Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Life Changing Day............Part 3
As I sat in Werke's hut trying to take in the sights, sounds and smells around me I noticed that many men had entered the hut. I sat down beside Werke and she quickly placed her hand on my knee as she did I gently took her hand in mine and held it. I was still in awe of where I found myself and didn't want to miss anything that was happening around me.
The men who had gathered quickly started to find a seat either on the ground or on a few small stools that Werke had in her home. They all formed a circle and each of the men picked up many blades of grass that Werke had laying on the floor of her home and held them in their hands. Nicco started to speak to all of the men gathered and every so often he would translate to us what was taking place.
Nicco explained that when he and David had visited the island the week prior that Nicco had ask the leaders of the island to come up with the four greatest needs on the island. The elders of the island had done just that and they were sharing with Nicco what they had decided on. Nicco was writing as the men were speaking and he shared with us the list of their needs. The needs were having a medical clinic, clean drinking water, agricultural development and education. The leaders of the community were all speaking and sharing their thoughts as to what was most important to each of them.
Nicco then placed four empty water bottles on the floor and placed a piece of paper on top of each bottle. On each slip of paper was written one of the four needs that the elders of the community had come up with. Nicco then explained that they were going to vote on the order in which these needs should be taken care of. He would state two needs and then each of the men would lay a piece of grass on the one that they felt needed attention first. They continued to vote in this manner until the needs were all placed into order from greatest need to least greatest. To me they all seemed to be great needs yet they had to decide which would need to be handled first.
When the vote was over they decided that drinking water was first, a medical clinic second, agricultural development third and education was the fourth greatest need. I sat and wept as I watched these men listen to Nicco explain that a group of people would make sure that each need would be taken care of. The men were all smiling and very joyful to know that someone was thinking of them. They were full of cheer as they spoke to one another and to us using Nicco to translate.
I cried knowing that God would use us to make such an amazing impact on this island and I also knew why this process of adoption had been so long and hard. What God was doing in this place was very evident and I knew that there is a battle being waged on that island. A battle that is beginning to be won and for that I am so thankful! A battle that the elders of that island no nothing of at this point but one that will change their lives forever. To think that He is using us in this process is very overwhelming but so good.
As I held Werke's hand I looked around the room and prayed for each person gathered in that place. I prayed for each nameless face that they would see Christ love as each of these needs were fulfilled. I prayed that God would allow me to return to this place and see the lives changed not only physically but spiritually as well. I long for the day that we gather in that hut to praise our Father together in different languages yet with the same heart.
I also looked around the room and prayed and praised God for the faces in the room who I knew very well. I thanked God that David and I along with our kids had been given this opportunity that many never will have. I praised Him that our friend KB was there to hear about the great need for water as he plans and prepares to ride his bike cross county next year to raise awareness of the need for clean drinking water in Africa. I was thankful that my sister was there holding one of Tia and Garrett's younger siblings and I knew that God was changing her heart and life as she sat in that tiny hut. To have so many that I love in that small home with me for this life changing day was simply unbelievable and something I will forever be grateful for.
This day was only the beginning of a life change for not only those who live on Zadachu Island but for me................