Sara Part Two…
Once Sara had been scrubbed clean, I put clean clothes on her and soon after I was told by a woman that she had clothing.
“Where is Sara’s clothing?” I asked.
“Down that way…by the Catholic Church!” She shouted.
I asked Sara to show me where her belongings were. We began to walk to the other end of the village, about a quarter of a mile away, where she led me to a large mango tree next to the Catholic Church and the local schoolhouse. Lying in the dirt, under the tree was her soiled clothing, her tattered blankets and a horrid stench. We began bundling it all up into a large cloth, while the school children watched on, talking with interest, and wondering what on earth Mama Camden was up to today. We marched the bundle back down to the fountain near our house and began to draw water for laundry.
At the end of the day we made a bed in our outdoor kitchen area where Sara slept. In the morning, Sara woke with a seizure. She has seizures almost everyday if she is not taking medication. That day we visited the hospital in the village not only to get a prescription for the medication she needs for seizures, but also because she was suffering from an STD that had been transferred to her because she had been raped. The STD was causing her an incredible amount of pain and suffering. The hospital began to give her a round of shots that week which cleared her problem and I later found the seizure medication in town the following day.
The early weeks after meeting Sara she was in a state of recovery from having lived on the streets and on her own with needs that require intentional care. She was in a crisis and recovery phase. Sara sews stitches in fabric in a repetitive way, she repeats the same phrases over and over all day, she is particular about things and where they are placed, her days and her thoughts repeat themselves over and over again. So, she sat by me while I worked with the women of Mama Vao Vao and she stitched designs.
One important part of Sara’s story is that most everyone in the village has known Sara since she was young. Sara has a history with just about everybody, and while the history is mostly broken and torn apart, village life has a place for Sara at the lowest part of the community. And now suddenly with our involvement in Sara’s life everyone is forced to take a real look at their own treatment of her and the reality that Sara faces in her life.
Sara goes through periodic fits of rage, and she can be stressful to be around. There are many days when she seems to want to only cause strife in the village, and in our yard. She does not show gratitude for acts of kindness that she receives, and she often barks orders at people trying to help her. Some wonderful people have given money to build Sara a small house next to ours, but she often tells us she wants to go back to the streets, or go over to that “other village”. She does not know how to ask for food, but instead yells out to the everyone around that her “white family” is starving her. This can all be at times terribly frustrating, and other times quite humorous. What it consistently shows our family is a dim reflection of our own relationship with God. Sara’s illogical and ignorant rebellion reminds and convicts us of how we often treat our Father.
Sara has been with us now for several months, and we are still figuring out the best way for our family to serve and care for her. We are encouraged by the difference in attitude the village has towards her, especially the women of Mama Vao Vao… some of them even help occasionally with bathing and dressing Sara. Please continue to pray for her; that God, whose wisdom surpasses all understanding, would draw her to Himself with the same grace and mercy that he shows us everyday.