Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Lord is My Seatbelt

This morning, Saturday, we met with the Sanganai church on a wide rock under hillside trees. They warmly received Lynn's message before sharing their own needs and requests with us. Everywhere the people are hungry and suffering, but we see signs of hope as well. Many homes have gardens and guinea fowl or goats; the Leveretts tell me that was not so in 2003.

We went on to Gumbonzvanda--trust me, I can write these names but not pronounce them--where Lynn spoke again. The congregation asked us to eat a meal with them afterward in order to seal our friendship, so we sat for perhaps an hour and a half while the women killed and fried the chickens and cooked the sadza and kale for a tasty, although heavy-on-the-sadza meal. We three Americans were honored with forks. Everyone else ate with their fingers as is the custom.

Leaving that place, we took a winding, sandy shortcut through the brush to arrive at the Makwarimba church which meets at a school. There were well over 100 people crowded into a small classroom. This is a church the Leveretts visited three years ago; it's much bigger now, plus a small sister congregation was there to join us.

Though we hoped to be some encouragement to the brothers and sisters in this land, we have continually been refreshed by their perseverance and faith.

And now my note for the women: some of you will be curious to know just how things are here, really. It is much like camping, only better. Yes, there are bugs, a tremendous spider near the roof of my thatched cottage that I pretend is not there, and every now and then the electricity goes off. We've used the pit toilets a few times, snuck our hand sanitizer after greeting the brethren, and avoided certain water. But I've bathed every day, used the hairdryer (the curling iron gave up the ghost--the converter was too much for it), and enjoyed more food than I can eat. I have at all times felt safe, though to be sure, that is because of our great God. Yes, the Lord is my seatbelt, and though I must occassionally hold on to keep from bouncing into the front seat, I have not feared the cattle, goats, potholes, slow moving trucks, pedestrians, oncoming traffic, or ox-carts that hug our lane. Which is on the left side of the road, by the way. If there's more than one lane at all.

This is a land of beautiful scenery, beautiful people, and a beautiful spirit. Every bit of it is fascinating to me--from the eucalyptus gum trees and flat-topped acacias, to the monkeys darting across the road, to the precious dark-eyed children outrunning our vehicle over rough terrain.

And now I'm very tired. Blessings to you. Thank you for your prayers. God is good.

Love and hugs, Caron


Anonymous said...

It is good to hear of your travels to new places. Your senses must be heightened to a new level, as evidenced in your writing. Caron, it is nice to hear your 'voice' through the travels. Tell Lynn that we are praying for his words and spirit as he preaches, and to you and Paula for your words and spirit as you reflect God's love with those you meet.
We pray for your health and well-being while traveling. We also pray for joy and peace to you, to the people of Africa, and to your families at home.
Thank you for allowing us to know more about your journey.
To God Be the Glory,
Karla Storrs

Alice said...

I'm hearing the poetry of African culture in your account--from the "shadow" that must enter their homes to be remembered to their conversations and hugs. But what I find most touching and haunting is the melody of their hope.