Friday, October 30, 2015

Little Moses

Moses is 6 years old and was born missing some bones in his legs and arms.  He has had surgery to try to help but it didn't seem to work.  His mom works all day trying to make enough money to support at least 5 children whom I met.  This family lives together all in one room with neighbors on both sides of them.  The 12 year old daughter cares for Moses, a baby which is 5 months old, and another child around 4 years old.  The older brother is about 15 years old and he tries to help out as well while the mother is at work.  None of these children are able to go to school even though they live probably 400 feet from a good community school.  Please pray with me that we can get these kids in school.  There is even a school for disabled children nearby that Moses can go to.  Even though Moses is physically disabled there is nothing wrong with his brain.  He was such a smart little boy and even was able to talk to me in English.  He had such a sweet spirit too.  Pray for Moses to get the help that he needs as well.  As sad as it was to see this little boy having to live like that I came away feeling encouraged by his sweet disposition.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The woman wearing a scarf

As I slowly entered the small house with another caregiver we were instructed to sit on a small couch with no cushions.  There was a strange odor in the room that we later realized must be infection.  Catherine, the patient, was called to come out of her make-shift room that was literally the size of a single mattress.  Her daughter and husband had constructed a wall in their den just the size of a mattress and then put mosquito netting over it for the door.  That is where Catherine crawled out of to come and visit with us for a few min. She was a beautiful woman with a scarf draped over her head.  At first glance you might wonder what was wrong with this woman.  I could tell her face was swollen on one side around her jaw area.  As she began sharing how she was feeling she took off the scarf so I could see.  I didn't ask to see her face but she wanted to show me.  (This isn't the first time this has happened to me)  As I saw her face it took everything in me not to gasp or vomit to be honest with you.  There was no ear and on the side of her face there was no skin either.  I could see inside her face.  I saw it and then slowly turned my head to ask a question of the daughter as Catherine draped the scarf over her head once again so that flies would stay away from her face.  Catherine has been a patient of Needs Care for at least the last 6 months.  A couple of ladies from our volunteer team this summer went to visit her and give her a BGR bucket.  Caregivers visit her every week.Then this last week 3 women from my seminary class went to visit her and encourage her.  Each time people would say I needed to go visit with her but because of other commitments I had not been able to go until this week. She has been told by a Dr. that what she has is cancer.  She said it started out small like a pimple and then has just spread.  It all started a couple of years ago.  I think that by the time she actually started going to the Dr that they have said there is nothing they can do for her except give her pain medication.  As she told her story her lip quivered and her hands shook a bit from the pain.  When she goes to the Dr. they just give her more pain medication and tell her to come back the next month.  Thankfully, her daughter is taking care of her.  I can't even imagine if she didn't have anyone to fix her food or help her in other ways.  Now, she even has trouble eating because it hurts to chew so she has to take really small bites.  We praise God that she says she is a believer.  We tried to encourage her and we prayed for her.  As I prayed tears filled my eyes.  How in the world was this woman making it through each day?  Please lift up Catherine in prayer. She could really use all the prayer support she can get.  Pray for her daughter as she cares for her as well.  I did not take a picture but one of the other caregivers had taken one a while back.  I'm going to put it down lower so in case you don't want to see it you can just stop.  If you do want to see it scroll down a bit.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Field trip

I'm teaching a class, HIV/AIDS and the Christian Faith, at the Baptist Seminary here in Lusaka.  I decided to take the class off campus and in to one of the local compounds for a little field trip this week.  We went to Ng'ombe compound and learned from a local care giver how this group of volunteers from the community got started and what all they do to minister to the sick in their community.  We then split in to two groups and each group was able to visit 3 patients.  My group went to visit Lazarus who is HIV positive and has TB.  His wife died last year and he is remaining with one child at home who is 10.  His son is the one caring for the father since the father can hardly do anything for himself.  Thankfully, he can still walk short distances.  His landlord came over while we were visiting and told us that when the family of Lazarus comes to visit they take whatever he may have and they don't offer any help.  The landlord does what he can to help his neighbor when he is able.  
The next patient we visited was Nelson whom I had already visited on a previous visit.  See here for story.  You may remember the story but basically Nelson had given up and was not wanting to eat.  He stopped taking his ARV's as well.  He had no energy to do anything and could hardly walk.  When we went this week he looked much better.  He had started taking his medicine again and was eating.  He even showed us how he could stand up now and walk.  He said this Sunday he was going to church!  The picture below is from our first visit.  I did not take another picture of him on this visit.

