Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It was like a bad dream or surreal movie.

We didn’t want to watch it, but were mesmerized. And even though I had seen it all before, I could hardly believe my eyes. A wave of memories and emotions came rushing at me and I remembered again: Zambia breaks your heart.

In the middle of a worship service, we had been called out to transport a critically ill man from a local clinic to Lusaka’s main hospital (ambulances are pretty scarce). I can’t begin to describe the suffering and despair of the people we saw there, nor the pathetic state of that clinic environment. But every time we turned our head, another person was being carried in, and looking worse than the last. Not carried in on stretchers or wheelchairs, mind you. A grown woman carried on the back of another woman. Several women carrying in a young man that looked like a skeleton. Another group of women carried in a teenage girl, completely rigid and gasping for breath, her loud gasps haunting the entire room. Dozens of other people in need of attention sat on a few benches or on the floor—some feverish, some moaning, some dazed. In the midst of this chaos was one nurse, and one doctor – admitting patients at this the only major hospital in a city of 1.5 million people.

There is no dignity in this kind of suffering, and precious little hope. Dear Jesus, this is not the existence you intended for your children, this is not the way it should be. And there it is again. . . that ever-present, try-to-forget sense of feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of suffering, despair, injustice. And these dazed faces all around me – how many are on the brink of just giving up, in a land where trying to survive is just so hard?

We prayed for Godfrey, and helped his family get him admitted into the wards. We were supposed to meet some other missionaries for lunch at a nice Indian restaurant. We couldn’t do it. Going from that place, to a nice restaurant where people can afford to buy a good meal . . . . was too big a leap. We came home and had leftovers. And prayed once again, Merciful Father, who sees every sparrow fall, give us Your heart – and show us what we can do to bring more of Your hope to the people of Zambia.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a dose of eternal perspective! There will be time for a grand feast later!
I pray that your heart always breaks and never becomes hard!

Renee Lilly

Anonymous said...

May you work well this time in Zambia . Listen from the Nationals for you serve them effectivelly and do not force your ideas on the people. Mmay you be blessing this and make difference. I hope this will help you to see. Praying for you

Beth said...

Just wanted to wish you both a Happy Thanksgiving...even though you may not be able to celebrate tomorrow. Was thinking about you!

Beth said...

Just wanted to wish you both a Happy Thanksgiving! I know you may not get a chance to celebrate it but just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you!

Brett and Melissa said...

Jerry! happy thanksgiving...update your blog man, update your blog.

brett

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you. Just got an email from Jodi about your park safety from the Lord. Ladies prayer is in 58 minutes and we will be praying and continue to. God Bless you greatly.
Love and prayers mommomsherrill