Monday, March 23, 2015
“Tut, tut, looks like rain, said Pooh.” — A. A. Milne
We are “tut, tutting” and hoping. The skies are dark and the air is cool and our hopes are up. We saw lightning a few nights ago and heard thunder, but there was no rain. There is still no rain and people are starting to go hungry. The safari companies love the lack of rain because (if you’ll pardon the expression) their business tends to dry up during the rainy season. This long lack of rain means many more safaris, but harder to see animals as the grass eaters search for food and the predators follow their prey, so while the number of safaris goes up, the number of animals seen go down, especially the elephants. The drought also brings the elephants near villages in search of cassava or other crops they can eat. This also means that farmers will sleep in their fields to keep the elephants away, and while this usually works, it also allows the older lions to kill the farmers as they are easy prey, asleep in the fields (about 200 humans are killed by lions every year here). I know this is a cycle of nature, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it. My grandmother used to say that no storm lasts forever, and she was right. However, those storms (or droughts) however long they last can kill people. People with loved ones, families, and souls that will sing no more. We feel guilty watering our plants and flowers from our well because it will not be affected for a long, long time as its water comes from deep within the earth. I can remember complaining about the rain back when we lived in Arkansas, and there was always someone who would say that the farmers needed it. I understand that now. Looking at the brown, dead grass outside our windows does not fill me with hope, but hope is what we have now. As the Apostle Paul pointed out so long ago, perseverance produces character and character produces hope, so we will persevere and lend help by delivering a few sacks of corn to a few of our churches. It is all we can do, but it will keep some from going hungry and therefore worth it. There are few still alive who remember the dust bowl days of the thirties, but I will never forget the graphic pictures of that horrible time (see picture at the right) and we will continue our prayers with renewed vigor. Please pray for our people, God’s children, who need strength and comfort—and rain.