Saturday, April 5, 2008

One by One

It was fun to watch the women come one by one to recieve their goats. Many had their babies strapped to their backs. Some had their sad stories written on their faces. Others' faces shown with joy, the pain of life covered by gratitude and hope. During the celebration I had watched one aunt offer her empty breast to an orphan who sucked eagerly, without much payback. I was happy to give her a goat who would produce a kid in 2 weeks and provide life giving nourishment. Other HIV+ moms were ready to wean their children from the breast to a non infected milk source. I wish you could have seen their expressions of gratitude with a smile, a bended knee, a blessing in their native tongue (which were many) , and hands together in grateful prayer.

The World Harvest Team pitched into help, the kids being great goat wranglers, and Pauline and Lamech went the extra mile in making the day fabulous.

Gift Giving

The smiling faces of the women were exciting to see. Biirwa, a local evangelist, shared from the Word of God the story of the talents and making the most of what you have. He encouraged the women to be faithful with the goats they were being given, to put time and care into them. Scott Myhre represented WHM and encouraged the women as well. I was also able to remind them of the Gifts God has given these women, in his Son, and in the goats that will nourish their children. I shared with them how so many people gave Christmas goats in their honor this past Christmas and that they are receiving the benefit of them. They clapped for you in gratitude. After Lamech also shared, a friend and recipient from the group came forward and conveyed his gratitude in words. Then they organized a special clap rhythm that ended in hands extended toward our team leader as though they were heaping the claps on him. They are now being passed onto all of you who made this goat distribution day possible.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Late Night Arrival

The goats arrived at 3:00 am after a long, long journey. The original shortcut they were taking wasn't in good enough condition, so they had to turn around and start again. Later they had a flat tire. Reaching Fort Portal, the vehicle needed some work done on the brakes. They didn't begin crossing the mountains until the sun was beginning to set. We try to avoid driving in the dark because there are no street lights, especially on the mountain curves. They pressed on for the sake of the goats. Eventually they found another truck stuck in the road and they were unable to pass by it. They waited for hours until that truck was able to move.

When the truck arrived it backed up to the fence and Michael turned our car lights on the truck so we could see. Each of the goats were handed off and carried to the pen. They were so tired and quiet, that after they were all unloaded, I hardly heard a sound from them. I wouldn't have known that 51 extra goats were just outside my window.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fodder, Fodder and more Fodder

Pauline has the busy job of preparing for guests. 50 goats will arrive on the mission's farm today and will stay for about 48 hours. She and some helpers will gather branches from trees, long grasses and pea-type plants for a lot of hungry mouths. Tomorrow Michael will go out with the truck deeper into the villages to collect more.