Sunday, January 20, 2008

Flooding in the streets...

By now you have heard of the flooding in Zambia either by my previous blog or by the worldwide news... Here are some pictures taken by team members, Luke and Elise Whitfield, of the Kanyama orphanage where Action Zambia is involved and where they work every Wednesday. I wanted to interrupt the normal programing of this blog with THEIR newsletter (unbelieveable, I know) which I think will continue to clue you in to the other side of the world. I feel a bit embarrassed by my lack of awareness in the world until this past five months, and my hope is that your eyes are opened a bit as well. So, with great pleasure, I present to you: Luke and Elise Whitfield!

This time of year there are heavy rains and not so much sun. We have experienced an unusual amount of rain this season from what locals have told us. Many of the dirt streets around our house have huge potholes and are filled to the top with water. Every Wednesday we visit the orphanage at Kanyama, Emmanuel Family Home and they have experienced a ton of rain lately. As you enter the compound (which is the name for the poorest of the poor areas here in Lusaka) we slowly drive through each large puddle wondering how deep it really is. Some holes catch us by surprise as water comes flying on top of the car and sprays our windows. As we drove through the compound today most of the streets were flooded with water and many homes have water up to their front steps. Children are playing and swimming in the brown water while the adults tiptoe and maneuver themselves around all the puddles. Laundry hangs from clotheslines, people are walking to the market, kids are playing football, people are rummaging through the dump, (which is a large open field in the middle of the compound) as it continues to rain. It’s just another day in the lives of these poor Zambians.

We drove through the gate of the orphanage and parked the car and had to wade in the water to get to the house. Our kids loved it as you can imagine and Payton’s jeans got soaking wet. The water is up to the front steps at the orphanage and inches from coming in the back door. We are praying that it dries up before more rains hit, but this is just the mid portion of the rainy season for Zambia. The rain usually ends in April and that’s along way away especially when you have no power and water threatening your living quarters.

We also must pray for the diseases/dangers that come along with stagnant water. Many people don’t realize how dangerous it is to let children swim and play in this water. The housemothers today were telling us stories of kids drowning because they were playing in huge potholes that got too deep. Most Zambians have never seen a swimming pool or even a lake so most don’t know how to swim either. Every rainy season there are many children that die just because they are playing in the deep potholes in the streets. Cholera is the most common of diseases that these rains bring. You can imagine how dirty the water can get sitting stagnant, mixed with fields of trash, along with human waste and the sunlight. Need I say more?! There are other compounds very similar to Kanyama and all the people can do is continuing living and pray!!!!
So we ask you to join our prayers and so many Zambians praying for the rain to let up and to dry up these flooded areas. Also pray specifically for wisdom for the people to stay out of the water and to keep their children out too. This sounds so basic but I hope you can tell from my examples the real need for Gods intervention in this situation. Pray for protection for the orphanage and those kids and mothers that mean the world to us and have become like family to us. Thank you all!

There you have it!!! Thanks for your prayers!

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