27 August 2011

love and war

There's a huge famine going on in Somalia and it spread through northern Kenya, Turkana area and then some. Kenya holds the largest refugee camp in the world, mostly people from Somalia. The numbers of death amongst children had reached to 26,000 last I heard. The statistic's of deaths, starvation, sick and malnourishment is alarming. Currently there are many major aid organizations intervening and the numbers are dropping. We know of some people that recently went up to Turkana to hand out food through Saddleback church and said there were many big organizations there. You can read an article about it by clicking HERE. Or more articles here and here. We are not largly affected by it. Food prices have gone up. But overall, it rains every day here and there is food on the shelves in the supermarkets.

Last week I was led to a blog that talked about their adoptions to two special needs girls from Russia. It was a story of hope and so much love. But then to read about how many orphans there are, especially special needs orphans. The way the majority of them lay in cribs, with no interaction or touch from people and never ever leave the small room they live in. And how legally if a baby is born with special needs, they can give up their child right on the spot and the baby goes out the back door to enter that room and is never seen again or known whose baby they belonged to. I was ready to jump on a plane and go sit in that room holding babies for days.

Since I was 16 years old, my heart burns with desire to get over to Congo and hold women and children that have been hurt, abused and affected by the war that continues. The second poorest country in the world and so full of rich resources. It's also the second worst country for a woman to live in the world. The sexual violence against woman and female children is the worst in the world. Boy are kidnapped and forced to fight. You know the war that ended in Rwanda? Yeah, it was pushed into Congo. The Congolese are so hurt and bitter about that. It's the worst conflict since world war 2. An article to educate yourself on what goes on there is HERE. Or more stories here.

And then to see poverty at every corner around here, if I really choose to see. A drunk woman with her baby tied on her back stumbles through town (there's many like her) and uses her baby to guilt people into giving to her. There was a time her baby was sick and friends of ours tried to take the baby to the hospital and she refused because that means less money for her. She was completely trashed today and stumbled into a store behind me with her baby yelling "mzungu, give me food!". The baby no older than a year. Then the security guard proceeded to chase her out and hit her on the head after she smarted off to him and wouldn't leave at first.

While I lived in a very rural area, managing an orphanage my first year of living in Kenya, I went through A LOT of guilt and questioning God. Why them, not me? Was the first of many. I could barely buy chocolate and eat it as a treat without having guilt. Meat is a luxury and the majority of the people in the village I lived in only ate it at Christmas time or a REALLY important event. I loved the experience of living there but struggled a lot with poverty and the why's.

All these situations make my heart break. But I realize that God does not give guilt. Yes, He does convict us, but that should produce a result in action, not guilt. So I can do one of two things. Feel guilty, get depressed, and be completely overwhelmed. OR do something. (and trust Jesus' end plan is good) And not by getting involved in every thing that comes your way. Because the list of stories like this grows and grows and gets worse and worse. But be sensitive to what Jesus calls you to do. Some situations, I just have to pray, release it to him and focus on what I'm here for. So hard. My sweet husband helps me refocus often. With the first situation I shared about he famine in parts of this country we live in, I tried finding a way to help. Bud reminded me we are doing something. There's two little girls in our home at Mattaw that would more than likely be affected by the starvation and maybe more children at Mattaw too. But with the babies in Russia? I pray. With Congo? Well, by being educated on why the war is going on, I find out that one of the major materials fought over is how our laptops, phones and other technology works. But there are companies that do not use compromised material, one being Apple. Glad to hear that! So we'll stick with Apple. But I still hold on to hope that we will help in bigger ways in the future and I keep praying and just wait patiently for that day. With the drunk lady? Well, I walked out of the store, shook their hands as they put them out to beg again, greeted them, told them they are loved, smiled, and went on with my day. We can't do everything, we can't use money to solve every problem, but we can do something. Big or small, it matters. And even when we can't do something, at least we can not grow numb to it. Because so often I do. I've brushed off street kids and rolled my eyes, turned the channel when malnourished people are falling to the ground in hunger, and chose not to greet someone for fear they'll just be another person asking for money because I'm white. But it's about going out into a dying world with the love of Jesus and asking him for eyes to see with His eyes. His eyes that are so full of love and compassion. As Heidi Baker puts it so simply "love the one in front of you". Will you choose to see? Or just flip the channel? Get overwhelmed? Or do something. Simply love is a good start.


Dalene said...

we're totally meant to be friends.

La said...


bob said...

Wow Kimbali

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