Thursday, January 6, 2011

And So It Goes...

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I tried to keep this verse in mind throughout the following happenings :) Looking at the small picture, sometimes I cannot believe what happens in life, but I have to rest and trust that I serve a God who does. Hard to remember at times, but Oh so true...

Well, it was an eventful New Years Eve for me! Our trip out to the village to visit Esther was delayed by a day because of some work that needed to be done on the McCourtney’s Range Rover, so on Friday morning, we ate some porridge and then hoped into the truck to head out to the village. In case any of you have forgotten, I was accompanying Zane and Emma (one of the McCourtney’s staff) out to the village to speak with a little girls parents about them allowing us to take her into the McCourtney’s home for 6 months to a year, so most likely save her life as she is in the end stages of extreme malnourishment.

All of you who know me know that I tend to jump in with both feet. I was a little nervous about going out in the village for the first time by myself, but I had myself all psyched up and had been giving myself a pep talk about it for a few days. I had an image of myself trekking through the bush of Africa in search of the sick baby and her family. Although I hadn’t gone so far to give myself an “explorer” outfit, I was pretty much imagining wading through the bush and waving to Indiana Jones as I walked through the wilds in search for Esther...

Needless to say, fortunately I am not here alone... Because rather unfortunately, I don’t speak the local language... and charades with 20 local Africans who think you are scary because you are one of the first white people they have ever seen isn’t all its cracked up to be... Zane provided a man named Jonah who went with me into the “bush” to seek out this little girl. So off we went, walking along the dirt road, toward the village...

May I say, I really enjoy being the random white girl sometimes! The look of surprise on peoples faces as I walk past their huts is worth the heat, mosquitos, and blisters I generally acquire along the way. So we walked... and walked... and walked... Note to self, next time someone comes from America, ask them to bring sun screen... Why I forgot this... I will never know. Should have been numero uno on my list of things to take...

Back to my story... Of course, all of the people who we were supposed to find and talk to about finding the family of the child had “just left” and walked “that way”. So we walked faster... Now in Africa, time is semi relative so I am not really sure when any of the people we were looking for really left but needless to say, we never caught up... So Jonah started asking around and we were pointed to the mother. I was so excited to finally have found her... she on the other hand was less than thrilled to see me... I won’t lie, when she refused to even greet me, I started getting a little nervous and was hoping that I was misunderstanding what Jonah was telling me, because this woman was NOT going to be easy to work with...

So off we go again to her hut to see the baby and explain to her why a random “Mosungu” as they call us is trekking through her village looking for her. Once we arrived to her little gathering of huts, she called the children over and got out a mat for us to sit on. This is when I got my first look at the child. She was worse than I had imagined (a reminder Summer McCourtney was the one who had seen her a few days earlier and this was my first time meeting her). If she has grown at all since birth, it has been so minuscule you wouldn’t even know it looking at her. She is a year old and weighs maybe 9 pounds. It tore me up inside just seeing her.

We explained to the mother why we were there, but she summarized her feelings in English. “I want it” (speaking of the child). Now, I am not this womans judge, and I did try to put myself in her shoes. She doesn’t know me and there is the possibility that my intentions are not good but Jonah was there as a voucher that I am not some crazy who is trying to take her child away. We were desiring to take her for 6 months to a year in which time her health would be improved and we would return her to her family in the village. At first, the reason she gave was that she feared to send the child with me. Then after I explained we knew she had many children who appeared healthy and we simply desired to help her with the child who was sick she informed us that if we really wanted to help we could take all her children... However, her other children were healthy and that is not what we were there for. At this point, at least to me, it was becoming more apparent that the Mother didn’t have any affection toward the child seemingly was only looking for what would benefit her in this situation.

God is faithful and He gave me grace because let me tell you, seeing the suffering of the child, it is hard not to react in anger that the woman was not even open to the possibility of allowing us to help her. I do not know everything that could have been going and ever circumstance may not have been apparent to me. Jonah told me that the decision was not the mothers alone and that the family would have to get together and make the final decision although they were not sure where the father was. Village life here tends to be very communal and decision like that are not individual but involve the parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.

Finally, after speak with her for 20 to 30 minutes, we left, praying that the family meeting would change the decision and they would choose to send the child with us... At this point, we haven’t heard anything back, but we are praying for the Lord’s will to be done and that He would do a work in the mothers heart, because she DEFINITELY needs Jesus. 

Please be in prayer for this child, because without help in the near future, she doesn’t have long to live.

*As a side note, on the way out of the village we passed the local “bore” hole where a large group of people were drawing water. I could hear their chattering and knew they were talking about me but wasn’t sure why. Jonah was laughing and informed me that they were all debating whether my hair (which has grown very long) was real or extensions... From what I gather, this will be in debate for a month or so, with people taking sides... awesome!

** Tomorrow I will try and write about the other child Emmanuel!

God bless you all and as always, I miss you :) 

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