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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Team Bundi

Bundibugyo is, no two ways about it, a rough place, where decay has too long reigned. Insects are re-feasting on our exposed ankles, something dead reeks from the attic. Mothers are inadvertently sending their children closer to death by administering harmful herbal dehydrating enemas. Jealousy and deceit manipulate and enslave. Corruption abounds. The honest flee. The mutilated body of a child sacrificed in witchcraft was found last week, and there were rumors of intertribal conflict threatening to erupt. Evil has a strong sway.

Enter team Bundi, holding on, holding out. Like Gideon, the Johnsons have seen God send away most of their troops over their short 13-month reign. And like Gideon, we'd like some sign that He still intends victory with this fragment of the force. Because it is draining and depressing to say goodbye, again and again, to pick up loose ends, to clean up one more house, to pile on more responsibility. Pressure=Force/per unit Area, we remember from physics. In a high-force environment like this one, as the area for dispersing all that trouble shrinks, pressure sky-rockets. This team needs more members, soon.

As we prayed for our team, our hearts were led to Mark 14, where Jesus points out the widow who gave all she had to live on, into the Temple treasury. Bill Black spoke on this passage at his mother's funeral a few weeks ago, and thanks to his posting, the Spirit has been impressing it on our hearts as well. Our best efforts at Kijabe Hospital feel like two mites, inadequate contributions. And this team is certainly giving all they have for life, but in the face of the gaping hole of Bundibugyo needs, it is infinitesimally disproportionate. A scant three or four people where there used to be a dozen or more, juggling student riots and medicine shortages, broken equipment and thin finances.

Yet the encouragement of this passage is three-fold. First, Jesus sees. Jesus appreciates. He knows this team is giving all, and He takes it quite personally, saying "when you did it for one of the least of these, you did it for me." That is enough, making the work here inherently valuable. But Jesus does not stop there. He multiplies the mite's impact. Just as He took the ridiculously inadequate five loaves and broke them to feed thousands, He takes the efforts of this team and miraculously multiplies them to bless the nations. This is the principle of redemption, the seed that dies to produce fruit, the one life for the many. Until the New Heavens and New Earth we will hear the groans and barely imagine just what reclamation is being wrought by Team Bundi. And lastly, Jesus provides. Somehow there are enough baskets of bread not only for the multitude but also for the disciples. Somehow we made it through all those years here with four fantastic kids, and friendships and sanity mostly intact. Somehow the Johnsons and Anna still have a modicum of humor and health. Somehow Christ School had the highest number of grade 1 passes ever in an otherwise topsy-turvy year. Somehow, even in the last week, a new family was approved to come and join the struggle.

Love always wins. Redemption will come fully. But for those like Team Bundi waiting with eager expectation for that hope to be revealed, most days are more permeated by the cloud and earthquake of the crucifixion than the quiet glory of the resurrection. Please pray for the approving voice of Jesus ring clear in their hearts, for a glimpse of the way He is multiplying their sacrifice, for a taste of the abundance of HIs provision when they feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

1 comment:

Heather Pike Agnello said...

This one made me cry. I no longer know a single soul on the Bundi team, but I love anyone who loves Bundibugyo. Tell them thank you for me, and that we are praying.