She looked disheveled and poorly clothed – was she drunk? or crazy? The way she sat in the dirt – without the normal Zambian regard for decorum – even in the poorest places they will not sit until there is a reed mat or even a rock to sit on. I wondered her story.
As we started our DBS (Discovery Bible Study) we made our customary round the circle with “What are you thankful for?” When it was her turn she started talking and just didn’t quit! With the others there would be pauses for translation for us few “Whites” in the circle. But not now. And normally the “thankful” question gets very sparse answers, where the next “What are you stressed about?” gets the more fluid, heart felt responses.
But this poor lady just kept talking and talking – not looking to me for approval or wanting to impress or request. She was just baring her soul. She had a load of contagion pent up that needed venting.
Maybe she is a little crazy – nobody just sits in the dirt.
Finally she finished or perhaps someone told her to shut it off for a while till we finish our study. The translator then told me the gist of her story – one not uncommon: her husband found “another wife”. Here that does not mean “in exchange for”, but “additional”. A younger, more supple lady just in the same village. He’s supposed to care for both of them, but that seldom happens.
Then I notice the baby – it’s one of those weird things you look at and can hardly get your head around. The baby is seriously looking right at me – focusing his eyes and staring knowingly right at me! I’m sweating! It’s body looks like a one or two month old very skinny baby, but the face and the eyes looking at me, then glancing lazily around the group, look like maybe 9 months or more! He’s pulled away from the dry and empty breast and looking at me.
As the translator finishes telling me her story I’m putting all the pieces together. The humiliation is too much for her broken constitution to take – a village is basically a large extended family – everyone knows each others junk. Knows and scoffs. Pity is an extravagance few offer here. Easier to scoff.
So the trauma, the hunger, the last straw of despair finally breaks down the thin veneer of respectability and she gives in to drunken rants and throwing stones and railing curses. The baby is forgotten. Sanity is waning. They are both living by a thread.
She sees us sitting here and remembers “that other church” has a Bible study in her village and a glint of hope simmers. She plops herself down and the journey begins.
Like I said, the story is not that uncommon. A lady from the another village started coming to our Sunday Celebrations several months ago – sporadically. We heard lately things weren’t going well for her so yesterday a team of our Zambian workers went to minister to her. Same story – husband ran off with another woman, she’s alone with the kids, starting to go crazy. As the team begins to pray for her the demons start thrashing and the battle ensues. Within a couple hours she is free and hopeful for new strength to enable her to live above her circumstances.
Jesus and His Living Body on Earth is the only hope in this dark and desperate place. Five single moms (from one village!) with their little children walk an hour to come to our meetings – a place of renewed hope for them. A place to touch the Hem of His Garment, to sit at His Table, and ingest courage and grace for the day.
Ignatius was stricken with some unknown deadly illness and kept getting worse and worse. Months of laying in his deathbed – deep bed sores and shriveled arms and legs. Given up to die in his little hut with his three little children watching, his family and friends just passed by. But The Church! Some began to visit and fervently pray over him and bring him food and carry water and assistance. Miraculously his strength began returning. Soon he was sitting. Now he is walking with crutches to church every Sunday and his kids are in our House of Moses. Jesus is alive! We pray for complete healing.
The Mandate Discipleship School has been with us four weeks now. Finally things are coming together for them – the LD hippo is a regular visitor now and they played a significant role in casting out a demon during church last week! They have led village DBS’s, worked hard on the gardens and base projects, kids program, preached, got muddy and sweaty. Yesterday we went to Zimbabwe to visit a sister house church movement with 400 house churches. In two weeks, just before they leave they will sit in the back of our tented truck for a 16 hour drive to our base in N. Zam.
New baby to be arriving any day now! Aaron and Jen Mulenga, directors of the Luanshya Love’s Door ministry, are expecting their first birth child to join their 8 orphans
We were sad to say goodbye to our 6 month intern Dana Van Horn. Ok! Ready now for a one year admin helper intern!
LD office in Michigan!! Yahoo! A wonderful woman, Becky Fish, has stepped up to take care of business in the States. We are so happy. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board for Love’s Door has asked Dan and Regina to come to to the States for a two month stint of recruiting financial partners and workers. They will be there mid-March thru mid-May, available for sharing their stories and meeting with church leaders. Contact them if you are interested in having them.
A new website will soon be unveiled – in time for the Bumstead’s trip.
Mid-March (when Bumsteads are traveling) we will unveil the new FAMILY TABLE sponsorship program. As they go church to church we pray that there will be a tidal wave of Justice – many people gathering one or two orphans around their FAMILY TABLE for prayer, encouragement and support. If you have been considering it before, this will be the time to commit yourself to a child – to cover him or her under your prayerful care. Watch for it!
Bessy – our new lawn mower – has arrived!
Our kids in both the House of Moses and the House of Noah are excelling at school, getting honors for being close to the top of their classes and one even skipping a grade. Watch our FB page for regular bragging sprees!
If you would like to be a regular supporter of Love’s Door…
Want to join the prayer team….