Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Everyone Needs Compassion

We are not in short supply of interesting people that are living here in Catel. We have had a lady that lives next door to us that yells all night long pacing the path in front of our house and hers.  Her family has now sent her on to extended family in another village.   We have a man that is known to roam the village talking to himself.  One story we heard about him was that he is talking to a spirit.  He started coming to our compound selling lemons.  He would sell us an entire bucket incredibly cheaply.  Then he started coming every day.  We wondered where he was getting these lemons from.  The story we heard did not encourage us, we heard he was stealing them.  When we told him we didn’t want anymore lemons, he came with pumpkins.  Michael’s heart was filled with compassion and he kept on buying from him even when we were overly full of lemons and pumpkins.  One day, I (Karen) was hanging out at a neighbor’s house when she asked me if I bought lemons from this man.  I told her I did and asked her if she knew where he got them from.  She said his family has a lot of lemon trees and grows pumpkins.  This was encouraging as we no longer were thinking that we were buying stolen goods, but now we knew they were legitimately his to sell. Michael continued to buy lemons from this man and then he started buying pumpkins from him.  At one point, we had 10 pumpkins in our kitchen. Here is an example of Michael’s compassion for this man. Michael continued buying even when we really didn’t need more. 

Michael's compassion in the form of lemons

The kids have enjoyed the lemonade they make out of all the lemons!

Our village has another lady that roams around, but she just yells and ‘plays games‘ with people.  She is either not right in her head or possessed by a demon, we aren’t sure, but that is what we have heard from others in the village. She does some pretty outrageous things, like guard the well that everyone gets their drinking water from and tells everyone they can’t get water. She would actually chase people away in order to make sure no one gets water.  Her first time of doing this, a man filled a bucket with water and she started yelling at him and telling him he had to drink the entire bucket right then. He just walked away with his bucket. Another day, I was taking Micah and Isaiah to school when she decided it was a school only for white people and she sent all the other kids home, Micah and Isaiah are the only two white kids in the school. She picked up a stick and would try to hit any kids that tried to go to school. Kids are fearful of her.  She also says some of the most outrageous things too.  She says that I am her child, my children are actually her children, some other missionaries we serve with our her parents, and every day a different man is her husband.  One day she decided that another missionary we serve with was her husband and he owed her 8,000,000 CFA’s for her cows that he would pay to have her as his wife.  He happened to leave the next day to visit a neighboring country and this lady, got incredibly upset with him.  She demanded Michael, my husband, to pay her the money and then I could marry the other missionary.  She just says the most outrageous things. Her most recent ‘game’ is that our house is hers and she comes over to sweep the yard in the morning.  The problem with this is then she gets upset when it gets dirty from the kids playing.  She has started chasing children out of our yard and has hit some of the children. 

Her family has brought her to the witchdoctors house here in our village for treatment.        The witchdoctor put a log on her foot to keep her from roaming the village.  When she roams at night, she just walks the road and yells all night long. For Christmas, he removed the log but within a week she was trying to get hit by cars in the road, so the log went back on. It is heartbreaking to see her with this log on her leg, but sometimes it’s a relief because you know she won’t be terrorizing people any longer or endangering her own life.  Today she is log free and roaming everywhere. 

This is the lady with a log on her leg.  

However crazy she may be, she needs prayer. There are people everywhere that are disturbed either by mental illness or demons. Remember to be in prayer for these people and the people that are around you.  Maybe they don't act as obvious as people in our village may act, but you never know what goes on in others minds and souls.