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Strauss Itinerary
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2/18
On the ship
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Patient Screening

2/19
Liberian President Visits

2/21
Surgery Begins

3/28
Leave Liberia


Encourage
Glenn and Kim

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News from South Africa

To those who have obtained
like precious faith with us by the righteousness
of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ


II Peter1:1

 

Glenn and I wanted to write and tell you about a place here in South Africa that we have recently visited.  We came to this place because this Government has been overwhelmed with the cataract back log coming in from this area.  The area is called Khayelitsha, which means "New Home".  It is a 6 mile by 6 mile sea of wall to wall makeshift shacks made of tin and scrap wood.  Each home is about 6'x6', some a bit larger and others are more lean-tos. Yet they continue to come.  They are blacks coming into the big city to find work.  Some have.  We saw men dressed in suits arriving off the train to go home.  We saw students in uniforms walking home.  But, 80% are unemployed. And, there are a million and half living there!

khayleisha

Many here are Christian.  About 2% are Muslim. But, they keep there ancient traditions alive here.  If there is a wedding, the bride's family still brings a live cow and sacrifices it at the house ( and then cooks it for all) to signify their blessing the marriage!  Evidently, there has been a lot on the media here protesting this type of thing and political cartoons drawn about it.

khayleisha

As we drove through parts of it, it looked a lot like conditions in Liberia where the ship is now.  But, this government has been able to supply them with portapotties that run into the sewer system and near them is access to tap water!  Way better...but you wouldn't want to live there!  They also have there markets selling everything and anything they can get their hands on or make.  One table ( no , I didn't take a picture) was neatly lined with donkey heads, fur and all!  Another had various entrails and another cow hooves attached to 18" of leg!  Bathing outside was a must, but in their rainy season, their houses leak anyway. Because they cook over open fires, many fires break out in these areas.  One broke out this week.  Usually these spread rapidly because of how close all the places are built and last time, 25 people died!  The government has begun to build Habitat style housing , but they cannot keep up with the influx of people and 10 more go up overnight!

kim

Psalms 61:2 says " When my heart is overwhelmed, Lead me to the rock that is higher than I".  That is what we are praying concerning Mercy Ships' part in helping these people.  We have talked to government Ministers of Health, hospitals, ophthalmologists and CEOs about how to meet the need.  All say that there IS a need.  All say that the government cannot take care of it. All say that it affects each family who has a blind person because often that is the person who is taking care of the children or the one who would be working if they were not blind. But, it is overwhelming need!

Mercy Ships knows we cannot bring the ship here.  So, Glenn and I , with the South African office for Mercy Ships are working on a solution using the resources we have.  And we are praying for whether or not God wants us involved at all. Please pray with us about this daunting task.

The good news is that we have found many who are of like in precious faith who are poised and ready to help.  This is encouraging. They would like to see the kingdom expanded in their country. They would like an answer this year ( preferably before March so they can start planning).  The Lord is our higher Rock.  Pray He leads us.

We have our meeting with the South African Board soon to discuss what we have learned. We will be leaving here to travel to England on Tuesday.

The Lord bless you and keep you in His Peace,

Glenn and Kim