Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trick Rider

Circus Week continues with this picture of a circus "Trick Rider". Usually these folks would ride in circles doing various tricks on the ponies. I can remember finding these parts of the circus entertaining, and less distressing than most of the other parts. You can probably tell I was not (and am not) a big fan of circuses.


We have gotten several comments and emails expressing hope and interest in hearing more about the Africa trip. To be honest, I had imagined writing clever and witty little things about the trip and to share with you the adventure as it unfolded. The truth is, that what I found over there was much different than what I had expected. As you are aware, my daughter, the Lovely Ms. EAM serves as a nurse/missionary for the Mattaw Children's village. Mattaw is like a little oasis of hope in the midst of a storm of misery. The children of Mattaw are loved, well cared for, happy, playful, and healthy children. This is because of the generosity of folks like you all, who give sacrificially to make such a place possible. The sad thing is that life is very different outside Mattaw. When we got there, Ms. EAM said, "Dad, there is something I have to show you". She took us to the slum of Kipsongo. Kipsongo has to be the saddest place on earth. If it is not, it is certainly the saddest place I have ever seen. Literally, there are people laying on the ground, covered with flies, and dying. The children are malnourished, living in squalor, and suffering from a variety of medical issues. 

As you walk through Kipsongo, the children want to touch you. Five children stand on each side of you, and each child holds one of your fingers and walks with you. The homes are made from mud, or sticks and garbage bags. It is a place of hopelessness, and I can remember my thought as I walked through there . . . "This is the place dreams come to die". You could see the things that people had done to try to make a difference there. There was a well with a hand pump, someone had tried to build latrines for the people, and out front was a little shop with a faded sign . . . the dream being that the women would make beaded jewelry and sell in the little shop.

So, I am really not talking abut the Africa trip because I am still trying to digest it. I am so proud of the work that the the Lovely Ms. EAM is doing there, but the challenges are so large, and the workers are so few. So, Mrs. PJM and I are pondering how we could contribute and how we could make a difference over there. The problems require more than simply sending more money . . . the problems require boots on the ground, and new ideas. So, I will not be talking much about Africa as I try and think about the issues.


  1. The problem with sending money or supplies is that the Warlords take every thing for themselves, and the starving people are in worse shape than before.

    another 8 letter verifi

  2. 23 above on it way to 33 above.

    another 8 letter, as usaul

  3. You are a "see the big picture guy." And you want to do something that will make a big difference. Please remember the "starfish" story. You can make a difference to "this one."

  4. Unfortunately, Kipsongo is only one of thousands of villages world wide in exactly the same condition.

    We individually can't help them all, but like Rebecca2 said, we can make a difference one at a time.

  5. This post, "Trick Rider," reminded me of a DVD I just watched two days ago-- Disney's "Toby Tyler."

  6. I'm sorry the visit was much different than you expected. Thank you for your honesty and sensitivity.

    7 degrees here in CT with a high of 18. No snow though!!!

  7. Jo in Myrtle BeachJanuary 16, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    LOVED the trick riders too - can remember wanting to be one of those beautiful ladies on a black stallion.

    33 here at the beach...on the way to 58 today

  8. Then let us all praise the Lord that he still smiles on white people as the master race. The people of Africa clearly must have done something to offend Him, right?

    Hey, did you also bring the starving kids some bibles?

    But back to the rednecks with their daily update what the temperature is.

  9. 1 Peter 4:12-19

    12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
    “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

  10. there are rednecks (down home, comfortable, caring) . . . and then there are REAL rednecks who are rude and crude. I liked your Bible reference and I so enjoy hearing about your daughter and the African mission and I like learning about all your other readers.

  11. This is the most disturbing post. How can one help? Please post an answer if you can find one.


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