a friend in need

It is complicated to know when to help and when to just listen.  In another culture it is more complicated because of different traditions and cultures of the area.  Sometimes you have to make a judgment call and then later you are criticized for that whether by other team members or by nationals.

When a friend is in need you want to help. But if you give too much money you cause dependency.  If you don’t give enough sometimes someone will die because they need medical attention. 

In my host culture I find that spousal abuse is normal. How frustrating.  But they do have limits.  When it gets out of hand what can a woman do?  She huddles in the corner protecting her infant as he beats her in his drunken rage.  Later she may even find the courage to fight back if she is strong and he is weak. But in the end he begins to get more and more angry especially when he’s drunk.  the next thing will be an axe or machete or something to threaten her life.  The local government does little to help. You can have a case and then he gets a lecture but usually these things are resolved in big family councils.  The most she can do is maybe run home but then he will get the rights to the kids.  They will remain in the home to be beaten and starve.

So she stays and endures it.  I want a better justice system that will prosecute him. I want a justice system that gives her rights, I want a place for her safety.  But all of this in the hands of the Lord.

There are so many extenuating circumstances but women’s rights are limited.  Polygamy is okay so he can just sleep around and never be punished. If she does so once it has dire consequences. Now she fears for herself and her children because of AIDS.  Yet what can she do?  Only trust the Lord.