Dispatches: Day 8

I knew it was going to be a rough day this morning when I awoke in sweat and felt the intense heat that hit my eyeballs when I opened my eyes.  It was so hot, and a struggled with energy throughout the day.  If I were to describe this day I would say that I experienced nothing really until around 7 p.m. that was especially enjoyable because of the heat.

Like I said it was sweltering outside when I got up this morning.  I had promised Vickie that I would go to the leprosy clinic with her today, which was deep into the refugee camp and it would take a while, probably around 40 minutes to get there by road.  When I arrived to Vickie’s house the usual group of people had gathered looking for a ride to somewhere or the other.  Then after getting everybody jam packed into the truck like sardines we headed for the leprosy clinic.  When we arrived we were met by a young lady named Amanda who was working with Doctors without borders on a 6 month short term trip.  She had found lepers in the villages and had brought them to the gathering point so that Vickie could look at them.  What I saw was the terrible results of what happens when people are burdened with the disease of Leprosy.  Men and Women and one ten year old boy came in.  Some of their fingers and toes had already rotted off.  One man I noticed had only two fingers left.  I saw people with all types of deformities on their bodies caused by leprosy.  It was also amazing how gentle Vickie treated them.  She would actually examine these sores and lesions and rotted off toes and fingers and would give them the cure for their disease.   She has been working with some of these patients for months and some of them have made much progress.  When I saw the suffering of these poor lepers I felt ashamed for complaining because I was hot.  Lord, thanks for teaching me such a good lesson today.

        On the way back we stopped at a village to visit a Mabaan family.  It is interesting that in Mabaan culture they will scar up their face and Vickie told me these were beauty marks.  Many of the women will have markings on their face that were cut into their forehead and cheeks to identify them with the Mabaan tribe and to show beauty.  Strange practice this is.  The Mabaan also  practice knocking out two of their bottom front teeth to show that they are with the Mabaan tribe. Reminds me of the Chokwe in Zambia and how they shaved their teeth into sharp points. But I can only imagine how painful it must be to actually knock out their teeth and to cut up their faces.

        Pray for me on Friday morning, we are meeting with the area church leaders to plan a leadership conference.   Pray for our success and that we would be able to work it all out.

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