Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Sometimes, living in the fishbowl is overwhelming. You know what I mean. Think about the life of a fish living in an aquarium. People come and stare at the fish. No part of their routine is sacred. All is watched, observed, and even judged. That's our life in the village. The moment we step out of our front door, people are watching, staring. In my North America culture, I'm taught it's not polite to stare. If I'm caught staring at someone, I quickly avert my eyes and pretend I was looking at something else. I feel embarrassed. In our village, the people aren't taught not to stare. They don't have that feeling of embarrassment.

Sometimes we stare back, just to see how long they'll continue staring. It's like the “staring contests” we used to do as kids, but I still lose every time!

Sometimes I feel frustrated and maybe even a little angry because I'm surrounded by children who are malnourished. It's not because the government isn't trying to help. There are many organizations that bring in basic food needs to help the people. Milk is given away at the schools for the kids to take home. But most don't drink it. The family sells it for a fraction of what it's worth. Parents say, “My kids don't like milk. They won't drink it.” I am frustrated because as a Mom, I have had to teach one of my kids to drink milk just because it's good for you. I'm frustrated because when they sell that milk, they buy Totis, the cheap, local equivalent to Cheetos. (Or worse, sometimes that money goes to buy alcohol.) I'm frustrated because so many children, by the age of 3 or 4, have had their rotten teeth pulled. And I'm not talking about 1 or 2 teeth. I'm talking about all of their teeth.

Sometimes I am frustrated when I hear how a 3 week old baby was taken to the witch doctor because he was sick. The parents had already tried everything they knew to do—like crushing a pill of some kind and putting it in the milk for the baby to take. A pill, designed for an adult, given to a newborn baby! When that didn't work, the witch doctor said the baby was sick because he “has a craving.” This is the witch doctor's common cure-all. According to this lady, the mom had a craving while she was still pregnant—for beef or seafood, maybe? But the mom didn't get a chance to eat it before the baby was born. The baby still has that craving, so mom needs to eat whatever that craving was and then the baby will feel better after nursing.

Sometimes, I just have to get out of that environment. It overwhelms me!

But always, I know the Lord is with me. And I can cast my cares on Him.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

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