Isaiah 58:10 (New International Version)
"and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday."
Tensions mount among people. We see it all the time here in the USA. Things you would never imagine doing or saying occur when you are pushed to the brink. Parents hitting children, loved ones lashing out at one another, people killing people over bottles of water immediately after Katrina, etc.
Family dynamics suffer. Church relationships suffer. Neighborhoods and communities suffer.
In Zimbabwe, the long period of stress is beginning to take its toll on what has been the strength of the society: interpersonal relationships. Lately, I've seen a sharp uptick in the level of corrosive discourse and treatment of one another, amidst families and close personal friends. Stress is the reason.
People are tired of being beaten down by a government that isn't standing for them. Tired of paying a large sum of money for bread. Tired of walking 3-4 miles for a job or to look for one -- knowing that they likely won't find one.
I'm tired of watching it, too, let alone living it with the people daily. Please pray for healing for our friends in Zimbabwe, particularly pastors who are hearing it from all sides. Pastors are particularly vulnerable as they are often a holding pot for frustrations from all within the community. In times of great stress, a pastor is often the first people in Zimbabwe call. As I talk more and more to pastors, the level of stress they are facing causes me to burst into tears -- overwhelmed by how people can treat one another, as well as just the empathy for our friends.
Please join me in praying for peace. Pray for love. Pray for wisdom. Pray for release of stress. Pray to God for joy in the midst of affliction. Pray for a new Zimbabwe that stands for the people of Zimbabwe, not against them. And pray for yourselves, as you continue to balance whether to keep giving to a land that seemingly has little light at the end of this long-history of pain.
Pray on. As I work this morning, I'm overwhelmed by what I'm seeing our friends experience. For lots of reasons, I can't share details. But, God knows. Join me in prayer.