Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Message From Meagan

My most popular entries tend to be the ones which are e-mail reports from my wonderful niece, Meagan, who lives in Zambia. Since October of 2006, Meagan has worked at the Namwianga Mission focusing on very young children, many afflicted with AIDS. Meagan has been back in the States for three weeks and has twelve more days before returning to Africa. I asked Meagan to write this entry to all of you who love following her trials and triumphs and agonize with the loss of each precious little one. I give you the one and only Meagan:

I just want to thank all of you for the supportive and encouraging e-mails you have sent me through my Uncle Steve’s blog! It means so much to know that there are people all over America that are remembering me and the babies at our orphanage in your prayers. I firmly believe that God is blessing us through the prayers of many faithful people.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver has a line in it that defines how I feel about my time in Africa. She writes, “Africa…it seems I only know myself anymore, by your attendance in my soul.” It seems that most people who go to Africa can relate to this. You can never look at things the same way as you did before. The things you see and experience seem to seep in so deep that they infiltrate every sense and thought in some way. Lately I’ve found it hard to even remember who I was or how I thought about things before I went to Africa for the first time, and definitely since I have called it my home. The experiences I have had there have forever changed me, and I know it will be impossible to go home the same as when I moved to Zambia.

There is a song entitled “Where Joy and Sorrow Meet,” and sometimes I feel like that joy and sorrow are constantly colliding in Zambia. A few of the lines are:
There’s a place of thirst and hunger where the wounds of faith grow deep,
And there is rain and rolling thunder where the road is rough and steep.
There is hope in desperation, there is victory in defeat
At the cross of restoration where joy and sorrow meet.

I’m sure if you’ve read the e-mails I have sent to Uncle Steve, you’ve noticed how true this song is. It seems nearly impossible to go through a day without encountering sorrow, or being a witness to someone else’s sorrow. But a day definitely never passes without feeling great joy, and sometimes it is hard to fit all of those emotions into the 24 hours we call a day! There have been many days where one of our babies has died and we are beside ourselves with grief, and we return to the orphanage from burying the baby to find a brand new little life waiting for us there. Other days starving people will come to our door asking for some food, and it breaks your heart watching them suffer and struggle. And then the next door you open is a student you’ve helped go to school coming to bring you a bag of eggs just to say how grateful he is, and the joy just envelopes your heart. Watching our HIV babies have to waste away until they eventually die produces many painful, emotional questions for God. But that same day getting to watch a baby who has survived and grown up to be a strong, happy, independent child reminds you that God always, always knows what he is doing. I struggle often to find the balance between joy and sorrow there, wanting to trust in God’s goodness in all situations, yet allowing myself and others to mourn our children who die and suffer as a result of the mess we’ve made of this world.

Please continue to pray for Namwianga and the all the people there, including the missionaries. Pray that God continues to fill us with the fruit of the spirit when it seems we’ve depleted our sources. Pray for the work that is going on there, that many seeds will be planted in the hearts of the children and students who we are coming into contact with everyday. Pray for the health of our babies and the people that work with the babies. Pray for comfort for the sick and the hungry and the weary and the lonely people of Zambia who need God so badly. Pray that we’ll be able to effectively show Him to them. God bless you for your prayers and your support.

God bless,
Uncle Steve
Luke 18:1

me at

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