Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Three years ago Anita, John, and I spent some time with New Zealanders Kevin and Helen Honore. They let us travel with them on a leg or two of their missionary journey. They work for Bright Hope, a missionary group, that empowers and resources native people. I subscribe to their blog. This morning I read some details fo their recent trip to Africa. Their team has been sick for a week. Hard enough here in the west. Extra degree of difficulty out in the bush. In the midst of all that this is what they had to say. I read all this and wonder why I've been so blessed and how difficult life is for so many in the world. I remain grateful for Kevin and Helen for opening my eyes and helping change my perspective.

Sick isn’t just a state of body, we met a lot of mind sickness on this trip. By the time we got back we were sick of hearing stories of people making dumb decisions:

1) sick - two 16 year old girls with 1 ½ year of school left got pregnant and their parents “married” them off to the guys that got them that way. I reckon they have about 11 years of misery left!

2) sick - a Christian girl who has been through Bible School and who was engaged to a guy she met there decided to have a fling with a non Christian guy. Pregnant and afraid she tried to commit suicide amongst a number of other options she thought she would try. But Grace was born healthy and placid.

3) amazing – her parents have adopted her daughter Grace so she can continue to follow her dream to become a teacher.

4) sick - two years ago we met a family: mum, dad and 6 month old daughter, all HIV+. A year ago the dad died and guess what? The woman has just had another baby to some random guy and guess what? Another child is born into sickness, death and poverty.

5) guts – Victoria, HIV+ and 1 of 11 siblings, is 1 of only 2 left alive. She hobbled those same 6 kms we walked to give her testimony to the church that Jesus is alive and they have the responsibility to look after themselves. She, her 14 year old daughter and 80+ year old mother had grown enough food last year to send her daughter to school, to provide the medicine she needs and the food to sustain them. First time I met them, 2 years ago, she couldn’t walk and I thought this family would be gone in months.

6) health – awesome to interview 8 orphans who have been going to school now for a year since we started a new partnership. They talked of their dreams and visions and what could stop them fulfilling those dreams. Beautiful young people, full of life, energy and optimism. I hope they survive the pressures that Africa will pummel them with in the next few years. I hope they live a lot longer than 35 – 37 years life expectancy of a Zambian.

We’ll check out a community development partnership in Kaishe, a little rural village. We’ll visit our largest partnership ever in Samfya town. We’ll do budgets for a large beef farm that is developing in the North of Zambia. We’ll hear reports about a new initiative to train the guardians of around 170 vulnerable kids. We’ll check out a Bible School that has opened a clinic to support itself and an agriculture programme to develop self sustaining graduates. We’ll decide whether or not to put a rice mill into a village so the churches and community can assist the vulnerable to go to school.

So dear friends, we’re sick of bad news and long roads. But we’re doing OK. Thanks for being with us in this. Just a week left in Zambia and then its lots of farewells to our friends before we fly to Kenya.

Its been great staying at Maplehurst farm with Aaron and Suzy Boddy and their kids and Jerry and Hayley Field and Sophie. We really appreciate what they are doing here, and we can see how hard they have been working.

Yesterday Helen was visiting the Boddys and someone came into the house screaming that a spitting cobra was just outside their back door. By the time we arrived at the scene one of the workers was beating the snake with a piece of plastic pipe and it was no longer a threat......another day in Africa.

Please keep Kevin and Helen in your prayers. They're good people with big hearts. And Kev and Helen, if you're reading this, we're looking forward to seeing you in October.

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