Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hurrying to Process

I never know quite what to expect when I go teach my three days a week Bible class. Sometimes, I go, I teach, I go home and its pretty normal. Other times, memories happen.  Like, today, for example. I got there a bit early and we were talking about homework. My pastors aren’t super faithful about doing homework and I get frustrated about it at times. But, today I got a little perspective of the kind  of “excuses” a pastor might have.  Patson told me a story about what happened Monday night. Around 11pm, a women across the street from him starting yelling for help. Her nine year old son was not feeling well.  Sadly, as Patson hurried over there and tried to get a taxi for her son, he died.  Seriously.  Patson thinks it may have been a double dose of medicine, one from the pharmacy and  then one from the clinic, a lack of communication, and a lack of life, just like that. He wasn’t feeling well during the day. He dies at night.  Patson, at midnight, took the body to the mortuary at the hospital, via taxi, with a few other guys. He gave some money to the taxi driver who was going to wait for them. The taxi driver didn’t wait. So, at 2:00 am, Patson and a few guys walked from the hospital back  home.  Probably a good 25 minute drive during the day turned out to be a two hour walk in the middle of the night.  He told me that at the beginning of class. O.K., now teach.  We talked about the book of Hebrews. I think it went o.k.

 

So, I gave Patson a ride home today.  It is always such a significant time. Every time with Patson is significant.  He starts telling me about his pastor’s fellowship meeting he goes to on Monday nights.  The pastors switch off in preaching and the pastor who preached went way long and went here and there and didn’t have a point, according to Patson.  Every since Patson took the preaching class I taught, he said, “I understand better how to preach  and when people are not explaining the Bible right and how they should preach.   I went up to him  after and  said that you need to put you in the message.”  One of the five points of preaching that I taught is making sure that the message you preach affects you first.  But I like how Patson put it: “You need to put you in the message.”   Anyway, we talked about doing a preaching seminar for a few pastors in his compound as we drove through his compound.  .  And then I get to his street and there are huge puddles covering the entire road, and people waiting at the community water station and  then I see a crowd of women near Patson’s house gathering for the child who died.  And, I am just overwhelmed, trying to smile for the 20 kids that are in the road yelling “Mzungu” and waving to me. Everything was a bit in slow motion. I drove home, slowly, through the poorest place you’ll never visit, listening to some slow, somber worship music, taking it all in.  It is a different world, here. And, my processing is this blog, so please forgive if the grammar isn’t right and it doesn’t quite make sense. I’m not sure what does make sense these days. And then tomorrow, I start again. I need to hurry up and process because another day is coming.

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

 

2 comments:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Steve, it makes perfect sense. And it's heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.

Julie

Tori Wright said...

Steve, your faithfulness and servant's heart are such a blessing to read. Thank you for giving us all the details and for putting life and ministry in perspective.
We cannot do everything, but we can be faithful to do what we are able...We love you,