Saturdays & a story that needs your prayers

Define: Saturday -  the one day of the week where I get to rest.

I adore my Saturdays. I know that without Saturdays here in Africa I wouldn't survive. these 24 hours every week provide me with much needed rest and allow me to become sane once more. Saturdays allow me to catch up with my North American friends and skype my parents. Saturdays provide a venue for me to rent a movie and catch up on the news. my journal is always open on a Saturday as I pour out my hopes, dreams and fears on the page reliving and highlighting the events of the past week and predicting events for the weeks to come. Saturdays allow me to sip tea all day, eat 'normal' food, download a few youtube videos and read all my favourite wedding blogs. Saturdays provide an opportunity for me to take naps as often as I want and do my laundry. Saturdays all go by too fast but i cherish the time i get to upload pictures, blog to you and have meals with Anne and Mark.  [Sundays consist of 7 hours of church and is usually just as exhausting as a weekday so Saturday is my only day of rest] I spend the majority of my Saturday resting and getting ready for the upcoming week. this weekend my mind can't focus on next week because I am desperately trying to make sense of the events of this past week.

I feel. a lot.
maybe too much for the work that I have to deal with on a daily basis but I don't know how to stop or control this.

I let events penetrate in my heart a little longer than the average person and before I shut my eyes for the night my heart is always aching for the girls who were sold and raped that day. Tears often fill my eyes as I think about the people two blocks away who did not eat today and who will be looking for food tomorrow. Just as much as I feel the sorrows of this world I get to experience joy just as deep. Morning hugs from the children or going for a walk with Dora outweighs the pain that I feel each day.

I want to share a story with you that hasn't left my mind since it occurred on Monday. It's made me feel more than I want too and worry too much. It's a conversation that will not leave me and I'm thankful that it hasn't. Conversations like these are not ones to pass up casually or shove under the rug for another day to process. Conversations like this are why I am here, why I know 100% this is where God has called me to be this year.

[ before I continue I must let you know that on Wednesday we continued to talk and I asked her if I could share part of this story with my friends and family back home. She looked at me puzzled so I explained that I would never want to break her trust with me and also to respect her privacy with her friend. The puzzled look continue as she told me " Aunty Maddie, everyone knows and everyone can see. It doesn't matter who you share it with.. it is very public." (which confuses me of why I can't say three words- but you'll hear about what I mean as you read.) However, with her answer I will share a small part of my conversation on Monday with you]

A bunch of the girls were playing uno on my floor as I was helping another girl with her homework when Kate* walked into the room. She is very outgoing, came in and just sat on my bed. I usually can't read people very well but this gift is something I know the Holy Spirit has given me this year, discernment. Within a few minutes and by not making a big deal I had the other girls out of the room. When Kate and I were alone I said a quick prayer that this conversation would glorify God and waited. Waiting is also a new thing that I've learnt. Waiting and listening is more effective than talking in the boarding house. Another minute passed and she asked me a question. "Aunty Maddie, what do you think the worst thing in the world is?" Without thinking the answer came to me.. not knowing Jesus. I try to use every opportunity to teach the kids about God and I was excited at this point of where this conversation could lead. Kate def. was not satisfied with this answer, so I asked her the question back. She mouthed the words "HIV" but never spoke them. It was as if saying those three letters out loud would make it all seem so real. In my personal experience (key word= personal) there is such a stigma about HIV here and it's better to not talk about it and pretend that it is not real. But I knew Kate didn't come into my room to mouth the words and leave it at that. (skipping ahead 10 minutes... )

She told me about her best friend. Her eleven year old friend who was sleeping with a much older man and had contracted HIV from this man. Than this eleven year old girl became pregnant and didn't know what to do. No one really helped her and Kate felt the need to help all the time. No meds were given out to this girl or the unborn baby and now the baby has become HIV positive. This girl has no idea how to survive with a baby at age 11 when her family has shunned her. Kate who came to the boarding house mid January to receive better education can no longer help her best friend and doesn't know what to do. She tells me about it hoping I have an answer. An answer she is desperately looking for.

I look into her eyes that are filled with tears and hold her. I don't have the answer. I have no idea where to begin and as I hold her and rub her back I just start praying. Words that I didn't have a second ago come flowing out of my mouth. I know the Holy Spirit is talking and I am so thankful once again that He is always ready to help in times of need. To be honest, I have no idea what I prayed, how long I prayed or how long Kate and I sat on my bed but at the end I felt her relax.

I told her that I didn't have the answer but reminded her that we serve a God who does. Kate was hoping to go home this weekend to visit her best friend however her mother wasn't too pleased about that arrangement.

I wanted to tell her that I would take her to see her best friend. I wanted to hold this newborn baby who is HIV positive and dying of starvation because there is no money to eat. I wanted to take this baby into the boarding house, stop working during the day and just love and pray over this sweet child. I wanted so desperately to tell Kate that her best friend and baby were not going to die and that everything would be ok- but I didn't. I couldn't. How do you make that promise to an 11 year old?

In the next few days God opened up a few more opportunities to chat. I know this is a God thing because with 17 children it is impossible to have alone moments without designing them. She seemed a lot better and told me on Wednesday that God is giving her peace. Tears filled my eyes this time knowing that God was comforting her and she was experiencing it- something I had been praying for non stop.

Life is hard. Life is hard for this 11 year old girl and I am reminded once more of what "my" children are going through. I am reminded that I don't have the strength or the counselling degree to help these children but I do have the Lord who has never and will never fail me. He is always enough.

So this Saturday I am anxious. I am wondering if she left this weekend and how she is doing if she stayed when I'm not there to chat. I'm wondering if Kate had another breakdown or is looking to talk to someone who will talk about the three letters she doesn't dare say out loud. Three letters that will most likely kill her best friend and her baby.

Please pray.
I don't know what else to do.

& as I go through my Saturday of rest I can't help but pray for her and all the children that I get to be with for another five months.

1 comment:

  1. best blog so far, my darling. Your heart is full of passion; full of Jesus. Pray without ceasing for these children and for the wisdom, peace and strength to continue to love the best way possible. Praying for you xo


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