Monday, September 1, 2008

Mushali Bwino dear friends!

Stay well women of Kamfinsa Prison...

It has been a privilege to spend time with the female inmates of Kamfinsa this year. Some friends and family donated money to support a yearly donation to the female section thru TEEZ (the organization where I work). The inmates rely on the kindness of others for daily provision (prisoners receive nshima twice a day, but if they want anything else, it must come from well-wishers). The parcels included washing powder, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, pens and paper.

I tried to explain this to some neighbor boys, sweet Mazungus from California, but they think that washing powder is a rather miserly gift.

These women didn’t think so. They danced. Everything is a celebration in Zambia, so as always, the distribution of items included drums and singing and dancing.

I preached a short message from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4, that lovely little passage that reminds us that we are all fragile vessels, jars of clay, tenderly and meticulously created by a loving God. The women were especially animated (Pentecostals would love this place) when I spoke of our weakness and brokenness and the hope we have in a God who forgives and redeems. There were a few women in the back of the church that looked on with skepticism and what I really wanted to do was go back there and sit down and say, “Girls, believe me, bring on your doubts and fears. This world is madness.” These women have been disappointed, abandoned, and every day they taste the gall of their own regrets. And yet, even here, God is present. Hope is a precious thing. Mushali Bwino dear friends.

15 comments:

Peg said...

OK - request granted. I love seeing your photos. It's so clear you love being with these women and the others you post.

allison said...

We are very spoiled by your blog...spoonfed-treasures, bountiful rewards, without a price. It's easy to take-take-take and not give! I especially appreciate the reminders of the smells, sounds, sights of a magical place which is difficult to conger up from memory until I see it on your site. Thank you! It's easy to see why the Zambians said they will miss you terribly.

jennifer anne said...

I stalk you daily. I love your pictures. Are you paying attention to US News? ACK! The republicans, due respect, are in my town right now. It's kind of nuts.
I put five Obama signs in my yard to make sure folks knew where I stood.

Tonyalynne said...

hello dear cousin...like the previous posts, i too feel spoiled by your every word and picture from this blog. keep writing.

and see you soon...

Emily said...

me too me too... Carms you paint the blogging canvas beautifully!

epicmsu said...

Such a blatant request for comments, but it must be granted. I hope you realize the joy it is to read your updates and see the sights.

Becca said...

Carmen-love, I have LOVED reading this blog and your emails through this last year. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all. I'll be sad to lose my Zambia-fix when you come home! :) But we'll be glad to have you back.

Sarah said...

Carms
I always look at your blog and am simply amazed at the things you experince in Zambia. I miss you!
love
sarah

Alissa Maxwell said...

Yes, you KNOW I am a reader of all posts, but I totally feel your pain, wondering "does anybody read this stuff?" We do! We do! It always surprises me when someone tells me "I love reading your blog." I figure it's just my parents. =)

Rochelle said...

Car-Love all your posts and pictures! I am excited for your adventures ahead, but looking forward to having you back on the North American continent! Enjoy your travels and be safe!

Brett & Shelly Faucett said...

Hey Carmen,

We love you, love you, love you, love you and can't wait to see you. It is amazing all the things you've seen and done in Zambia. The place and the people will always be in your heart as you will be in theirs. You have a wonderful way of writing that makes the reader feel like they are walking the journey with you. As missionaries we go out to help transform the world and end up being transformed ourselves. You will come back now with a different perspective on life and will see things in a different way. Oh, yeah in case I forgot to tell you, we love you!!!!

Love
Brett

Brett & Shelly Faucett said...

Hey Carmen,

We love you, love you, love you, love you and can't wait to see you. It is amazing all the things you've seen and done in Zambia. The place and the people will always be in your heart as you will be in theirs. You have a wonderful way of writing that makes the reader feel like they are walking the journey with you. As missionaries we go out to help transform the world and end up being transformed ourselves. You will come back now with a different perspective on life and will see things in a different way. Oh, yeah in case I forgot to tell you, we love you!!!!

Love
Brett

Carmen Goetschius said...

Ummmm.... Thanks guys. I feel a bit of an idiot requesting comments in my last email, but like Alissa, I was thinking "Does anyone even read all this crap?" On a whim and in a rush I added the unabashed appeal. So thanks people for responding!!! :-)

Love to you all! Thanks for your support friends! A little sheepishly, Carmen

David Hallgren said...

Hi Carmen,
I hope you continue to write when you are traveling and back in NYC. It is wonderful to hear of your adventures. We still look at Anna's map and point to Zambia where Carmen lives! Love the blog!

Tonyalynne said...

no need for sheepish-ness...btw, are you catching any of the political debates here? they are totally addicting...