I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.
In a world where rice and corn are staples and the water to cook it takes hours to find and prepare, where one in three children die before the age of 10 due to malnutrition and water-born illnesses, and where the country is one of the three poorest countries in the world, the villages of Burkina Faso dig deep (no pun intended!) to show their appreciation for the gift of clean water.
Clean water is no simple gift to them. And I was humbled by their generosity to show how much a well means to their people. As we traveled throughout the bush, we were gifted with a goat by Pastor Pierre. Pastor Pierre is now helping oversee several wells in an area near his village. He will be traveling around to make sure neighboring wells are maintained and working. His extravagant gift of a goat illustrates how he sees the impact we are making in his village and nearby communities.
One village in the process of digging (if you read yesterday’s post you would have seen the man covered in mud from this very place) presented us with two chickens and a large bag of peanuts. These chickens and peanuts traveled with us to the next village where we were gifted a guinea hen and more peanuts. The guinea hen was in a small cage near the well…they were waiting for us! The guinea hen was introduced to the chickens, in our trailer where we made a makeshift coop, and off we went.
We were not able to take the goat with us, as we did not have the means to transport him, nor were we going somewhere we could have him for dinner. He was left with Pastor Pierre to share with the next team coming in April. They will feast! The chickens became our dinner the next night. More on that later 🙂
If you had asked me a year ago if I would have been excited about holding a chicken, I would have laughed. Probably out loud. But as I stood there in these villages, looking around at what little they had, I was moved, beyond words, with a love for these people.
I used to think we were the generous ones.