Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Yesterday as I was studying French, an explosion took the lives of two people. It happened about 300 meters from where I sat.
Then, it was quiet.
I didn't hear an barrage of sirens. I didn't see a single flashing light emanating from the spot where two families' lives were devastated.
Surely, there was some sort of response...but I didn't see any evidence of it.
Conakry really needs infrastructure.

We ran out of water again today. It happens often. I am grateful that we have a small tank to tide us over since water only comes to this area 3 days a week...hopefully... for several hours at a time. But our tank runs out on the off days and we're left without water like all of our neighbors.
Conakry really needs clean, reliable water.

Whenever I make a meal my kids run a plate down to the guard. Today, as I sat outside visiting with a couple of our helpers, I mentioned wondering if they ever thought what we sent down was too gross to eat and just threw it away without telling! I thought it was funny, but they were both taken aback. "We would never throw away food!," they both responded. Of course they wouldn't...I knew that. I wish I hadn't spoken so foolishly.
Conakry really needs affordable, healthy food.

Every day I see kids walk to school in simple brown uniforms. They walk past twice as many kids their age who can only watch. They're too poor to go to school. I spoke to a local man who makes about 150 US dollars a month working 48 hours a week. He spends 20 percent of that on school for his kids. He has hope for them.
I wish every child in Conakry could go to school.

The condition for animals here is indescribable. I love life: human and animal. What I see every day in Conakry sickens me. The strays are wounded and diseased and suffering and abundant. I hate it. I miss seeing normal, healthy dogs. Dogs with a collar and an owner. Dogs who can walk on all 4 of their legs. Dogs without gaping wounds. Dogs without mange. I miss that.
Conakry really

The needs here are so great.
Yet, out of all the things that Conakry needs ,in my opinion, the thing they need most greatly is justice. A lot of people have, wrongly, I think, thought that all Africa needs is more money, more resources. I thought that too---until I came here. I recently heard that the amount of money that has been sent to Africa is in the trillions. But little has changed.

I spoke with an insightful older man yesterday. He was talking about an article he read that made this very point: Until a place had justice, little else could be accomplished.
I've seen this. The people here are frightened of their military, distrusting of their police, lack confidence in their government, and suspicious of one another.

America isn't perfect and I know we have our own issues, but we have justice. Just let a camera catch a policeman beating a person--guilty, or innocent. No one will stand for it! You'll have an angry mob on your hands. For that matter, just try to handle any problem in America with violence. You can go to jail!
Not here. It is just the way it works. I rarely leave my house that I don't witness someone being beaten.
When money comes into our country, Americans want to know where every cent is going. Is there corruption? Of course. But, in America corrupt acts are hidden or else we get all riled up, and the media blaze in to get their story. Not here. The corrupt are not afraid of the people. They find safety in keeping the people poor. I don't mean necessarily financially, but poor in their minds.

I have no witty solution in this post. No cute conclusion. The problem is just too great.
But even where there is no justice, there is hope:

Ezekiel 34:16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.
Jeremiah 9:22 ...I AM the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.


  1. WOW, this is moving and fantastic writing. I smell a book deal.

  2. The writing, is indeed, good, but the message is greater - the need is greater. You are there for a reason and you may not, yet, have discovered it. It will be revealed. God has given you a heart for the people and you will find a way to be a minister and a missionary.