Why is it that we are sometimes blinded from really seeing what is in front of us?
I feel like this has been a huge challenge for me, especially over the past year. My prayer for this year is that I would have God’s eyes, His ears, and His heart in all that I do. I don’t want ignorance, naivety, task-mindedness, or simplifying situations to envelope me and prevent me from really seeing. I don’t want to become an individual as described in Matthew 13:14-15:
‘When you hear what I say,
you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
you will not comprehend.
For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’
Even though Daytona and I have been volunteering with Hands at Work and living in South Africa for the past 3.5 years, I have to sadly admit that there are times where I sometimes lose focus on why we are doing what we are doing. I forget about the real reason behind the numbers, the budgets, and the day-to-day work in the office – the most vulnerable child!
Over the past year, Southern Africa has been hit hard with the lack of rainfall. We are in the midst of a “Green Drought”. At first glance of the green landscape of our area, one might question the use of the word, “drought”. However, there are many layers to this drought. If you peel back the layers, you will understand that due to a lack of rainfall during the normal “rainy season”, crops that were planted failed and will therefore not produce any food that families so desperately depend on for survival. There not only is a lack of food, but due to the high demand of what little food there is, prices have increased dramatically, making it unattainable for vulnerable families to purchase what little food they were once able to find. If you peel back another layer, you will see that the rivers, dams and boreholes that supply water have run dry resulting in crop failure, and severe dehydration of livestock and humans. Livestock and humans are forced to share the little water that does still exists, resulting in bilharzia (an infection caused by parasitic flatworms found in dirty water). If you peel back another layer, you see that some rain has come too late and that it has only provided enough nourishment for the weeds to grow, displaying a false “greenness” to the environment. Continuing to peel back the layers, an astronomical amount of humans face an early death, and many more individuals being pushed into poverty. We each need to think about what our response should be in this drought crisis!
I have been challenged with thinking about what is my responsibility in this? Although we are not experiencing the worse of the drought where we are, living at the Hub, there are definite signs of the effect of the drought on our water supply. If we continue to use the water at the rate we have been, our dam and borehole will be empty within a year! In addition to looking at ways that I, as an individual, can reduce my water usage, I have also been challenged with what other ways I can respond to the drought crisis:
· Learn about the crisis
· Educate others
If you would like to learn more about the drought crisis in Southern Africa, please check out Hands at Work’s website at: