Last week I received a letter with a very strange photo attached. The photo showed seven cows lying in a field, to the right in the distance another cow is grazing. Nothing odd you would think in that. However the seven cow were not resting, it was very clear from the photo - they were dead.
The dark brown cow with very large horns to the far left of the picture, I had seen before in another photo. In that other photo the cow was very much alive and next to it stood a very proud little Uganda girl with a big smile. From the letter I gather that all the cows were struck by lighting and that this had really effected the local people or as the letter said;
"this thing made all people to lose strength in Jesus Christ our Saviour".
I can only image what that really means for my sponsor child's family, only one of the cows was theirs but it was the only cow they owned.
For myself I was really bummed as it was purchases with gift money that I had sent them. If you read my blog you know I am "dealing with debt" but still sponsor several children in Africa and I try and budget to send over a cash gift each year. So why should something like this happen? It just doesn't seem fair!
Unfortunately this situation happens often to all of us in lots of different ways i.e. your car breaks down or your washing machine packs up etc. So we don't have dead cows but we usually have the washing machine included in some kind of insurance policy and we can afford to pay the garage to repair our car. But what can you do with a dead cow?
Of cause I wrote back and said that you can always get another cow - will need to check my budget to see how I can fit it in but is that really all it takes?
In December I am flying to Africa to met the children that I sponsor and am looking forward to the trip. It will give me better incite to their lives and needs. I have wondered if the money I have been spending for the trip wouldn't have been better spent as a cash gift? But I had promised the children I would visit by the end of 2008 and I don't believe in breaking promises, especially to a child.
I will take the photo back to Africa and find out what happened next but it goes to show that the best of intentions can fail for what seems no good reason. Does this mean we should give up! No fear! By the way, the letter (I quoted earlier) continued;
"But they then remembered that everything with God is possible"
I have a file full of the most wonderful, uplifting letters from my sponsor kids and each one has made me look at my life in a different way. They have so little and yet can in the face of tragedy still make me feel very humble.