much need. I am very thankful to be able to meet some of those though. And yes, I wish daily that I'd gone to nursing school :)
I can't imagine all the emotions ya'll feel on a daily basis. I remember, just the 2 weeks that we were there, the children that were almost thrown to us to take away with us. Thank you for updating. I love to see how the Lord is working in your hearts and what He is doing there in Karamoja. We are so anxious to get to Uganda. We just finished our homestudy and are awaiting approval. Just one step closer!
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Kenneth and Kristi Williams
The Williams Family
Kenneth and Kristi
Nevaeh, 18 years old
Rikot, 18 years old
Ezra, 17 years old
Zion, 16 years old
Izzy, 14 years old
Selah, 12 years
Acuka, 11 years
Benaiah, 8 years
Jubal, 5 years
Jireh, 1.5 years
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