The following report is from our two day stay in the South. We had no electricity and no way to communicate. I beg you not to miss these stories.
OUR GREAT PRIVILEGE
I am writing to you by candlelight. They are just getting the generator going. Okay we are trying, but with little success. We have had the most incredible day!
We have driven across beautiful countryside, through villages that specialized in making drums and then one where baskets were made. In every town the children yelled, “Hello, white person”.
As we drove, we ate bread and bananas for lunch. Our friends would not let our guys ride in the back because of the distance, so they sacrificially weathered three rainstorms. They kept putting on a large tarp and getting under it. Praise God that all of the puppets and equipment remained dry and safe.
I told the story of Joseph at the first show. I asked a little boy to help me who looked very sad. When he stood to help me, I touched his arms and he was so warm. His little arms were just bones. I tried my best to encourage him and make him smile. I hugged him gently, but he never smiled.
Even when he saw the puppets, he had no smile. Only after I finished the Bible story and prayed with the children did I see his beautiful smile. As Jesus filled his little heart, his face changed! So many children prayed.
Most of these children are already orphans and will not grow old. Many will not grow up. Please pray for these little ones to love Jesus deeply! Ask the Father to comfort them!
We never cry in front of the children because tears will not help them, but I am alone now and crying. There is so much need here, so much pain. I see toddlers of two and three trying to care for baby brothers and sisters. They are wearing rags, torn and dirty shirts and dresses. None of the children are clean.
If you have one meal a day, that is good. Two meals a day are a luxury. All the children are hungry. Most are sick.
It’s only the next life that holds any promise for most of these precious little ones. Jesus sees them. Will you pray for them? Can you see them?
LIGHT AND DARK
One school felt so dark, another so full of light. The difference was that in one school, the principal and the assistant principal loved Jesus. Only Jesus’ love in people’s hearts can bring light to these children.
So many times over the last two days, we saw children calling on Jesus. So many trusted in Him. Your prayers were mighty.
SO MUCH DEATH
I stood in the middle of a garden today; at its center were 17 graves. These were the members of Charles family who died suddenly of AIDS. It began in Uganda here. Some say it began in all of Africa here.
Earlier, I reported that both of Charles’ parents had died, but that was incorrect! His mother is still living. I had the joy of meeting her today. Her husband and nine children are buried there, along with other family members. Most of the graves are just marked with a few rocks piled on top; some are just mounds of dirt. Only two had concrete slabs.
When people started dying, there was no time or money to have proper funerals. More, there was no strength. Everyone was sick.
As I watched Charles’ mother I was overwhelmed by her pain. Most days, it is so hard for me to bear Mike’s loss. I miss him so very much, but I still have my sons, their dear wives and their dear children. She lives in a mud shack with no family nearby and no physical comfort.
Every day, we are being taught by our brothers and sisters. Her perseverance in the face of great tragedy and enormous difficulty challenged us all to focus and not look at our surroundings. Pray for this dear lady. Pray for us to persevere and keep our eyes on Jesus.