30 April 2015

Trouble Sleeping Due to the State of the World?

I have to confess: I've been avoiding news about Nepal.  I can't bring myself to keep up on the mortality rate, the level of destruction, the numbers displace, injured and missing.  The scope of the tragedy is too big for me to deal with.  Maybe you feel the same: overwhelmed, saddened, disoriented...helpless.

A few years ago I realized that my heart is not designed to carry all the burdens of the world, and neither is yours.  The area I'm called to care about, work toward and advocate for is the state of women in rural Africa.  I don't want to detract from a compassionate response to the situation in Nepal, but if you have some room in your heart and your pocketbook for two women in rural Africa, please keep reading.

Mama Dorina lives on the road between Shirati and one of the Mama Maisha villages, and in the recent heavy rains, part of the wall of her house washed away.  She is a widow and her only daughter died without having children, so this woman is alone in the world.  During the night the wall fell in on her while she was sleeping and hurt her legs.  Now she is sleeping in a corner of her neighbor's home.  Our friend Stephen told us about the situation, and we asked him to go take some photos.   
Then I had the following conversation:
Wesley: Where is the camera going?
Me: Stephen is going to take some photos of a house.
Wesley: Whose house?
Me: A grandmother whose house fell down.
Wesley: Dani's house fell down?! (Dani is Fred's grandmother.)
Me: No, not Dani, someone else's grandmother.
Wesley: Can we fix her house?
Me: Yeah, how should we do that?
Wesley: We call Machumu (our favorite taxi driver) to come and get us and take us with my tools.
Me: Then you'll fix her house?
Wesley: Yeah.  Call Machumu.

If only it were that easy!  Actually, it almost is that easy. Somehow she had saved up in the past several years to replace the thatched grass roof with iron sheets, but the mud bricks were eroded over time by driving rain and weakened the wall.  In order to get her back into her home, volunteers need to lift the roof off the house, rebuild the broken section, replace the door, mix cement and cement over the outside of all the walls to prevent future erosion. All these things can be done for $250, especially right now while the exchange rate for the American dollar is so high but the prices haven't gone up yet.

The other woman we would like to help is Dani, our grandmother up in Fred's home village in Kenya.  A few weeks ago 85-year-old Dani fell trying to reach the outdoor bathroom, which is up a small, rocky hill.  She has had trouble walking for some years, and we would like to rearrange the bathing and toilet facilities to the same level as her house so that she wouldn't be climbing hills anymore.  It is mostly manual labor, which can be done by Fred and some others, but we would like to add a $150 water tank to simplify bathing for her.  Right now she has to have someone carry a bucket of water for her, which is not an ideal situation.

Perhaps the tug on your heart is to help one of these women.  Unfortunately, we don't have time to go through tax deductible channels, which would take at least six weeks.  However, if you would like to write a check to Leisha Adams and mail it to 18009 NE Hillside Dr, Newberg, OR 97132, we could have that money in hand within one week, or if you click below to give to us directly on Paypal (send to email address fredandleisha@gmail.com).

If Nepal is tugging at your heart, you can do some similar, direct impact, low overhead giving by going to Helping Nepal.  My friend Dayn happens to be on the ground in Kathmandu, Nepal with a YWAM team, so they have been able to take donations through the website and translate that immediately and fully into shelter for people displaced by the earthquake.

Either way, whether you help out widows in Africa or families displaced in Nepal, you can sleep better knowing that you, personally, are helping someone else sleep better on the other side of the world.

UPDATE: Thank you so much!  All the money for both women has been donated within a few hours of the post!  If you would still like to give, please give to the Nepal team or you can continue to give to us and we will help other women and families in need of housing assistance.

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