Friday, July 27, 2007

Have I reached that place?

What a day in Unga! Of course I was running late, I have adapted rather well to some parts of African Culture! As I pulled into the church parking lot, I noticed that Pastor Msuya was there! I hadn't seen him in about 2 months, he has been away at school and I hadn't been able to come around when he was there. I greeted him and we talked about life for a few, and he mentioned that his wife was around too, which was another blessing, as I hadn't seen her since she started a course over a month ago. I went in to greet her, and she was cleaning up around the house, I surely broke a boundary and started helping her, and we talked as we tidied up together. She didn't seem bothered by my help, in fact, she encouraged it! Have I reached that place where they don't elevate me? YEAH!

Then I stopped in the Compassion International Office that is located on the church property. It was like I had been gone weeks, mind you I was just there at the beginning of the week! We laughed, hugged, joked around and just enjoyed each other! It was so fun, like meeting old friends! Have I reached a place of dear friendship with these people? FINALLY!

Then I was off, and even more late, for the meeting that I had orginally headed to Unga to attend. I was to go with Mama Diwani to "shadow" her as she visited the HIV/AIDS patients she works with. "Shadowing" turned out to be an afternoon of visiting women in her program, and sharing the vision for CHE! Have I reached that level of trust where I can speak into the lives of others? ITS ABOUT TIME!

The first home, I was energetic and alert. I was on the ball with swahili and had a slightly awkward conversation with the woman there, whose name I can't pronounce or spell. She invited us in and told me how her husband had died years ago, that she has two grown children and that she is jobless, and moneyless, but God is helping her to survive. We talked a lot about life, about hardship and about God's helping us. She then challenged me, "Pam, you have seen our hardship, what are you going to do about it?" I took that as my opportunity to share the vision of CHE, even though that was not at all what I had planned to do today. I was shadowing!

The second home, was across the walkway. Mama Mary was there. I was slightly less energetic and slightly less alert, but the swahili was still going strong. Again we shared life, and talked about the hardships she was facing. We also talked about how God blesses us. There were two other women with Mama Diwani and myself visiting, they nodded their heads in agreement and got a little bit more interested as we talked about CHE.

The third home, no one was there.

The fourth home was the home of one of the girls who had been walking with us the whole time. I was tired. I had been speaking swahili and explaining new concepts to women I did not know for 2 hours straight. I was spent so as we entered the mud and stick room and sat on the only piece of furniture, her bed, I asked her to share her story, and she did. I just needed a few minutes of not talking. My brain was tired. She then said, "Pam, what are you going to do about it?" I then learned that she is muslim, and has been listening to me all day talk about Jesus transforming Unga Ltd. I like when I share the gospel on accident, less pressure that way. She then bluntly asked, "when are you going to teach us all these things you have been telling us about all day? " I got to explain the need for the nationals to request a vision seminar so we can share the big picture with them and a few of their friends. She requested we do one next week. I know next week won't happen, but we can definately manage to get one going in the next few weeks!

The fifth home was a home of a mom and her two little ones. She was the first person with HIV that I had met that day that had little ones at home, and this woman, she just radiated Jesus, and lit up the little dark room with her expression! She is a contagious person! We talked about life and again, she asked, "Pam what are you gonna do?" I had to apologize and ask for help from Mama Diwani, I had lost all swahili, well not all, but what was necessary to explain CHE! We all laughed as I tried to explain to them how it wasn't the walking of the day that made me tired, but the constant use of another language. They laughed, I laughed, and then I yawned again.

The sixth home, a little different scenario. I was exhausted. I didn't have a single swahili word left in me, and so I had to confess my inability to function. This time though, we met Mary, who is 11, whose dad died 3 weeks ago from AIDS. Her mom died a long time ago. She was living with her aunt. She was precious. I was beat. We tried to talk a little but it just wasn't working. She too asked, "Pam what are you gonna do?"

I find myself amazed. Today, I had a different agenda. I didn't plan on sharing the vision of CHE with anyone, I just wanted to see what Mama Diwani was doing with the people with HIV/AIDS that she works with. I was shocked to hear that in this sub-section of Unga Ltd. alone there are 600 people enrolled in her program, which is not funded or provided for by anyone. She out of her own will, encourages the women to keep living and helps them out whenever possible. CHE could transform and multiply her ministry. She is coming to the vision seminar on August 15. Pray that she gets the vision.

Part of me can't help but think, that today I met some strong women, who are strong, alive, and ready to lead their community. I didn't plan it to be that way, God just did it. I like when He does things His way.