Feb 04 2012
Dust and Flowers

For those who are knitting, or crocheting, for mothers and their babies in Afghanistan, I wanted to give you a little glimpse into lives of the women you are serving. I wrote this during my first trip to Kabul two years ago. Please know you are doing something I believe is very near the heart of God.

I'm so excited!  I can't breathe!

I wish the second sentence had to do with the first, but...no.  I "can't breathe" because Kabul is dust.  Dust, at high altitude, mixed with a heapin' helpin' of good ol' fashioned pollution, just like the kind grandma used to make when she set all the neighborhood tires on fire.  

Good times.

It's equally true, though, that I'm very excited.  Rain can tamp down the particulate matter, and rain is a rare thing here... but it rained last night.  And rain, in a place like this, can mean little flowers, almost instantly popping up in the ever-present brown-ness of things.  And little flowers, growing in acres of tragic, land-mined dust, mean God is not through with this place yet. 

And, my friends, He is not.  

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A little girl, maybe 10, is carried in by her mother to CURE's hospital here.  She is burned from her chest down.  Her abdomen, the insides of her arms, the insides of her legs.   She is burned in this curious manner, because she hugged a heating stove, as tightly as she could.  She wanted to die.  It was the only way she could figure out of her life of abuse, and her upcoming marriage to another abuser.

It gets sadder:  CURE's doctors knew what she did, because she's not the first they've seen with these burn patterns.

Women, more grown-up women, set themselves on fire here, trying to get out.  Read about it yourself, sometime.  It is hardly uncommon.  They suffer in ways that American men or women simply cannot understand.  I can't unpack all of this in a blog entry, and have only recently really begun to take it in, myself, but this is life here:  It is, for a great deal of the population, for women and children, often worse than death.  (CURE's hospital here, in the name of Jesus, not only gives women knowledge, it gives them hope, even training them to become doctors.)

Babies are hope, and babies are meaning, and women here often lose all three.  In fact, the infant mortality rate is among the highest on the planet.  What's more, doctors here tell me: the maternal mortality rate is also at the top.  Moms give birth at home, have no heathcare, no medical advice, and no one with any knowledge helping them.  Their babies so often die, and often, as they get back to work immediately -- literally, immediately -- after giving birth, so do they.  

And dust returns to lifeless, colorless dust.

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But, like I say, it rains here sometimes, and little flowers pop up, and, my friends, God has not left the building.  Or stable, if you will.  He knows about being born in dust.  He knows about poor mothers, about their tears, and about turning mourning into dancing.  He knows about little girls with horrific burn patterns.  And His Kingdom is about setting things right.

Did I mention it rained here last night?  

This story ain't over.

Comments (11) -

2/5/2012 7:38:20 AM
Kathi United States
Kathi
Can you give a little more information about the knitting/crocheting for the women and babies?  Is CURE accepting items?  I may be able to get some people organized.
2/5/2012 12:30:53 PM
nicolej (: United States
nicolej (:
I don't know what to say. I am in shock. what kathi said - how do we do the crocheting thing? I don't know how to knit but I can learn.
2/5/2012 6:01:02 PM
:) United States
:)
for information about knitting, how to knit, and information like that please visit this website:
http://cure.org/knit?community=air1

2/6/2012 4:23:14 PM
Melanie United States
Melanie
Wow Praise God....I wish I would of known about this before, I just sent my knitted hats off... I feel like the words of encouragement I sent are ok..but now knowing this I feel like I could of said soo much more. Thank you soo much for sharing Brant... if you could when you go back if your allowed give those children a hug from me. I would love to go see them and see what God is doing there. Thank you for going though.  
2/7/2012 12:28:19 AM
Diana United States
Diana
Can you give them a hug from me when you go there?
2/7/2012 4:44:18 PM
FRANCISCO United States
FRANCISCO
at a loss for words!!!!!!!!! god bless
2/8/2012 7:11:27 AM
Judy United States
Judy
What a way to have to live. May God bless the work that is being done to shine a light into all of their lives. I'll be praying that life gets better for the women/children there.
2/11/2012 1:06:01 PM
Cindy United States
Cindy
Praise Him for the hospital, Praise HIm for Knit pray love, I pray my little baby hat gets to who He needs it to..and the shawl maybe to the same or the babe's mom, if not orphaned...I pray , my prayer shawl ministry group and church pray, Zion Lutheran, God loves sees , He will touch lives hearts..Now to find the address to mail the shawl and baby hat I crocheted and prayed over and knitted..so it will bless someone there.Amen
2/14/2012 2:25:09 PM
Karen United States
Karen
God is not done here...I was just reading this and Word of God Speak by Kutless was playing...and I felt the Holy Spirit rain down as I was listening...this has really touched me.  I don't remember how to knit, but I'm going to ask my Mom to show me how.  We don't realize how blessed we are until the Holy Spirit touches us with things like this.  Brant, God bless you for your efforts in blessing these mothers and children.
2/15/2012 5:10:58 PM
lydia United States
lydia
We use scripture to critically review " Christian" music lyrics.

http://www.lyricaldowngrade.com

2/16/2012 7:08:50 PM
Tom United States
Tom
This comment is about the radio discussion of a few days ago about speeding. Here is where I stand, and I hope it clears things up for you and others.

Yes, it's about submitting to authority and not speeding. But for me it's about my story. I was like most other drivers, who commonly speed, often a little and sometimes alot. But as a young believer in college I was making the 3 hour late night drive back to school from a weekend at home ... and I wanted it to be shorter, so when I hit the long stretches of lonely road I opened it up and hit 75-80 mph. I passed a Highway Patrol on the side who lit it up and came after me, about a mile away, at first around a curve where he couldn't see me.

I knew the road, and I decided to evade him by turning my lights out and heading down an offramp, and then lights on again. It didn't work and he was on me, coming to rest directly behind me at the 2-way stop. I knew I was busted, and ready to get my speeding ticket ... until it happened.

Crossing directly in front of me, a lowrider ran the stop sign. And the policeman pulled out and went after him instead. And I knew, at that moment, as I was sweating .50 cal bullets, was that God's grace was working to teach me a big lesson ... to STOP SPEEDING.

From that time on, I've driven the speed limit, everywhere. And this is the crux of my message to you and others: It's not about submission to authorities, but it's about the guilt. Anyone who speeds feels it. Maybe you don't recognize it all the time, but when that patrol car pulls up in your rear view you automatically slow down. Why? Because you are guilty and don't want to get caught. Guilty.

I can testify for years now that I drive with a clean conscience, without guilt, and its AWESOME. Try it, see how you feel. I see police cars and smile. They have nothing on me! I have even PASSED a police car on the freeway when I knew I was driving the speed limit and they were 5 below it, and they couldn't do a thing abou it!!!

Drive without guilt, it's wonderful and will make your rides so nice. What will help is if you plan your life, and take responsibility when you are late that it's YOUR fault and not to try and fix it by speeding .....  
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