We have finally entered the rainy season but the rains here are only about every four days or so. Not like Yei where it was a deluge every day. Instead of a dry heat during the day it is now sort of like Texas weather with high humidity and heat. Heat is heat and there is no relief. I think it is starting to wear on me and I find myself dragging around, trying to stay motivated. My solar system can’t handle the energy it takes to run fans all night but I do have a small portable fan I got from Walmart two years ago that works wonderfully. I zip myself in my bughut and set the fan on the side of my foam mat and have learned to avoid knocking it over in the night and I sleep good most nights. Last night we found ourselves trying to pull cool air in thru our fans from somewhere but it just wasn’t there and it was another night of little sleep.
Well along with the rainy season comes a zillion flies. They really disturb us so much. It is to the point now that when I sit outside to read or relax I put on my mosquito net suit. Serious! I bought it at REI in Texas and it is extremely light weight, like wearing a mosquito net pants and long sleeve top. It goes right over your clothes and the flies don’t touch me. Ah peace! There is still that small matter of using the latrine…… I leave that to your own imagination! Yesterday I bought two nets in the market and built myself a small outdoor mosquito shelter so that I can once again sit outside to catch a nice breeze without the flies overtaking me. It is just impossible to remain inside with this heat. Our roof is made of tin and it is like sitting in an oven.
As to our work on the streets, amazing! This last week we sent six boys home. I have three pastors who go with them by public transport to their villages to make sure they get registered for school and get their uniforms and such. They also take a look at the home situation to make sure it is safe for the child. We are seeing the same situation all over where families are literally starving due to lack of food and no way to earn money to buy more. We just came out of a dry season so any stores they might have reserved for this season are mostly gone now. I have sent some small money with my pastors but it doesn’t put a dent in the suffering we are seeing. I am now investigating buying a male and female goat for each family that we connect with. It will still take a year or more after that to increase the flock and for the goats to be big enough for market. Seeing all of this the boys still want to remain at home and that is a good thing. We are teaching them to pray and ask God for help and the wisdom to find ways to earn food money etc… My team member is very interested in backing small businesses financially so this too is another option.
One of our boys who went home this last week lives way out in the bush. He told us his story last week and he has been on the streets for two years with no interaction with his family, not even knowing if they are still there. He told us that the last two years have been really hard for him. Boys always want to fight and sniff glue and drink and he has become a loner, except for having one friend, to avoid this lifestyle. When he was telling us his story he began to cry silently. He really wanted to go home. Our pastor told me that when he and the boy were walking up the path to the hut the mother fell to her knees and starting weeping. She stayed there as she enfolded her boy in her arms. She kept saying over and over that she was afraid he was dead and she would never see him again and now here he is. This boy says he will not leave again.
When we take these boys home the parents are always so happy to see them. Most of these children leave good and loving families when they run to the streets. The biggest reasons for leaving are always the belly and the schooling. If they could have these they would be happy. These simple needs are taken for granted in America. They are every child’s right to have. Here in Africa school is a luxury, even eating has become a luxury. When I was home this last Christmas God told me that this would be a quick work. I looked at the children on the streets and I thought, “How could this be a quick work God?” There are so many and I couldn’t see the end result any time soon. So many times when I am praying and talking with God I am reminded that He is doing a quick work. Soon I really started to believe it, seeing nothing in the natural to confirm it.
God wants us to take that step of faith “first” before we believe it can be done. The same thing I have applied to my ministry finances. For the last three months I have not looked at my statement balance online. I have been spending the money the way God says to and I just believe He will make sure I will have enough. I seriously believe this because God has shown me time and again that this is true. I NEVER worry or fret over money, no not ever.
Next week I am getting ready to send possibly 15-20 boys home! It takes money for public transportation and uniforms and books and school fees. I finally took a look at my ministry finances to make sure this was doable and do you know that even after three months of intense spending I have more in my account now than when I started!! That is God, that is how He is! He knew that this time was coming, that the finances would be in place for this time of sending so many home and buying goats and such. I am so excited to see what this next season holds for all these treasures God has given us to help. It is indeed going to be a quick work and that thrills me.
So many times missionaries think they have to start this huge project and plant roots in order to call it a ministry. Even I was tempted because of our partnership with another ministry. We could have had land and our own buildings and many other things through them and it looked so inviting to say yes. But I had to put the brakes on when God reminded me that it is going to be a quick work so why am I thinking of growing roots? So I let all this wonderful stuff go, gladly and willingly, knowing that God would always meet and exceed my needs for that which He has called ME to.
I am always reminded of and even made aware of the story of Abraham and Lot. They had come to a point where it was time to go their separate ways. On one side there was a rich pasture land and on the other there was a dry desert. Abraham decided to give Lot first choice on where he would go and then Abraham would go the opposite way. Lot chose the better looking land and thought of all the things that would be of benefit there. Abraham walked the dry and dusty land never complaining about his land, just remaining faithful and giving thanks to God for all he did have.
Some of us, we will be like Abraham and walk the desert path in order to see God move in power. Abraham heard the voice of God. Lot ended up running for his life, losing his wife, and having gotten drunk, his daughters took advantage of him in order to bear children. All of this came with the richer land, the land that looked so good on the surface. Many times I have had to make the choice and so far, ALWAYS it has been the desert for me. Hey, I wish it could be the rich luscious land. I have even asked God to call me to Hawaii! And still here I am, the desert. But what amazing things are happening here in this desert. Like Isaac, this ministry has been birthed and laid upon the altar before God to do with as he pleases. It does not please God to kill it. All He wants is for us to trust Him. It’s so much easier to trust Him than myself.