Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 7th Update From Zimbabwe

We stayed at a guest house near the Mtshabesi Hospital last night. This morning I met a young man staying in one of the other rooms. He is attending a school nearby. When I asked about his family, he told me that his family was well, but his mother some problems getting around and had a pronounced limp. When I asked him about the cause, he said that 12 years ago she was going down to the river to get water, and a crocodile emerged from the water and bit her on the leg. The crocodile was large, and would not let go, and she fought back in the water. The attack lasted about 10 minutes in all, and when his father appeared with a knife, they had the presence of mind to shove the knife down the crocodile’s throat, causing the reptile to release her. Her injuries put her in the hospital for 8 months, but she recovered. I told him that it was a remarkable story, unlike anything I have ever heard. He simply said, “My telling of the story is nothing. You should hear my Mother tell it. She has a powerful testimony, and it is the reason I am a Christian now.”

We visited a family with a daughter severely affected by AIDS. Her legs were weak, and had been contracted. After getting some intensive physical therapy she could now straighten out her legs, but spent most of her day stretched out under a tree. She would be completely immobile except for the walker that was provided by FVI. Her sisters were also in school because of school fees paid by FVI. Again the family was held together by the grandparents. The grandmother seemed very old, and the contrast between her weathered appearance and the 2 year old child on her lap was a reminder of the harsh life these people face, and the toll it exacts on the human body.

The roads we travel to our visits are a real adventure. I am used to bad roads in Honduras, but these are the worst I have ever traveled, sometimes resembling cow paths. Traveling to the Shuma Shamba Lodge involved over 2 hours of a bone jarring ride that left us rather weary. The difficulty of the trip was worth it. The lodge is set in a very picturesque place. Just sitting and watching the nighttime sky is beyond description, with more stars in the sky than I have ever seen, even on the clearest winter night in the US. The term awesome is frequently used in conversation, but the term truly applies here.

Steve Proctor

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