One Drop

This kid epitomizes Liberia for me.
Another day I saw him with his shirt off.
He has an extreme outie and will probably
die. His family now has
a working water system.
Hopefully, it is not too late.
I wish I could change the channel, so I could stop looking. As they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” But this is not television. It’s reality. Not the fake kind manufactured by the networks. This is survival. It surrounds me. I can’t change the channel. I could go to another neighborhood, but it would more than likely be the same.

I see people who think they are sustaining themselves by eating cooked dirt they call chocolate. And nearly everyone is drinking water that is not safe. I see children with bloated bellies. They appear to receive enough nutrition, but they will die from waterborne diseases. A sure sign of  having one that is dangerous is a belly button pushed out. Think of an outie but one that pokes out one to two inches. It doesn’t matter whether you were born with an innie or outie; once the intestinal swelling starts to happen, the belly button is pushed out. The struggle of humanity surrounds me. I would weep if I could but here I am in the midst of it all.

I stand for a few minutes watching a soccer game as the team I am with is nearby training a family how to use a water filtration system we came over here to give to those in need. I can almost forget the pain and suffering. The community cheers. The players hustle and compete with one another. It’s just like back at home.

One drop.
When you think of household, don’t think of our houses and our families. Think extended. We just left a house with six rooms and a living room. Each of the six rooms houses a family consisting of five to nine people. Some of them, especially the younger ones, will probably be dead within a year. But maybe not in this house, as they will now have clean water. So the small house has somewhere around thirty-five to fifty people. Before that, I left a tiny house that housed fifteen. This house had two little kids that were scared of white people. And it had an electric box on the wall that once was used to provide electricity to the house. I took a picture of the outdated General Electric electric box with my General Electric camera. My camera was a cheap camera. It only cost me $80. We had forgotten to bring a camera on a vacation, so we bought an extra one. That money could feed these people for months and provide a water filtration system with some money left over.

Some kids watching the local soccer game.
Just a drop in the bucket. That’s all I feel like I am doing. I wish I had Bill Gates’ billions. I wish I could live here educating this post-civil war generation about how to have a better life. I wish I could help turn this sorrow into joy, death into life, despair into hope. God help us all. Those suffering and those too comfortable to help the suffering. We all need your help to be the people we were made to be.

Look closely and you can see rolls of
Liberian dirt. This dirt is cooked over
charcoal and then eaten. The
people in this neighborhood call
it chocolate.
I don’t want to paint too hopeless of a picture. These are good people. Hardworking. Friendly. Loving. This extreme poverty has brought out the best in humanity, although it does bring a set of vices all of its own. And as I look around, I see hope. I see people doing what it takes to survive. Enjoying a soccer game. Starting businesses. Living in community with one another. Building new homes. Growing food. Among the many tossed into the ashes by the few who fight for power, humanity strives on.

And I see other organizations here in Liberia besides Hope 2 Liberia. Many churches. A few secular organizations. More drops in the bucket. Another water system given. drip. A toy given to a kid who has absolutely nothing. drop. A Bible given. drip. A school started. drop. I wish I could do so much more. But together, I think we will fill this bucket one drop at a time.

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Revelation 22:17 ESV).

That ball is out of bounds. How do you know?
You know when it crosses the out of bounds ditch.

The crowd at the soccer game.

The useless General Electric power box.

The view from the goalie. Note that it is not a net. Just a fence between two posts.