We try to be a voice of reason and love in our community, but certainly our patience runs very thin with this issue. We try to be respectful of cultural differences, but this is an accepted part of this culture that is sinful and hateful.
On Sunday Kelly was supposed to be preaching at our teammate's church. The family was dressed and ready to go when a woman arrived at our gate covered in blood. It is quite a complicated situation and we always find that if you dig into family and community dynamics both sides of every story are always pretty messed up. Everyone is busy sinning against everyone else. However, that never gives anyone the right to start throwing punches, branches, or bricks.
What Kelly found at the hospital where he took the woman to have stitches and get a medical report done so she could file a complaint was even more discouraging... disturbing... terrifying. The emergency room was packed with people with a broad range of serious injuries, and all of them the result of violence over the weekend. Another woman was there because she had been beaten by her husband, and she died there as Kelly and Nelvin (one of our Ciyanjano staff) waited with our neighbor to be seen. There were a doctor and nurse only, serving this hellish waiting room. Oh, and there was one person working at mopping blood all around the floor.
This experience was a good reminder of why the CROSS project is so important in this community. Andy and Jen Ott, John Chitambo, and Eta Imusiku visit churches teaching about a Christlike approach to HIV/AIDS and they now also teach on Gender-Based Violence. The curriculum is very well done and SO necessary. Please pray for our CROSS staff as they seek to build up the Zambian church in this, and pray for our whole team as we shine our lights for Jesus in this violent culture.
|UCZ Leadership and the CROSS team with Nelson and Linda Reed|
|Graduate from CROSS receiving his certificate and Bible|
|Graduation for CROSS at Chilnje UCZ|