|Our son with Dati's little one|
We were in the middle of a team meeting, but when Dati arrived, she pulled up a chair and started to tell us the latest update in her painful saga with her husband. We have mentioned it before in previous posts. It was an arranged marriage (not unusual here), but her mom didn’t do enough research about the guy. In short, he is not a good guy. He showed Dati no love or affection, got her pregnant right away, but quickly stopped providing for her (which is the father’s responsibility especially during pregnancy and until the child is weaned). Instead he left her, stripped the house of anything he paid for, has offered no food or money and to add insult to injury, he has publicly questioned whether she was a virgin before they married- seriously shaming her in Island culture. Dati is a sweet woman. She is not hot tempered. She is a hard worker. She wants to trust in God as her island faith tells her to.
When all this started to happen, she was naturally upset. But she told us that she would keep looking to God and she would seek justice for herself and her baby. She started by going through mediators. She didn’t see her husband but talked to his relatives. A few times during the pregnancy she got money for food this way. Then she gave birth but even with the mediators she wasn’t able to get any help for the birth or for baby supplies. The mediators started avoiding her.
But she was confident that it was her right to be provided for, so she went to the courts. They went back and forth, until it seemed like the courts had agreed that her husband must pay. The only remaining question had been how much. They were supposed to do some research into what a reasonable amount would be. She seemed content with the outcome but it was obvious that she was holding a lot of bitterness for her now ex-husband. He was like an animal to her. She assured me that God would deal with him in the last days. I warned her to watch her heart. I told her that anger can ruin your heart. She assured me that she wouldn’t lose her temper or start fights. Before I could clarify what I meant we were interrupted and she had to leave.
So here Dati was with a chair pulled up to our group. I was expecting her to say that an amount had been decided and that it was finally over. Instead she told me that her case had been handed to a new judge who hadn’t been given any paperwork or explanations of the previous meetings, instead he just ruled against her, throwing out her case. Another typical example of the island justice system.
She was completely disheartened. She said she wasn’t going to appeal or go back to the courts. She was going to just trust in God. We shared our sadness at her news, at the darkness in the world and in our own confidence that God could provide for her. But then her face hardened as she told us, “Yes, all the students and the religious leader at the neighborhood religious school are going to pray down a curse on him.” These curses are supposed to be very powerful, causing the person to die or go insane. She said this with satisfaction and seemed to think that we would be happy with this course of action. She knew that we trusted in God, isn’t that what she is doing?
|Megan home from surgery|
Though it got off to a late start yesterday, Megan’s surgery went smoothly. She got out the same day, but was feeling pretty groggy on the way home. Friends in Kenya and even new friends we have just met have been of great assistance to us, watching kids, giving us meals, helping us out with rides and internet. We have been greatly blessed. Our island coworker’s surgery went well too and he is back on his feet and back to the islands. The orientation course is going well. Our other teammate got her new passport and our kids are enjoying their time in Kenya.
Pray that during this week Megan can take it easy and get back to full health. An American organization on the islands lost one of their members to illness this past week. It was sudden and completely unexpected. Pray for the family, friends and members of that organization. Pray for a short termer who will be joining us in February. She is both excited and nervous. Pray that all her preparations will go well and that her time with us will be blessed. We have a printing project that we trying to get done while off the islands, pray that the logistics would come together for it. Pray for Dati that her heart would be filled with light even in these dark circumstances.