Saturday, March 14, 2009

When the goin' gets tough, the tough gets goin --lion king

A whirlwind of emotions.

The worst and the best weeks!

One of the hardest weeks of my life was the last week of February. It started out with the bee story (which is told in one of the blogs below) and then there was Charlton. Charlton was one of my favorites from the youth group (not sure if i'm supposed to have those, oops!). We found out he was in the hospital randomly on Sunday the 22nd. We went to visit him and he looked great and said he just needed a blood transfusion because he was having kidney problems. However, later in the week we heard it had gotten worse so we went to visit him again. This was quite the difficult experience. Charlton was not doing well at all. His chest and throat had swelled up, he could not speak, or do much for himself. He needed a kidney transplant, but to no avail. I sat there and looked around at his room...his room of four patients... no TVs...the other patients were just laying in their beds with nothing hooked up to them except a bag for excrements...no visitors..just blank stares... That was hard enough, but then I looked at charlton... a boy who was lively and jovial the week before... now he is sitting here on his death bed with no IVs in him, no nurses constantly checking on him, nothing like home in the US. He could have been helped in South Africa but his family did not have the money. I sat there in awe of the situation. How is this happening? Before I knew it my vision was starting to go black and I had to walk out of the room and sit on the floor with my head between my legs.... Everytime I would go back in that room, the same thing would happen... I would get on the verge of fainting and have to exit the room (This has never happened to me before). The most suprising part was discovering how terrified I was of having something wrong with me and having to be taken care of by this hospital. I had the hope that if something was really serious I could always go back home to the US and get "good" medical care. And then it hit me..but wait!? Why is that fair? What did I do to deserve to be born in a country with more money, better medical care, etc. I don't get it. Charlton is just as much of a human being as me... why do I get better access to quality health care than him? Charlton could have surely been helped if he was in the U.S...I know it...or atleast his life prolonged.

The rest of the week I slept on the floor in Brittany's room to be around people...the whole week was dark..even the dog started breaking out in bumps everywhere all over his body...but no money to take him to the vet. Lenie would storm in during the middle of the night and tell us she had to rush to the hospital because Charlton was doing very bad. Then the next day she would tell us he was doing better so we got excited. But by the following Sunday- one week after he had been admitted into the hospital, Charlton died.

I am still trying to process that week. Death is rampent here. Lenie goes to about two funerals PER WEEK. Most people I have met have all lost a child, husband, and/or a sibling. This was the first time it hit home, though. All I know is that it is my responsiblity to continue to give back to the poor and needy for the rest of my life. I don't know why I was born somewhere with so many accomadations... but I do know that everything I have received needs to be given back two fold to others without.



So that was the hard week. We planned our Zambia trip right when I got to Africa. However, I had no idea it would land at such a perfect, perfect time during my stint in Africa! I needed to get out of Rehoboth after that very hard week... and knowing God and his omniscience, he planned the trip at the most perfect timing!

We spent the last week in Zambia and got to view Victoria Falls (one of the 7 wonders of the world). We stayed at a hostel and met so many cool people with cool stories. Everyone had come from somewhere different and was on a journey to another place in the world. Of the many people we met, there was a group of about 5 girls and guys we all made friends with throughout the week. They found out we were missionaries and were very open with telling us they were not Christians. At the beginning of the week, I was waiting for these people to get tired of us talking about God and say we take Christianity too seriously...or too extreme! However, they stuck around and we had conversations about Jesus the entire week....they actually encouraged it! I'm still sort of confused about why they stuck around when there were plenty of other people to hang out with... they even stayed three extra days at the hostel to hang out. It was really encouraging and most of all we just really enjoyed eachother. We were laughing all the time and became really good friends by the closure of the week. It wasn't like they were a project or we wanted to convert them.. b/c only God can change a person's heart, not my very much inarticulate words, ha! It was just a natural friendship that led us to overflow in words about the most important things in each of our lives. So, after a difficult week, it was very refreshing and great to be able to speak in English about my savior to people who just want to know more and more.

2 comments:

  1. So sorry about Charlton. We know exactly what you are going through. Steve had to carry our good friend and neighbor, Ntate Mpho, to the hospital wrapped in a blanket as he lay dying of AIDS because nobody (not even the hospital staff) wanted to touch him. He was covered in sores and Steve just sat and prayed with him and fed him (because no one else would). It was so sad. Our litle village (of about 300 people)had several funerals every week of people who had died of AIDS. Thanks for being there and caring. Charlton's last memories were of your care and concern for him and the Lord who gave you that love in your heart. Don't stop caring, even though it hurts!

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  2. Wow, Girl! I had no idea so many people were dying in Africa. I praise God for giving you this experience to continue to mold you more into the image of Christ. I'm so proud of you and am praying for you and the people in Africa. I love you!

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