Monday, January 14, 2008

We're drowning over here...

For those of you who think of us in a hot and dusty Africa are thoroughly wrong. It has been raining in huge amounts these past two months. In fact, one Zambian said today that it is the rainiest it has been in 8 years. Other than just being rained on a lot and more than just canceling Kamryn's horse class today, and even more than the awe of just watching these torrential huge rain storms, the rain is having some devastating effects. Today I heard from a team member that a mud puddle literally swallowed a VW bug. The compounds where the most poor live, the draining is so bad that their are puddles and water issues that cause disease and mosquitoes.

On a side note, I thought I would share a little humorous story, so as to keep this missionary humble. Today, I was picking up some Mealie and Charcoal for my guards, and I was in a neighborhood that I didn't know about. I tried to turn down a puddle filled road, and the last thing I remember is Kamryn saying, "I wouldn't go there." Well, I did and I paid for it, literally. My front right tire ended up in a water filled ditch with no help for getting out. It was amazing how fast the Zambians came out of no where ready to help for a little Kwacha. So, 15 guys got in front of my car, took off their sandals and shoes and got into the puddle and in 5 seconds they had lifted it up out of this ditch and then they all crowded around for some renumeration for which I was all to glad to pay.

But there are also some other more devastating effects. For example, all the reserve grains in the huge bins have been flooded. This has the potential of causing a food crisis in Zambia. In addition, because it is raining so much, this years' crops have potential now of having fungus and disease that might really hurt the next year's reserve. As a result of this the grains that people rely on so much here, like corn and wheat, are increasing in price, and those who are most poor will suffer the most. You can read a bit more about the rain at this BBC article. It is so humbling to be among people whose lives are radically effected by the weather. In one of the songs I didn't mention in yesterday's country music song fest called "Amarillo Sky," I was struck by the lyrics which write about his father's faith in God as a farmer. Like this farmer, the Zambians live and die by the weather. I remember when for awhile we have to pay 25 cents more for smoothies that had strawberries in them because weather devastated the strawberry crops. But this is a whole other picture. These are lives of young boys and girls and single parents and grandparents who have the potential to starve because of this rain. These are my neighbors and the people who go to the church of the pastors I work with. So, when you are shopping today and tomorrow, say a prayer for those in Africa.

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