With Love

July 10, 2009 at 10:37 am 4 comments


Today my thoughts are not on me. They are with those in Mozambique.

Last year this time, I was packing up from my trip to Panhame, a small village in the middle of Mozambique. I pulled out my album and took some time to think and pray for those I met.

Being an ex-Portuguese colony, there are cultural differences beyond white and black, wealthy and poor. They appreciated the stuff we brought, but the true joy they expressed was not in the toothpaste, medical supplies or blankets we gave, but in our message.

Someone in this world loves you and not only do we love you, but the Creator of the ground you walk on loves you more than you could ever imagine.

They wished more than anything to hear the hope we brought them. AIDS is ripping apart their country. The life expectancy and infanct mortality rates are the worst in the world. They didn’t want our blankets as much as they wanted hope.

And they found it in Jesus Christ.

I learned more about true joy in a little dusty village in the middle of nowhere than in my own life.


This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about this trip. I posted about it a week after returning home. and still couldn’t shake what I saw there. I posted again on the first of January 2009.

Definitive Moments– 1 January 2009

I have had several moments in my life that I place in my definitive category. Some I will never find words to express. Some are so deeply entwined in my core that to remove them, analyze them, and reveal them would strip them of their power.

But some of them only have power when stripped open. Some moments yearn to be shared. These have no shame. Like the beggar at the traffic light, they cry out to me. Sobs of fear, regret and desperation are met only by my own heartache and incompetence.

I had another dream about her. Her name was Sali and I first wrote about her here. Lately, she has been invading my subconscious, crying out to be shared.

I met her July of 2008 in a small village in Mozambique called Panhame. Her lifestyle is what you see on National Geographic with little comfort and even less guarantee of tomorrow.

Yet, she aroused no pity from me.

Sympathy, sure. “Man, somebody’s gotta do something” sure. Pity? No.

This does not mean that I am immune to the sadness of seeing impoverished people. I felt no pity because she felt no pity.

This was her life. She is 4 or 5 years old and herded her family’s goats. She helped her mother with the only meal of the day. She would probably never get an education or learn where babies come from before she was married. This was her life and, at her age, she seemed to accept her life in all its entirety.

I am no photographer but here she is:

And these are my words:

To the girl who aided my heart recovery:

Sali

The great expanse of dust packed still
By bare feet trampling
The shadows pool beneath Marula tree
And dusty rocks, undisturbed, watch

Sali toddle across the plain
Heavy laden, haunting eyes
And the beads and bracelets clanking

And she tumbles
Embracing shrouds
The dust- scarlet and steaming

Tear neglected she leapt
To chase the goat
And fade into the blackness.

I would love to share some photos with you of some of the beautiful children that have engraved themselves on my heart. My friends are in Panhame today, packing up their tents and saying goodbyes. Oh how I wish I could see how these kids have grown!

The Local Church Bell

The Local Church Bell



This bell would be rung everyday that there would be something happening in the village, usually in the morning. Several hours later the event (church, town meetings etc) would begin. Talk about African Time!

Local Transportation

Local Transportation



The local ladies still carry their heavy objects on their heads. But if something was too heavy for even a strong lady to carry, it would go onto this cart strapped to two donkeys.

The Local Church Building

The Local Church Building



I promised you pictures of cutie pies. Look closely and look at that little darling walking through the dust in the distance. She was absolutely stunning, but was so hard to pin down for a picture.

but there were plenty who enjoyed playing models for me!

She was so excited to see her photo after I took it!

She was so excited to see her photo after I took it!



She loved to mimic the younger girls on our team.

Don't let the warm clothes fool you. It pushed 45 degress in the daytime in winter!

Don't let the warm clothes fool you. It pushed 45 degress in the daytime in winter!



She is such a sweetheart.

She is such a sweetheart.



So beautiful.

Such Joy!

Such Joy!

With Love to those stunning kiddos in Panhame. With Love.

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Entry filed under: Touching Joy. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

I’m super nostalgic today about how great my wedding was. Saturdays are oh so good to me

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ScoMan  |  July 10, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I could never imagine that way of life.

    I loved the Sali poem just as much as I loved it the first time I read it. Those are some amazing photographs.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. I think you left a little bit of yourself behind there and took a big bit of Panhame with you.

    Reply
  • 2. Hillbilly Duhn  |  July 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I agree with ScoMan. He’s always taking the words out of my mouth. 🙂

    I do have to say though, the difference in writing from this type of post to regular ones, is awe inspiring. You tell a story, specially one that hit your inner emotional button, and your words I can hear allowed, in a rythmn in which I just want to keep reading and listening. I love it.

    Reply
  • 3. MiSS RAmbLEs  |  July 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    i am officially crying. its tht time of the month where my hormones take over my body and i hve no control but that was so beautiful.wot an experience and as someone who has witnessed this first hand i can imagine what a trip like that meant to not only to you but all those beautiful people and children you met.

    it really reminds you how lucky some of us are.at the age of 4 or 5 doing all that!even at 25 some people still struggle to look after themselves

    thank you for sharing such an inspired post!

    Reply
  • 4. touchingjoy  |  July 11, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Thank you all for your kind words. You all are very sweet!

    Reply

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