PET MO-Columbia update 7/22/13

Goal to date: 1044 Actual to date: 1054

Memories of a little girl with polio: I am thankful that I still have the
ability to remember. Twenty years ago the board of Habitat for Humanity, on
which I served, met in Uganda. Warren & Joan Sawyer and I were asked to go a
week ahead and travel through Malawi evaluating the work of Habitat in that
country. We found it to be a beautiful country with beautiful but
poverty-stricken people making the simple little Habitat houses out of
Cinva-Ram blocks. They were using roofing tiles shaped like the red roofing
tiles of Latin America, but made of concrete. They were doing a fine job,
and our report was positive.

We stopped one day at an open country rural school. It had a grass roof
and open sides, a dirt floor. Large blocks of dried mud served as
desks–with the children sitting on the ground. It had one small chalkboard
and no chalk. It had only one very frayed textbook in the entire village.

Teaching was done by the “rote” method. The teacher would say the
equivalent of “dog is spelled d-o-g.” The entire school would respond in a
LOUD voice, “dog is spelled d-o-g.” We could hear them a half mile away. The
entire countryside was well educated.

There was one teacher for the 80 bright eyed, responsive and very well
behaved children. The building held only 40, so half would be doing their
lesson while the others sat outside waiting. Of course, we had to take a
photo, so they all came outside. They carried out a lovely little girl about
8 years old who had polio. She sat in the midst of my photo. I left money
for a wheelchair for her, and she has been in my memories all these years.

The rest of the story:

This week’s mail brought the report that our Partner PET Zambia (next
door to Malawi) had delivered a truckload of PETs to Malawi. They went to the KODO Ministry headed by a Mr. George Chimpiko, who himself is disabled. He invests much of his time making sure that disabled persons are provided with mobility and an education.

These are the amazing kinds of partners that PET has around the world. If we get the resources to them, they become our agents of love. Mr. Chimpiko’s old car is broken down and he needs a reliable 4×4 vehicle. If any group or individual is interested in making that possible, let me know.

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88 PETs went to ACTS last week and are on their way to The Republic of Georgia.

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Question: “Does your religion define your politics, or does your politics determine your religion?”

Mel West, Director Emeritus

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