Monday, July 22, 2013

All Consuming Fire

Yesterday was probably the most thrilling day I have had this summer in Mumena. Yesterday morning on my way over to have breakfast at the Love’s, one of their huge pigs had gotten out of the pig pin and was running around in their yard. I went to get some help to put it back in its pin. After putting it up I helped Karen feed and water the pigs. I ran inside and had a quick breakfast and we all loaded up for church.
When we arrived at the church they told Rick that he was going to be doing the lesson and asked if he needed a translator. He said no. I think they were kind of surprised. He did the whole lesson in Kii-Kaonde (the local language). Lydia sat next to me and drew in my journal a picture of Noah’s ark.
Lydia's drawing of Noah's ark
After church we headed home and I was just thinking of how nice it was going to be to have an afternoon off to relax. When we got back I did the dishes while Karen got lunch ready. Rick had gone outside for something and he could see a fire that was fairly close to Humphrey’s house and farm. Humphrey had gone to church with us and was going to have lunch with us. Rick told Humphrey he had better go and check to make sure that his family’s farm and house was okay. I could hear crackling and popping from inside the house even with the water running so I knew it had to be close. I walked outside and could see smoke all around.
Rick ran up to the top of the kizaza (a hut on top of an old termite mound) to make sure that it wasn’t going on their fields. I climbed to the top of the kizaza to see everything and I could tell it was a lot bigger than any of the other grass fires I had seen. Rick ran down and broke off a branch and started walking down towards their field and called Humphrey to help, who had reported back that his house and fields were all safe and it had just passed them.
Karen and the kids all wanted to see also so they all climbed up to the top of the kizaza where I was at. All of the sudden the flames got very close to their fields and got very large so Karen asked if I could stay up with the kids. She ran down and ripped off a huge branch from one of the trees. After that happened I knew that it was very serious! I was standing at the top watching huge flames come closer and closer. Rick, Karen, Humphrey, and Carlos were hitting the grass that was on fire with all their might to stop it from getting any closer to their fields. All of the sudden to my opposite side, closer to the house I heard more crackling. I looked over and more of the fire had spread! Karen ran that way to try to stop the fires and Humphrey started to yell up to me to get the kids down before it possibly could become unsafe. I grabbed Caleb and Emily and carried them down with Lydia trailing right behind. On our way down Karen asked if I could help. The kids ran to their house. Humphrey grabbed me a huge branch and we went running towards the fire. All the things I knew about fires started running through my head. When I go to the fire I started beating it and I could feel the heat as the fire grew bigger and bigger. I had no idea how to properly and efficiently put out a grass fire besides calling 911 and lots of water which neither of the two were really an option, so I just continued to beat it with all my might. I kept thinking to myself… well I do have one skill that I know to help with fires and that is… to stop drop and roll if I were to have fire on myself but that wasn’t very helpful either for putting out a fire. Hehe
We were able to stop the fire on one side because there was a fire-guard (which is a line of preplanned burnt grass to prevent fires from passing that point). But we had the other side, which was a lot closer to their house and thatched fence. Me, Karen, Humphrey, and Carlos were there until it finally stopped.
Rick had said to one of the men, “God’s fire is going to be much bigger, so each person must be ready before Jesus comes”.
One of the houses that the chief had given the missionaries here called “the pink palace” the fire had gotten very close to also. Rick and the two boys (Humphrey and Carlos) were able to help a family near that house. They saved their two cows (one which was pregnant). It was pretty ironic because those same people who they helped saved their cows were the same people who had been letting their goats go wherever they wanted. They had been destroying everyone’s fields. Just earlier that morning they had destroyed the crops that a group from the states had planted to test to see how it would grow. So they could help the people in the area to better their gardens. But even though they had been destructive Rick and the boys still helped them.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
We were going around to try to help everyone around that needed help. Loveness (one of the teachers), who had been causing a lot of trouble in the community. We were told that they needed help at her house. We were in the car and we zoomed over to her house.  She was out of town. Her whole maize pile caught on fire and her pig pins all caught on fire. By the time people got there to help two pigs were chard to death and basically the whole maize pile was chard. Someone said that it’s nice as Christians to be able and willing to get the chance to even help our enemies.
            “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also….But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:27-35

Here are some pictures from the day:
The Love's field
Me and Humphrey watching the fire burn up his school's farm
Me beating the fire

Once was a white it is black

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