From Geoffrey to you; When it rains it pours and sometimes you get rainboots and an umbrella

Sunday June 28, 2009

When it storms and the grounds are flooded sometimes you get an umbrella and rain boots

This drought has affected so many people. The great expectations of abundant rainfall for the past two rain seasons have only been met with great disappointment. I have been told that this is one of the worst droughts that the people of this area have been ill-fated enough to endure. In an area like this where most people earn their living and attain their food from farming their land, when no rain comes for two consecutive seasons you can expect that everyone has been affected in one way or another. Fruits and vegetables that Masii used to be able to grow and provide themselves, are now brought in from other parts of the country, the supply is diminishing and yet the need continues to grow, the prices go up.

The majority of people here earn their living from selling their crops, since they haven’t had a harvest this past year they haven’t made any money, this hits everyone where it hurts. Businesses don’t have customers because affording luxury items is out of the questions. School fees are exorbitant and without a good harvest are seemingly impossible to attain. Food and water, the basic necessities of life, are things that people are struggling to afford. What is a father to do when no work can be found, he hasn’t made money off of his farm in over a year, and he has children to feed? The needs are overwhelming and have only increased with time. I can’t walk through the market without someone pleading with me to pay for their child’s schools fees or to give them food. What are you to do when you have dozens of people that have brought their needs, very essential needs like food, to you and are importuning? Who do you help? I feel so guilty sometimes when I am buying food or spending money, I am able to eat so much and live in such comfort and yet these people to my left and right, my literal neighbors, are suffering so much.

I can remember growing up poor. I remember my mom buying the horrible tasting powdered milk and mixing it in our over-sized, plastic, orange bowl. I remember eating a lot of Top Romin along with Mac and Cheese. My mom called us “smart shoppers” because we lived by coupons and the generic brands. I remember when my dad was in between jobs. I remember when my mom had to manage apartments in order for us to get the rent to a low enough rate in which we could afford. I remember making many trips to thrift stores. I remember going around the neighborhood washing cars and holding garage sales trying to make a few bucks and then I remember what it was like being able to afford things like my first C.D. and a new pair of shoes (an expensive one not one from Payless, though now I dig Payless). Everything is still fresh in my mind.

Whenever I spend money I can’t stop thinking about some of the misfortunes, pleas and situations that have been brought to my attention and remember the difficulties we faced growing up. I can’t stop thinking about the woman who is about to have a child, but her husband is in jail and she has no source of income. I can’t stop thinking about the young man who graduated from high school a few years ago and needs his diploma to get a job but can’t pay off his school fees. I can’t stop thinking about the mother who has a very sick son in the hospital but isn’t able to pay her bill. I can’t stop thinking about that woman who is kept in an oppressed state by her mother and isn’t allowed to get a job but at the same time isn’t provided for. I can’t stop thinking about all of the single mothers who struggle to make ends meet. I can’t stop thinking about the malnourished children who live in an area dominated by drug dealers and prostitutes. I can’t seem to get out of my mind the idea of going to school and walking these rough roads shoeless. I can’t stop thinking about what it must be like to go to bed without dinner. I can’t stop thinking about what it must feel like to be a man and the provider of the family and yet being unable to actually provide. I can’t stop thinking about how demeaning and humiliating a young woman must feel to have to resort to prostitution. I tell you that some of the pains, struggles and situations that the people here are forced to endure are horrendous and it pains me so much. The needs are copious but the resources are scarce.

If there were ever a time in which someone could justifiably hoard, take and focus merely on their own needs it is now, and yet that isn’t the case. The poverty is extreme but the benevolence seems to outshine it. People are in a situation where they aren’t capable to give and yet they do. Last night I went to a meeting for the missions committee for our church. This is a small group of people who have great hearts and want to do whatever they can to meet the needs of the oppressed and those who are suffering; we need more people like them in the world. These individuals aren’t rich by any means but are willing to give more of their time, resources and money than most. They were able to come up with enough money to pay for Janet’s operation, imagine that they were able to do that in a time when no money can be found; amazing. They were able to help raise enough money to pay for Carro’s surgery and now this young crippled child is going to have the ability to walk. They have distributed food to those with nothing. They have given beds to people who’s entire family slept on the ground on a pad. They have gathered clothing, sheets and other goods that they are going to circulate. Right now they have nothing in the bank, but that doesn’t stop them. They have so many plans and ideas for helping others that no amount of financial burden can hinder. With a very small amount of money they have been able to act as a catalyst in encouraging others to help and have been able to meet the needs of so many individuals. I know they are going to accomplish great things and are meet the needs of many individuals, I can’t wait to see what they accomplish and feel blessed to be a part of it. Though the needs are immense and those in need seem to be countless but I know that the impact that this small group of people will be able to make is going to be even greater.

This situation seems to big to handle and like any attempt at helping is futile, but in this dark situation sometimes a group like this appears. They are a beacon of light, an answer to prayer and a Godsend. Be encouraged.


Prayer Requests:
The recover of Janet’s eyes
This Missions Committee
Carro’s recovery
Stacy’s wheelchair… It was supposed to be here five weeks ago
Tumaini Medical Center

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2009 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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