Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fighting the Fires.

This past week we were once again fighting fires on our property. This is very strange for this time of year, as normally we would be nearly a month into the rainy season- this fire was most likely started by someone hoping to flush out an animal to hunt. It destroyed a nearly two kilometre long section of our property, as well as putting our workers and Rick & Dwight in danger. Fighting fires here is not a matter of hauling out a big fire truck.. or even a big water tank... or even a hose. No water bombers, and no protective gear. Here our guys drop everything, rush out to the fire, grab the nearest branch with green leaves on it, and start beating the fire.
Rick asked me to come with this time and take pics and give the guys water, so I could really see what it was like. I have to tell you, this was not even the biggest fire we have had this year, and I was terrified. The sound of the rushing fire, the smoke, the intense heat... and the senseless destruction almost brought me to tears. I stayed at the edge of the property, both for safety, but also in case the trucks needed to be moved (Dwight's had already needed to be moved once as the fire spread so quickly).
Aside from the obvious danger of the fire... the fact that there even was a fire points to a far greater threat. We are nearly a month into what should have been our rainy season, and have yet to get the needed rains so the people can plant. We are already seeing signs of starvation in our area, and we have people coming to the mission daily for help. Our food supplies are stretched to the limit as we need to make sure we have enough on hand to continue with our orphan sponsorships, and our own staff needs. It is heartbreaking to hear our pastor monitors from the training schools tell us they will be dying of starvation this year unless something changes drastically. And they are not just exagerating, or saying it flippantly... this is a very very real reality for many of the people we work with. The price of maize (the staple food in our area) is already high, and for those who can afford to purchase , it is hard to find. Please pray with us as we consider how we can best help those around us, and also pray that the much needed rains will come.. and come abundantly!
As well as fighting the fires, both Rick and I have been struggling with feeling under the weather for over a week now- Rick with a sore throat, and I am adjusting to side effects from a new medication. We seem to be getting back on track though, just in time to head to Beira to see our friend and short term co-worker, Kim, off as she heads back home to snowy Canada. We also have a trip planned to visit some churches up north this weekend, and speak at a youth conference on Saturday. Again, we ask for your prayers for health and of course travel safety.
Now for a bit of african "fun"- In SAMM missionary tradition.. I have saved the yucky gross icky story until last... Last night as I was headed into the washroom to shower.. I saw this monstrosity of a bug. I have no clue what kind it was. All I know is it was HUGE and fat. I of course "calmly" requested that Rick come help me. He used the broom to skootch the thing out of the bathroom and (as I safely hid inside the washroom door... SIX FEET away from where he was with the bug) he proceeded to whack it with the broom to kill it. I am telling you this thing EXPLODED. Not just squished.. not just crackled and crunched... IT EXPLODED with a noise I cant even describe.
And I (who remember was six feet away, inside the door of another room) was subjected to BUG GUTS being splattered all over my feet and legs. Now... after I screamed and freaked out a little.. I calmed down enough to remember to take a picture before washing my leg off. (thats how you know you are really a photographer! lol) So hear you have it.. this is what hit my leg from six feet away... goodness knows where the rest of him went. Ick. Yuck. Welcome to Africa.
Thats all for this time.. stay tuned for the next update- weather permitting we will have photos from our "christmas party" with the Amigo Orphans in our sponsorship program! God Bless, and thank you all for your prayers and support. Rick and Heather

1 comment:

L. Lagore said...

Nice :). Actually, I've always heard that that particular bug has a toxic chemical that can burn which he can squirt at you :o. Maybe it's an old wives tale!