Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shelley, Patti and I just returned to Piet Retief and the home of our friends the van Wyngaards. We spent 5 days in the South African Cape teaching and talking about solar cooking and pasteurizing water using WAPI’s. The weather was cooperative and we actually cooked Mealie Pup perfectly, starting from cold water. Only an African woman knows what a big deal that is. Even though this area has sporadic sun in the summer, we determined that with just 100 days of sun per year (a very reasonable estimate), a family could save $1600 Rand by using solar instead of parafin or electricity, school fees for several children. Thanks to Grahamstown and Kirstenbosch Rotary clubs for hosting us and working to see that the introduction of this technology is helpful and sustainable.

It seems that after we left Laura and Kristen in Swaziland they had several great days making calls with caregivers, packing medical bags and finishing up the organizing of a storage container / supply room. It is difficult (impossible) to convey how much an American friendship encourages and empowers a local volunteer caregiver who is dedicated to serving his/her neighbour who is suffering. Maybe these words from Jabu can explain, excerpts from a letter she gave me to pass along to her American sponsors. I don't think she'd mind me sharing

“I am so very happy to get your letter and photo . . . I love you so much . . . I will pray for you every day . . . I am praying that we can be together again, chatting and sharing the word of God . . . I love you, I love you, I love you.” (yes, written three times).

Jabu then closes her letter with this verse (Ro 10:13-17) to encourage her sponsor:

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Jabu – yours are indeed the feet of Jesus, bringing good news. Thank you for allowing us to be your friend and partner.


1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a successful solar cooking time, that estimate of savings is so substantial to them! I hope you have addresses and communication info so we can find out how they are doing in the practical application of what they saw and learned! I can't wait to hear all about it!

    So true that the relationships with the caregivers mean so much, to them and to us!