Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Africa 2010

Malawi, Africa. A place about two and a half to three days away from my comfortable little town of Ruston, Louisiana. Why would I go there? The same reason I went last year and the same reason I will most probably go back again. Africa and her people call my name. God has called my name. "Jamie, go." So I went. And I will go again.

Imagine for a minute, will you?

Children running around barefoot on the hard, hot ground. Women carrying a baby on their back, one in their arms, and two following at their feet; no man to be seen with her. Men carrying rat-on-a-stick (which is literally rats stuck on a stick) asking if you would like to buy one to eat.

You see a mother placing her baby on the back of another small child to carry; a young boy old enough to walk on his own, with only a shirt on, carrying shoes, not weary them, crawling on the ground, drooling. You know immediately that he has a mental disorder.

You walk into the nurses station, which is a grass hut, to see a man unwrap his leg to show the nurse where he got hit by a car two years ago. She says it's healing well because it is pink. You hear the other nurse say under her breath that this little boy most likely will not make it much longer because he is so malnourished that all the fluids from his body is now going into his stomach. You take a closer look at him and see stretch marks on his stomach because it has gotten so big. You see him lean back like a pregnant woman because his stomach is so big he can't stand up straight.

Then you hear a scream. You leave the nurses station to find a little girl about 6-7 years old sitting in a chair with the nurse sitting on the ground in front of the little girl at her feet. As you get closer, you realize that the nurse is digging into this little gir's foot with a pair of scissors. She must get the bad skin, infection, whatever it is, out of the heel of her foot in order for it to heal completely. Her skin is too tough for a needle; therefore, the nurse can't numb her foot so she doesn't feel the pain. The girl screams again with tears rolling down her face. You try to shut your ears to the sound because you know you can't look away; you can't leave. You have to get the photos to bring back to show people what you see; you ahve to keep taking pictures in hopes that the people who see the photos will see what you see, hear what you hear, feel what you feel.

Do you get the picture? You are in Africa.

This and so much more is what I, among 10 others, experienced for 5 days in the villages of Malawi, Africa. I hope you realize how much these people need help, physically and spiritually.

Witchcraft is everwhere. It doesn't matter if you want to admit it or not, witchcraft is real. Although we didn't encounter any on this trip, the stories we heard are frightening. These are stories of children being used in witchcraft ceremonies, an elderly woman with flames of fire coming from her nose, and grown men who won't say no to being involved with the witchcraft because they are so scared of what might happen to them.

Please pray for this country and her people. They are so hungy for God. Five days may not seem like much, but I believe we are helping. We are there encouraging, witnessing, loving, and doing as much as we can in the five days we have there. The people of Africa are amazing. Despite their circumstances, they are happy. However, they do long for help and the love of Christ. And that is why I go, to share the love of Christ.

I wonder sometimes, would it be better to live in a place wher eyou walk miles, without shoes to sell sugarcane, where you live in grass huts with mud floors, where you know without a doubt that witchcraft is real and it is evil. Would it be better to live in this place where you depend fully on God to get you through each and every day than to live in a place where you sit in a comfortable chair in an air conditioned romm watching TV? Would it be better to live without so much than to live with everything and think in our human sinful minds that we don't need anythng or anybody?

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