Six weeks ago, Norma and I were on the Interstate between Atlanta and Florida. What an eye-opener – three lanes going North and three, speeding South to find the sun - all jam-packed with vehicles – RV’s with trailers, monstrous twenty-two wheelers travelling at seventy miles per hour and an assortment of new luxury cars from Mercs, BMW’s to the latest models in everything else!
Then we were suddenly back in Zimbabwe – pot-holed roads and bush paths! We visited a granny who is looking after a little boy with cerebral palsy. Her daughter had left him with her, after an unwanted pregnancy, and then disappeared. That was five years ago. Granny hasn’t seen her daughter since. Granny is a widow and lives in the rural area a few miles from us and has no means of income. She works in the fields for her neighbors who give her food, and lives in two little huts that she has been ‘loaned’. Two grass-roofed huts, no bathroom and sharing a sleeping area with Thandazo and another little grandson that has been abandoned by another daughter. Thandazo is incontinent, but granny has no diapers, just old rags she wraps around him. She has no access to water, so walks miles to the nearest stream each day, with Thandazo on her back, to collect 5 gallons of water, which she carries back home in a bucket balanced on her head.
When we visited to present her with a pushchair, which a church group from South Africa donated, we found Thandazo rolling helplessly in the dirt. He can’t walk, but can shuffle along backwards, using his arms to propel himself.
Since discovering another child with cerebral palsy a few months ago, we are getting more reports of children with disabilities (hidden from view in a culture which sees disabled children as a curse).
Seeing the joy in granny’s eyes when we gave her the second-hand push chair, brought tears to our eyes. And it was such an insignificant gift. We felt helpless and wanted to do more.
Coming back from our trip to the USA, we have been reminded that if you want the sun, follow the crowds on the Interstate South, but if you are looking for The Son, you’re more likely to find Him on the dusty backroads.
If you would like to donate to help us support granny, Thandazo and other families, who are in a similar predicament in our area, please get in touch with us.
‘One of the mysteries of the Gospel tradition, is this strange attraction of Jesus to the unattractive, His strange desire for the undesirable, His strange love for the unlovely. The key to this mystery is, of course, the Father. Jesus does what He sees His Father doing, He loves whom the Father loves.’ (Donald Gray)