Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Should I Give Her Rich As I Am?

September 17, 2008

Zulma comes to my house regularly to visit. Often at the end of our visit she asks for meat or clothing in exchange for mandioca. Yesterday Zulma had her 7th baby. Zulma is 30 years old and her oldest, 15 years lives with her mother. Life is hard for Zulma and Pedro and the 6 kids (ranging from 9 years to newborn) in their care. Pedro works on someone else’s field and brings home just enough food for that day. They gather and drink water from the nearby creek (where they also wash their clothes); they cook all meals in one pot over an open fire, and the have a dilapidated outhouse. They live in a dirt floored 14x14 foot house that is divided into two rooms. Pedro plus two kids sleep on one of the beds, three kids sleep on the other bed and Zulma and baby sleep together on the third bed. The only other furniture in the house is a small round table where a TV sits. What little clothes they have are stuffed into chicken feed bags or are hanging in plastic bags mailed to the walls.

Jeff and I and the kids went to congratulate Zulma and welcome the newest addition who doesn’t yet have a name. In the states I always liked to sign up to bring new moms meals – a warm main dish and a side dish, plus salad and dessert. I brought Zulma dinner too, but I brought it in a different form. As a baby gift we gave her one of our chickens - alive! They can use it for eggs, sell it for cash or eat it. They were very happy with the gift and said they would eat well tonight.

Ginny carrying the baby gift - the chicken is inside the sack

Zulma and her new baby boy

Taken at Zulma's place


Abbie said...

What a great baby gift and what a humbling thing to think about. I need to realize how blessed I am to have "only" two bedrooms... So did they eat the chicken straight away or did they save it for eggs? (or sell it?)

Leah Lane said...

Hi Amy! Sarah told me about your site! What a blessing you and your family are to others! I will love keeping up with your family and will keep you in my prayers.
Leah (Jacobs) Lane

Max said...

"Give & it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together...
This is what I thought as I read the last couple of posts. As you are giving, the kids are learning and THEY are giving .... and God is giving to you..... It's pretty AWESOME when we walk like He did --Pretty challenging at times also. Thanks for being you and for raising our grandkids in such a godly way. We are SO pleased with how ya'll are BEING the fragrance of Christ in Paraguay. We are humbled by your example. Keep on pointing us to Jesus.
We love and miss ya'll.
Oh, I got my birthday package of Paraguayan tea today! Wish ya'll were here to share it with! The weather has just gotten cold, so I may have to drink it as "mate" (hot) instead of "terere" (cold)!
Skype us when you get a chance
Hugs to all,
Oma & Opa

Pastor John said...

Chickens are great - so useful.

For Pedro:But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
Leviticus 25:4

I am NOT joking.

Please have your husband give this man some counsel. My wife is from Paraguay and I understand that Zulma & Pedro's situation is not rare, but a little instruction goes a long way.