The Rainy Season
Gone are the days of persistent sunshine without a cloud in sight accompanied by sticky, uncomfortable sleeps. The Rainy Season brings with it interludes of cool sweater weather and evenings when the dampness necessitates the comfort of a blanket. Mangos hang heavily on the trees and edible mushrooms of all sizes are appearing in the bush. For the people in Mbayi this is the leanest season. The food cycle begins in March/April with the harvest, and then rations steadily decline until November through February when there is a dire shortage This is what we are trying to interrupt with enough being planted to last year round.
To all of you who sent condolences re Emmanuel, I appreciate your words of comfort. It was indeed heartbreaking to lose this dear child (who wanted to grow up and be a pastor)and experience firsthand how poverty kills.
As I continue my home visits, I encounter many who are now starving. While hiking through the bush, I've met several elderly men planting for the payment of just a cup or two of flour. In response to this need, we've formed a Compassion Team to visit and bring care packages of food and seeds to the most vulnerable. I'm so very grateful to God for the caring hearts of a family from my church in Oakville who are making this possible. Time after time I witness people dropping to their knees in gratitude to God for this provision.
On these journeys I always have on hand a kit with first aid spray and bandages, often treating and dressing small wounds that would otherwise become infected.
As I watch children shivering in the damp without rain gear or a warm vest or jacket, I'm aware that they are in need of clothes now (winter doesn't start until June and then it is very cold). And each night while I lie in bed I'm reminded of all those without blankets.
So my heartfelt thanks go out to friends in Canada who are collecting blankets. Bless you Vera, Sarah, and Celine! And also to my little sister (by choice not blood) Brenda who is gathering sweaters for seniors.
If you are blessed with plenty and can share a bit with us, please don't hesitate to send me an email or go ahead and make a contribution. Receipts are available for income tax purposes.