Monday, September 17, 2012
I just got news that this little 9 year old girl, Alice, who I wrote about just on September 5th passed away on Saturday. The burial was today. Words can't even express how heart broken I am so I'm not even going to try. Please pray for Alice's family as they mourn her loss. Pray for me to be able to offer encouragement to the family as soon as I get back to Zambia.
Posted by Suzie Rodgers at 9:22 PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Can you imagine living all alone in this house? Not only are you all alone but you are also HIV positive and very sick. This is the home where I visited Mr. Lungu along with a few caregivers. He is basically taking care of himself. His mother tries to come and visit once a day on her way home from work but the rest of the time he is all alone. He has to cook for himself and he could barely sit up.
We received 15 BGR(Baptist Global Response) buckets to give out to the terminally ill in this compound of Lusaka. For the last few years, BGR has sent nearly 5,000 of these "buckets of love" to many different countries in Africa. We are so thankful that Zambia has received some of these to give out to those who are terminally ill. AIDS/HIV is spreading throughout Africa like a wildfire! Yes, ARV's are available to some, which prolongs the persons life but because the patient feels better they remain sexually active which just spreads the disease more.
What are inside these buckets? There is more than you can imagine! These buckets come filled with medical and hygiene supplies to help those who are terminally ill. These items will make the caregivers tasks much easier and will ease the suffering of the ones affected by the illness. Things such as: bed sheets, towel and washcloth, mattress protector, socks, straws, q-tips, medical gloves, scrubbing gloves, scrub brush, nail clippers, lip balm, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, and vaseline.
The pleasure of lying on clean sheets and putting lip balm on cracked lips can make a life changing difference to some people.
We not only give them the bucket which will help them physically but we take the opportunity to share the gospel with them as well. Mr. Lungu is a Jehovah's Witness. While sharing the gospel with him he admitted that he had never repented of his sins. When giving him the opportunity to do that he said, "no." He was very thankful for the bucket and didn't mind us praying for him but did not want to pray to receive Christ. Please pray for Mr. Lungu to make this important decision to follow Christ before it is too late.
This is Josephine sitting on the floor with her aunt (sitting on the couch) who is taking care of her. Josephine lived out in a rural area of Zambia with her 7 year old daughter. She is HIV positive and also has TB. When her daughter had to get up during the night to help her she realized it was time for her to move to Lusaka and stay with family. She went to stay with one relative but she did not receive enough food which is very important when you are on ARV's. So she left there and went to her aunts house. Now she is being well taking care of. You can't tell by the pictures but it is very dark inside. There were only two windows in this room and they were each the size of about 5x7. Yes, that is very small especially considering this woman has TB. As we were about to pray for Josephine her aunt asked for prayer too because she is not well either. She took off her chitenge(a wrap) and showed us what looked like her colon outside of her body wrapped in a plastic bag. We could not believe it! She told us that back in 1985 she had this surgery and she had been like that since. The doctor back then told her she may survive for 5 years if she would keep it very clean. It is now 2012 and she is still living. Amazing!! I have found a doctor who is willing to see this woman for free if she will just agree to let me take her. She said she must sit down with her family to see if that is what she should do. Please pray for this family to make the right decision!
Esther and Beatrice walking through the compound to deliver a bucket to a man in need.
This is just one of the many trash pits that we passed in the compound. These pits are about 12 feet deep and people dump their trash in it. Imagine how dangerous this is during the rainy season.
This is Mr. Chanda who had a stroke a few years ago. He is now paralyzed in both legs and in one arm. He had to be carried into the living room to visit with us. He was in good spirits and seemed like he would be fun to be around despite his condition. He led a rough life so I imagine he was also HIV positive but he did not tell us if he was or not.
This relative was excited about receiving the gloves though. He put them on right away and began clipping Mr. Chanda's toenails.
When asked what he believed about how someone got to heaven he replied, "when you die you just sleep in the ground." Very sad!
This little boy wanted me to take his picture. There were probably about 5 little kids running around the house. Please pray for Mr. Lungu's family as they take care of him along with their own family.
This is Faith, a little one month little girl living in this home. I always enjoy getting a chance to hold a baby!
