Thursday, February 07, 2008

I went walking and what did I see...hear...smell...feel

Today Stephanie needed the car to go down to to Makeni, so she dropped me off on the main road outside of the compound of Garden so I could walk to my Pastor's study. Now usually I drive in my car, so I am virtually senseless, except the air conditioning, the music playing and the bumps of the road. But today, I was walking. I didn't have my camera, so my words will have to do.

It was about 1.5 miles from the main road to the "church" where we meet. The walk down this road was full of senses. First, the rains have made this road literally one big mud puddle. No, actually first is just what I see when I walk down a compound road, which is everyone staring at me. I compare it to like if a mouse were to walk down a row of cats. Now, don't take the illustration to far, because I wasn't afraid they were going to jump on me, but, just if you have ever known what it is like to be stared at, you know what I mean. I was the only Mzungu (white person) I saw the entire walk there and back. I never felt afraid. It isn't dangerous during the day. O.K., so this place was a huge mud puddle and literally I am on the side with the Zambians moving, bumping, smiling as we all try to maneuver our way through the limited dry space on the side. During the first two hundred yards, I walked through an open market which has everything from electrical wire to mealie to sandals. I saw a few interesting sites, including goat leg meat with the hair and hoof still on it as well as this dried fish with bonus flies or maybe you can buy the flies and the fish is bonus. Either way, I passed by a bar, and then I was through the market. Next I saw a huge "sewerage" truck stuck in this mud puddle, with a huge truck being loaded with little kids trying to weight it down and to pull it out. Next, I ran into a pack of little kids yelling "Mzungu, Mzungu!" While walking you hear and see so much more. You get into the lives of the Zambians as they bathe their kids, carry large loads and stare at tall, skinny Mzungus walking through the compounds. It was a beautiful sunny day today, the first in months. I turned right at the church to see four little kids playing with a big rubber band jump rope thing. They smiled. At the church, I was a bit early. I talked with Peter for a while and then the rest of the group arrived. When we got there it became apparent, that three of the students were suffering from Malaria. Two others couldn't make it because their wives had Malaria. We prayed for them right then. I asked the question, "Do you have mosquito nets?" Some had one, but not enough for the family. For example, Pastor Alfred just recovered from malaria, his daughter had it and his wife has it now. With all the rains, the mosquito's have plenty of breeding grounds. I asked if anyone needed one or two, and all the hands went up. I realized tonight that what they need more than a Bible study is a mosquito net. So, I promised I would bring some on Tuesday. They only cost $12 dollars. I want to buy a bunch. We had one of the best studies ever as we cruised through the inductive study and then did the expository study. I am so proud of how they have understood and are really getting it, and I think it may be time for me to step out and let them continue on without me as much as I will miss them. On the way out of the church back to the main road, I saw a baby come out of a house crying. I just was touched at how real it is to just walk through these streets. Kind of like when you are camping, and people walk the trail right by your tent, but this is life for them. Pastor Alfred's wife was at the study and she was one of the one's with malaria. I asked her if she had medicine and she said no. We passed by MC Medicine shop so we stopped and bought some. Guess how much? 1500 kwacha which is about .35 cents. We continued on to the main road and down another road, where loud music play out of the bars and people continue to stare. I had a great talk with Pastor Alfred and Setelia. They walked me through the compound to the main road. There a drunk young man wanted to talk to me. He saw my Bible and wanted help. He said he was lost. I said where are you lost? I am drunk. Why are you drunk? Because I have problems. And we had a good conversation. I prayed with him, introduced him to Alfred. I am pretty sure he just wanted to talk to a Mzungu, but it was a good conversation to have in light of the study which was to preach Christ in all situations, to be ready in season and out, to be ready to give a reason for the hope that you have. After I said goodbye to them, I met Graham and borrowed his bike. I rode the rest of the 5 miles home. It was a good day and I think I will be walking more often now.

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