There are many days when I am overwhelmed by the suffering around me. There is so much sin, so much hurting and so much need for God. I look at my friends and see imprisonment to unfair and unloving cultural practices. I see stubbornness, selfishness and short-sightedness. Polygamy, HIV, funerals, abortions and malaria are my daily companions.
The woman who lives in half-completed mud hut and lost her oldest child less than a year ago to AIDS. She is HIV positive and two months pregnant. The father says get an abortion.
The woman who acts with dignity even though her husband took a second wife. She wakes up at 4am to work the fields and provide food for her family. She is fair to the children of her sister-wife. She takes in orphans.
The thirty year old whose third husband just died, most likely of AIDS. She rejoices that she had a miscarriage the day after the funeral. She doesn’t know how she will care for her children and grandchild without his help.
The man who won’t have a church wedding until his wife has a baby. If she doesn’t give birth soon his family will force him to leave her. Infertility is always the woman’s problem.
The single mother whose husband died in an accident while she was in labor. She works with diligence to provide for her little girl.
The woman who proudly watches her oldest son be baptized. He shares his testimony of turning away from the religion of his father and the truth he found in Jesus. She is starting a church plant in her neighborhood.
The family whose fields didn’t get enough rain last year. They will have to manage with what rice is left from last year’s harvest.
These are my friends.
It is easy to be discouraged when confronted with so much. Can I truly make a difference among the Chuwabo? After all, I am so small. Influencing one life seems an enormous feat, let alone a whole people group. I often find myself echoing the attitude of the disciples—But Lord, it is IMPOSSIBLE. HOPELESS. And He continually reminds me, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
I am very ordinary and the task ahead is very great. But God uses us ordinary folk and assures us that our labor is not in vain. He will touch hearts of stone and make them flesh. He will transform culture to reflect His glory. He will do great works among the Chuwabo. God is our hope and He will not disappoint.