July 21, 2010

Africa, Day 3

7-11-10

Went to church today.  I love listening to the choir and all the hand drums.  Such beautiful worship, even if I only catch the occasional Mawu (God) and don't know the rest of the words.

After church we came upstairs for lunch and hung out with the family.  All of David & Celestines children are here to visit Matt - Clementina, Blessed (& her son Enom) and Princilla & Jeremiah (who live here still).  This was Matt's first time seeing his grandson in person, and it's been a long time since he's seen the other kids, so it was a good time for some reconnecting.

After a while we decided to take a walk to the beach (the one I can see out my bedroom window).  Doche went with us and we relaxed under a grass hut for a little while, enjoying the cool breeze and the presence of God. 
As we headed back we saw some fishermen mending their net.  We stop to talk to them and find out how tedious it is to mend the nets.  They go through the fine mesh one section at a time and hand-stitch any patches that need to be fixed.  This takes hours, and it is done before and after going out to fish for hours on end.  This is the type of work that children on Lake Volta are subject to.  Children of only 8 years of age or so.
These are the same types of boats the children on Lake Volta sit on in the wee hours of the morning, bailing water out of to stay afloat.  Jumping overboard to keep the nets from snagging on the jagged tree tops that are filled with crocodiles and eels.
 On the way back to the house we heard a horrible crying coming from up the street and around the corner.  It sounded like a baby or small child was being seriously hurt.  As we came closer we saw a little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old sitting up against the corner of a wall crying her eyes out hysterically.  No one appeared to be with her, but there were people around.  Doche asked her what was wrong but she was too distraught to answer.  A passerby overheard him and told us that the child's grandmother had to go to a meeting.  The girl had wanted to go, but was unable to so the grandmother left her in the street and drove away in the taxi.  My heart broke for this little girl.  Doche asked around to see if anyone knew the girl or if she had someone to take care of her.  We found out that she had a sister about 75 yards away, around a few corners and down another street.  Matt and Doche grabbed her hands and swung her around as we walked her home, in attempt to cheer her up.  The crying stopped eventually and we returned her to her home, where she could be taken care of.

This is the stuff we're here to do: be open to God, following HIS path, not our own.  To be sensitive to His Spirit, not to pass by things like this.  It only took a few minutes out of our time, but we chose to answer God.  So many people were sitting around watching the little girl cry her eyes out. 
How many times do we just sit and watch, back in the US?  How many times do we just walk past a person in need?