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Every week we drive out to the bush. The road is brutal, the terrain is wild, and the chance of something totally unexpected happening is pretty high! Even the most carefully laid out plans are often foiled by unforeseen challenges. Nobody likes setbacks but when they come we either have to decide to stick it out and continue or turn in and quit. Whether you’re out in Sub-Saharan Africa or in suburbia America, we’re all recipients of these unwelcomed problems that force us back a few steps. These are the moments we don’t plan for and that catch us by surprise.
WITCHCRAFT is such a huge problem in our area. Two weeks ago, the son in law to one of our members died in the village. They had his funeral, buried him and spent the days afterward in morning.
Then really weird stories started to surface about family members having sightings of the deceased. “He met me on the road.” “I saw him in my house.” “He came to me out of the shadows.” These comments are what I’ve dealing with for the last 48 hrs. Then to make matters worse, a witchdoctor arrived from Malawi claiming that he could resurrect the same young man and that he wasn’t “really” dead. If it wasn’t so sad with everyone believing all this, it would be comical! All I could think of was that old man on the Princess Bride who said, “Mostly dead is slightly alive!”
“People are starving in Africa.” How many times have you heard this from your mom or dad when you were younger as they tried to persuade you to take just one more bite of that broccoli casserole? Your parent’s reasoning was that you should finish all the food on your plate because so many go daily without anything. We were told that countless Africans would love to get their hands on our leftover carrots and peas. So, we reluctantly swallowed our vegetables, all the while, developing a mindset that there must be some pretty hungry people on the dark continent.
She got up from her woven bamboo chair when I approached her property, two toddlers in tow, and joined me on the ground. As I reclined on one of the rough beams supporting this woman’s thatch-roof shelter, I could only understand a phrase here and there that she spoke. The laughter in her eyes when I said a few words indicated the language barrier went both ways! We chatted, pointed, shrugged, and smiled while enjoying the breeze that easily flowed through, since her shelter had no walls. Her son eventually retrieved a bowl of freshly harvested peanuts from their home and placed it on the ground between us. As she shelled a handful and handed the nuts into my little ones’ eager, dimpled hands, I was so impressed by her hospitality.