Monday, October 13, 2008

Guns and roses

I can hardly think how to describe today. I came home and cried . . . and laughed.

My new missions partner, Kelly -- a Mission Year volunteer (that's her in the middle) -- joined me this morning for a round of visiting, teaching, and mostly . . . listening. (photo removed by request)

In one family, the oldest daughter (not any of the young ladies pictured in this blog) is involved with a married man, a violent person who has threatened her and those who try to help her. I have been counseling her to break free of him and start her own happy life as an adult. She always says, "It's hard. It's hard." Today I saw why. He entered the house wearing a holstered pistol at his waist. Please pray for this refugee family from Burundi and their troubled daughter.

Another student was in pain this morning. She told me that she has had many problems since her circumcision. That's right . . . female circumcision. This crude operation is performed by a girl's relatives when she reaches puberty. It often results in death, uncontrolled bleeding, the spread of AIDS, and such terrible scarring that childbirth is very difficult.

Yet another had to go up and down the stairs to her apartment by holding onto the rail and crawling. She, too, has severe constant pain. Her pain is the result of a rape that left her permanently crippled when she was a 15 year old girl.

So . . . where are the roses promised in my headline?

Despite the horror stories above, today held a lot of fun and beauty. We went to the farmer's market to help a family shop for groceries. This market is unlike any I've ever seen. So much to see! Amazing fruit, vegetables, meats -- things I've never even heard of. There is a large florist with bundles of bright, gorgeous flowers. Yes, roses!

We smiled and laughed about a lot of things . . .

What's the difference between "carpet" and "garbage?" Sound the same to you? If you're from Sudan they do! (photo removed by request)

What's the difference between red, white, and yellow onions? I have no idea!

What is Labor Day and why do women go into labor when they have babies?

This is my new friend's husband. (Is that the smile of a smitten woman, or what?!) What a great looking guy! He's still in Africa, so we'll pray him to America as soon as possible.
(photo removed by request)

The sun was bright, the smiles were frequent, and the love . . . oh, yes, it was definitely there.

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