All together we gave out 4 buckets last week and two other caregivers gave out 2. Later this week we will try to deliver some more. Please pray that God would prepare the way for us to minister to these people who are terminally ill. Pray that if they do not know Jesus that they will by the time we leave.
For more information on BGR and how your church can help with packing these buckets and sending them to Africa just click Baptist Global Response in my sidebar.
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11
Posted by Suzie Rodgers at 4:10 PM
Monday, September 10, 2012
September 10th, 1988
So thankful for the man God brought into my life back in 1984 and then the blessing of marrying him on this day 24 years ago!
There is no way that 24 years ago I would have imagined what our life would look like up until this time. Of course, I can not fully imagine what the future will hold either. For now though, one thing I am sure of is that God is in control and He most certainly has a plan for the days ahead. I am content to rest and trust in that truth. May God continue to bless our marriage as we seek to follow Him day by day!
Posted by Suzie Rodgers at 12:20 PM
Saturday, September 8, 2012
This is the house which the Waddills used to live in when they served as imb missionaries in Serenje, Zambia. They were there from 1973 to 1998. They did such a tremendous job while serving there! They ran a farm and discipled believers. It was so neat to visit there for this Annual General Meeting of the association there and see how well they have kept up the place. We had visited the Waddills back in 1998 I believe and had such a great time. That was back when the boys were little and you can imagine how much fun they had running around a farm, riding a motorcycle, and a tractor with their Uncle Tom. The legacy that the Waddills left behind is incredible to see. The association has now turned the house into a guesthouse which is where we stayed.
There were lots of gum trees around and they were so beautiful and big!
The farm became a classroom for local farmers as Tom would hold annual field days for village farmers to come and learn more about seasons for planting various crops, vegetables, and what fertilizer to use on specific crops. He had planted various trial plots showing the difference of crop growth with and without fertilizer and times of planting. Tom also introduced an oxen training scheme. He trained steers for plowing and then sold the team of oxen to farmers. I think this helped to increase the size of the crops the farmers would plant providing them with more food and money.
The great increase in church plants occurred under Tom's direction and energy. He was the missionary who gave the churches the vision to keep going beyond their villages to plant more churches in areas where there were no churches.
Beautiful flowers which we saw planted around the guest house.
Lucille had a nutrition clinic that she operated on the patio at the back of the house. This bench is where people would sit and wait for Lucille to attend to their problems. That bench was made from one of the cedar trees planted by Malcom Moffat that was cut down by a team of tree trimmers because the cedars had died and were a hazard of falling on the house. Lucille had topical medications that she would apply to wounds and sores. Serious medical problems were taken to the hospital in Serenje or to Chitambo Hospital. The Waddills provided the transportation for these serious medical problems for getting to the hospital. Many nights someone from the village would knock on their door at all hours saying there was a woman having problem giving birth and needed to go to the hospital and transportation was provided.
At this time there are not any missionaries that live in Serenje and there hasn't been for a long time. The bible school continues to grow, churches are planting churches, and the work continues. This is what we like to see after a missionary leaves! We went to their Annual General Meeting last weekend. It was incredible! They said the number was low this time at 1,397! Usually, there are about 2,000+. A few weeks before beginning their meeting they build this temporary shelter to have the meeting in. They used logs for benches and the structure of the shelter. Then the walls were grass and they threw some leafy branches on top to block out some of the sun.
It is hard to tell in this picture but in the background you will see a temporary structure they put up for everyone to sleep in. They slept under the stars with just the walls of grass surrounding them.
a closer picture of their structure
Not everyone had a place to sit inside so at each meeting you would find people sitting outside the structure. There is no electricity there so they used a generator to run the sound system so everyone could hear.
Each morning they would split into groups to make sure that every one would be taught on their level or with a group that they had something in common with.
Kevin and I went to a older couples class which we enjoyed. We talked about marriage, men's and women's roles, and stewardship.
They had several kids groups. Hannah went to one of the groups where the kids were closer to her age.
This was a women's group.
Kevin did a great job of preaching on the different stages of Christian growth. Many prayed to receive Christ, rededicated their lives, and there were a couple of people that were delivered of demons.
It was a great weekend!
Posted by Suzie Rodgers at 2:16 PM