Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where Does Hope Lie?

Yesterday I got a text late at night telling me that there were riots happening in the town where we shop.

Apparently there were rumors that children were being killed for witchcraft rituals. In typical mob-logic fashion, the thinking went from 'children are being killed' to 'people with money have to be behind this' to 'kill anyone with money'

Businesses were looted and then burned to the ground. Several houses were also burned and sadly, at least 3 lives were lost in those fires. Other people were attacked and killed as well. Roads leading in and out of Mansa were blocked off.

It is so sad when ignorance and hysteria collide, creating such a volatile situation. The police state that no ritual killings have been reported to them so it's possible that this whole riot was much ado about nothing. And yet, when the dust has cleared, lives have been lost, livelihoods ruined and peace shattered.

Zambia has been mostly peaceful over the years and I haven't really had to worry. With the entire world erupting in violence, things seem to be changing. I'm not worried really, because I know I'm sheltered in the protection of the Most High. But, that doesn't mean I'm foolish. I'm staying in touch with people who are in-the-know to see what's going on. I will only travel down for shopping when I know for sure that things are safe.


Two days ago, one of our most diligent nannies, Majory, lost her seven year old child to malaria.  He didn't respond to treatment the first time, and after being switched to a stronger medicine had adverse reactions to the medications. His liver basically failed due to the effects of the malaria and the medicines needed to treat it.

Majory has worked for us for about 3 years, although she took a year off when she gave birth to twins 2 years ago. Sadly, one of those twins didn't make it to two weeks old. This was when I learned for the first time that the birth mortality rate for twins is so high that mothers don't even name their babies until they're certain they are going to make it. So Majory's little baby boy who died shortly after birth can't even be remembered by name. That thought makes me so sad.
And now, Majory has lost another little boy. It's hard to be surrounded by so much sadness.

 The only way to keep going is to know for certain that my hope lies in Christ! He is the only true and reliable thing in my world. I have nearly lost my children to illness, I have buried other babies, I have seen lives ruined by rumors and witchcraft, I have been frustrated by the lack of apparent progress in some of our ministries. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that there is a future, and a bright one at that, just on the other side of my horizon. I have to hold on and He will carry me there.


  1. I saw on a friend's facebook that things were weird in Mansa. What buisnesses were burned & families were killed? I couldn't get any answers from Victor & I have a terrible feeling that we must know the people. My heart is broken over this mess and I know violence is rising in Zambia over this political mess. Libya & Egypt have stirred the currents in Zambia as well. I pray that the peaceful spirit of Zambians will preside.

    It's terrible for Majory to deal with such loss, but I know it's all too common. At least maybe she'll have a bit of fulfillment from helping so many other children.

    I know it's so disheartening to be in Zambia somedays, because the weight of all the problems can be heavy on the heart. Just know that you are making a difference, even when you can't see the ripples yet. You are all in our prayers constantly.

  2. So disheartening and sad. I pray that the riots cease things become safer. I'm praying for Marjory as she deals with a loss, two children... I can't even imagine her sorrow. Thoughts and prayers with you and yours always.

  3. Wow- I'm so sorry to hear about all the chaos. I hope your town returns to normal soon & you all are safe.

  4. OH! Boy this is tough! I just don't know what to say. :(

    I am so sorry for Majory. All I can offer are prayers. . .I will be praying hard for you, your family, the children, Majory and all the people in the village.

  5. So much news that could be seen as negative and yet you are able to keep your faith. We'll be praying for the area and for Majory!

  6. I am praying for your safety and for Marjory. May the God of all peace keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  7. Thank you for this vivid reminder to thank God for our blessings, and to keep others in our prayers.


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