Wednesday, February 17, 2010


From Kayla:

Fellow Ferenges (white people),

This morning was our last VBS at Strong Hearts. We once again enjoyed our time with the children. I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes when it came time to say good bye to them. Dundee and all the teachers thanked our whole team for everything that we’d done. They had been so blessed. It felt like we should be thanking them. We may have been more blessed than they were. He gifted each of us with a beautiful scarf that was made here. It was a mixed feeling accepting a gift from he who has so little. After lunch we finally drove out to Korah, where the leper colony is. Each day, we thought we might go there, and each day God had something different in mind. His plan is ‘generally’ better than ours, so we praise him for redirecting us. Our tour guide was Samuel. He’d grown up in the despair of Korah, rejected by most of society. One day when he was a teenager, a white missionary waved, smiled, and conversed with him. This behavior so intrigued him that he inquired about that missionary, and finding the difference was Jesus, became a follower of Christ himself. He is now part of a growing church in the colony. They have approximately 300 people that attend on a Sunday morning. The people pack into a small building constructed mostly by tarps. The men we met were so passionate about telling these people about Jesus. They also try to educate them in a small school, but are limited by facilities. He led us through the muddy, stony “streets” and even into some people’s homes. The homes were dark, some partially underground. We were told that during the rainy season water runs right into the homes, and the people sleep practically in the water. Samuel said that many people live together in these dwellings; 6-8 people per room. Some houses were adjoined inside, sharing among several families. We saw many leprosy victims: people that had one or no legs, stubs for arms, no fingers, and infectious skin. It is very difficult to get wheel chairs, and to push them on the streets if they get them. Therefore, the crippled drag themselves along the ground if they wish to move. We met one such senior citizen. He sat in front of his make-shift house, with one leg and a half. He played an old cracked pipe for us. Then I pulled out my ukulele, and we all sang him “This Is the Day” in Amharic. He loved it. We were led into a building, which Samuel said was the first ever built in Korah. There were women spinning wool on drop spindles with incredible skill. They had been spinning for 35 years, and were earning a mere $7 a month. Anna brought in a spinning wheel we brought from America, and proceeded to teach the women how it works. They were apprehensive at first, but took to it eventually. Anna claimed it was the best time she’d had all week. We also saw women sewing lace tablecloths, which had taken 3 months to complete what they had sewn thus far. An elderly man on the porch was weaving a foot mat. He had no fingers and hardly palms, eaten by leprosy. Yet he wove and wove with a large toothless smile. Another man inside was weaving on a huge loom at an impressive speed. Upstairs, people were designing intricate patterns and embroidering them on shirts, blankets, table runners, etc… Finally, we were taken into a room where their products are for sale. They were absolutely beautiful, and so under-priced for the work put into it. We are going to purchase many of our souvenirs there. Tomorrow, the rest of the team is going to the drop-in center to minister to street children. I am getting dropped off in the morning to shadow the doctor at the Alert Hospital. The nurse said they have cases of leprosy, HIV, and tuberculosis to name a few. I may encounter them all.

This has been such a great adventure. It has been a heart-wrenching, somber adventure, which has changed our lives and perspectives. But it is so good.

Please continue to pray,


No comments:

Post a Comment