This is Karen and two of her children. She received a rabbit loan a while back to help support and feed her family. We sat with her and talked for a bit. She seemed discouraged and didn't want to talk much. On our way out we asked if she had any prayer needs. She ask that we would pray that she would become saved. I paused as I realized we needed to talk about what it meant to be saved (you don't need to ask someone else to pray that you will be!) I talked with her for several minutes and realized that she has been told that because she drinks alcohol she can’t be saved. We talked more about being born again and prayed together. After that she was willing to share that she used to have 5 children but one died recently to “bewitching”. She believes someone cursed her child and they died because of it. It has to be a terrible thing to live with. I wish she didn't live three days travel from me as she really needs someone to visit and encourage her.
Please pray that the Body of Christ, the Church near her, will rise up and meet her spiritual needs. We can also pray that God meets her physical needs as it was obvious the family has some serious struggles. Their rabbits aren't doing as well as they could be because Karen fears thieves will steal them (which is a legitimate fear in this area) and so she isn't taking great care of them because why bother if someone will just take the result of her work? Please pray the desire to escape from problems into alcohol will be replaced by a saving hope in God!
Next is this old man. We didn't even get his name. He lives in a shack built of trash in the front yard of one of the rabbit recipients. He has no idea how old he is but he knows there was no president when he was a young boy. (He also insisted there is no president now, so take that with a grain of salt. I suspect he is in his late seventies at least which is double the life expectancy of the average man here). His nephew has started building him a "real house" (on his right) though it will still be made with sticks and mud. May he know the peace and contentment that can only come from God.
Lastly is Innocent’s wife, Allen. Innocent had received rabbits in the loan program but Allen told us her husband has left her and she has been without him for several months. She had several rabbits and all of them were stolen. She has seven children and her house is very damaged. When she was moved out of the slums several years ago they received this house but termites have gotten into the wall and it is crumbling. Please pray that she would know God as her provider.
Please pray also for us, that we would know the best way to help and encourage without creating dependency. We want people to be empowered to care for themselves, rather than sitting and waiting for someone else to come in and help them. We also don't want to provide only physical help while neglecting people's emotional and spiritual needs.
Holy Spirit, this job is way too big for us. Please show us the way to love people as best we can. Jesus, these are your children, struggling and hurting. Please show yourself faithful to them. Let them see you at work in their lives. Father God, may we all be more faithful to the calling you have given us. Amen.