On our last visit we found that the patient had gone to the clinic so we visited with the sister and mother of the patient.  The sister is the one caring for her brother and mother(who was sick with malaria).  She lost the one job she had because she kept having to miss work because of her brother.  Tears ran down her face as she shared about their hard times.  We prayed for her and tried to encourage her with God's Word.
The other group was able to visit a woman with cancer, someone who had a stroke, and a person  who was HIV positive.  They were able to give out two BGR buckets as well.
As we were leaving the compound here are some of the comments that were made by my students. 
"I really enjoyed doing this and going out in to the community and seeing the needs."
"I'm going to start something like this in my community.  The ladies in our church can also go out and visit the sick where we live."
"I'm so glad I went today because I tend to forget what others may be going through and today I have been reminded."
The next day I went back out and revisited some of these same patients and gave out two BGR buckets.  One went to Lazarus and the other to the patient who was not home.  I also bought food for those two men and their families and for Catherine who has cancer(in the other group).  I'll write about her in my next post.  Please pray for these patients as they lie sick in their small homes.  Pray for those who are trying to care for them to have the strength to do whatever it takes to help their relative.  Pray for these students to be challenged to do what they can to minister to those they also know who are sick and may be HIV positive. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Movie credits

We were excited to watch this movie recently and see our son, Zach Rodgers, name in the credits as a compositor! We are so proud of him!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Our tour of Athens

 Our day began with a lot of rain so we started off a little later in the morning and went to the museum first.

 Our friends Daren and Shawna

 I believe we were on the third story of the museum for this picture.  Yes, we did walk all the way up that hill!

 Sorry I have so many pictures of the city but I was amazed at how close these people lived to one another and how huge the city was.

 I had to take this picture because of the floor!  As you are walking on each level you can see below you.  Good thing we weren't wearing skirts!  I walked on the beams!


 Before we climbed to the top of the hill we ate a gyro.

 It was so amazing to see all this!


When we came down the hill we needed a little pick me up!  This was mine!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mars Hill

 This picture was taken from up on the hill looking down onto Mars Hill.  
It was here that the Apostle Paul delivered his famous speech about the identity of "the Unknown God." According to the biblical account in Acts 17.

and then we prayed together.
It was neat to read that passage of scripture and then look up the hill probably much like Paul did!

 Kevin and Daren

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trip to Hyrdra Island Greece

 We took this boat from Athens to Hydra Island for the day.  It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get there.

 The island was beautiful!

There were lots of boats in the port, clear water, quaint shops and places to eat. 
As you can see most of the houses were up the hills.

 see how clear the water was?

 About one week before we left I wrote some friends of ours just to see if they might be going to the same meeting that we were and if by chance they were going a couple of days early to do some sightseeing.  Our friends, Daren and Shawna, were going so we hooked up and spent these two days together.  One thing that was neat to me is that out of all of Athens we had each picked a hotel which was just a few blocks from one another which made it easy to meet up and share a taxi.

 It was a pretty hot day.

 We decided we wanted to walk up some of these hills and see more of how the people lived.  It was quite a trek but very interesting to see their homes.

The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called "evil eyes".
The idea expressed by the term causes many different cultures to pursue protective measures against it. The concept and its significance vary widely among different cultures, primarily in West Asia. The idea appears several times in translations of the Old Testament.  It was a widely extended belief among many Mediterranean and Asian tribes and cultures. Charms and decorations with eye-like symbols known as nazars, which are used to repel the evil eye are a common sight across Turkey, Greece, Albania, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Southern Italy (Naples), the Levant, and Afghanistan and have become a popular choice of souvenir with tourists.
We saw these everywhere!  

 There are no cars on this island.  I think there is only one garbage truck on the whole island.  People either walk or ride a donkey or horse.


 me and Shawna

 After walking around the town for a couple of hours we took a boat taxi to another part of the island to enjoy the beach.

 We were able to enjoy this beach for a few hours before heading back to the town.

 All the beaches around the island were mostly pebble.  The water was pretty clear too so we could see fish.

 We had lots of fun with our friends!