Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Life and death
Life continues to be interesting, challenging, fun, frustrating, rewarding and busy. There are always so many different experiences in each day that sometimes one wonders was that only this morning. Sometimes it is so many little things. There is almost always lots of interactions with people. So many things to think about as well. I continue to ponder many things and want to know the best and right way forward in all the varying situations.
This last week has seen the deaths of a few young children. This is so hard to comprehend in Australian society when so much is made of the situation when it happens. Here, it does not pass without a lot of pain, grief and heartache but life continues. I think it is easy to talk about people having to deal with these situations so often that it is easier. Perhaps, it is just that they have to, so they do, not easier. These deaths were different but sudden and unexpected in both cases. In one, two children drowned at the lake. They were in a boat and everyone in the boat got tipped out and these two were not saved. For Trudi this was particularly difficult as one of the children who died she has since found out was a little boy she had befriended there. She was taking a children's bible down to him and found out he was one of the two drowned. There are not the luxuries of life jackets, or safety requirements or life savers or....
The other death was closer to home and quite puzzling. The young boy of eleven, lived at YWAM and had been playing soccer with his friends. He went and ate dinner, even going for seconds. Then, feeling thirsty went for a drink of water, collapsed, blood came from his mouth and he died. He was dead before arriving at the hospital, to which he was taken straight away which was only possible because there was a car available. Suddenly a little life, a young friend, a son is no longer. There is a belief here that it must be God's time. This I cannot believe. There is such a sense that everything is in God's timing and so we must just accept. Now, for me, this is not possible. If it was always that way then what would be the point in praying. Nothing would be changed. Instead, I am determined that the victory that I preached of on Easter Sunday is seen here. That, lives are changed, people healed, the dead raised, that curses are broken and lives are free.
I said yesterday to a group of students that this is a rich country. It is so full of growth, the plants grow overnight. (I am not joking) The soil is so fertile, there is such beauty, the people are friendly and there is so much that is good. Yet, it lives under the shadow of curses, of witchcraft, of corruption, of violence, of sickness and dare one suggest mismanagement (though I suspect no country is not guilty of this in many ways). Most people are not in despair but life is just so much about a process of today. Just now, the farmer received his allowance. He has to now travel quite a distance to where his family comes from. His uncle has just died and he must go to the burial. He must also take his father to the hospital as he is unwell. This is the second uncle to die in the time we have been here. He needs extra so that he can pay for the burial, for treatment for his father. He does not think, I cannot give this money, I have a job and so I will look after them. Michael has a family with four young children, but his thoughts are with the responsibility he has to his elders. We have so much to learn about giving and yet there is also the fact that his family have needs. As I write I think I now understand something he was trying to say about a fund that he has been putting money into. This is a great initiative of the local church. Communication is difficult and can be frustrating between us, I do not know Lusoga and he does not know English.
Sorry, long interruption before being able to come back to this...
Since writing Michael has needed to stay longer in Mbale as his father is very unwell. We pray he might recover. He is hoping to be back tonight. We have also taken a trip to Kampale and obtained a letter that we thought would mean the container being available but there is more... The best part is that we do not have to pay duty since it is for the children. We will probably be able to get the next piece of paper today, or Monday but we never know. The container is important but mainly because of the things that it will mean for the village which will mean more children can come in. Just yesterday we heard from Trudy who is with a group from YWAM in the west, saying can she bring a child back for the village. Due to the requirements of the village and country this is not possible but the need is ever present on a daily basis. One person we met who is working explained to us that he looks after seventeen children, his own and his nephews and nieces that are orphaned. Our help is only helping a country that is endeavouring as much as possible to help itself. Back to the container, our needs seem so minimal in comparison. However, I know that my heavenly father wants to meet our needs and also wants us to meet the needs of others. Each one is important to Him.
On a lighter note, but significant I was just given a note by one of our new boys. It is headed Singing for Village of Hope. He has then written out the song "Thank you, thank you Jesus. Thank you, thank you Jesus.Thank you Jesus in my soul". Each one appreciates what they are given. I was reminded yesterday how hard it must be for a young person to be so uncertain about their future security. Will I be able to go to school next year? What if I fall ill, who will look after me? It is not just the little children that need parenting, it is the bigger ones as well. We thank God for the opportunity we have to help, to call these people our friends and to understand what life means for them as well as share God's love in practical, emotional and spiritual ways. Yesterday, in Kampala, amidst the terrible traffic (with no rules) a car had stopped in front of us. The response of the street sellers was instantly to help. People care about each other and help in any way they can. The street sellers coming up to the car can be fun too. These are just people seeking in any way to make some money to survive. The poorest of these I presume are the people selling soap. They don't have any capital but need to sell something.
We can not take for granted the lives we have or the joy they have despite their circumstances.