I sit here looking out at the snow-covered grass, the frosted evergreens and azalea bushes bending under the piles of white and am grateful for the fire warming my back. It’s February in northeastern Pennsylvania, and this is the way it is supposed to be.
As I say that I am reminded I can say it comfortably because my pantry is full, my bookshelves are full and my hubby has those motion detector lights (don’t need electricity) in every hall way and stair way and bathroom. I have lost count of the flashlights and lanterns that we have. Plus we do have a propane fireplace…to say nothing of coats, sweaters and blankets.
All that said, we had a dinner guest last night who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, a city of 4 ½ million people. His January is not about staying warm; it is about staying hydrated. He told us last night how he wished they could just ship some of our snow to his home in Cape Town where the city is literally running out of water. Scientists are now saying by April 12, there will simply be no more water in the reservoirs.
Think about that for a minute. Going to the faucet and hearing only the dry rattle of air in the lines, no water. As of February 1, Cape Town residents line up to get water every day. Every resident, except those who can hire someone to do it for them. Think about the people in that line. Can you see the faces of single moms, the old people bent by age, the poor, standing next to the guy who arrived in his BMW? In line to get their 13 gallons a day per person.
And we haven’t talked about their gardens, this is their summer. I read they recycle bath water to flush toilets, reuse cooking water and hand sanitizer flies off the shelves. “Unwashed hair is now a sign of social responsibility,” resident Darryn Ten told CNN.
As I said, this is their garden time – the kind of garden that feeds the country. Can you imagine what a drought of this sort means to the fruit and vegetable industries – in a nation that counts on the Cape Town area for 1/3 of its produce?
So what do they do or recommend as a remedy. Leave town! Yes, they are suggesting people simply find somewhere else to live. Now tell me about how the disabled, the elderly, the impoverished, those who depend on local jobs can just leave town, moving maybe hundreds of miles away. And can you think about how this is going to affect the economy of the nation of South Africa?
Well, this is turning into a real downer! But I am reminded of two things: we have it so very good here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And we all need to be praying for those who live in South Africa. Specifically, that God will intervene and in his mercy, bring rain to the Cape Town area, and lots of it. We need to pray for the families, the moms and dads who are forced into making some impossible decisions, that they might have wisdom. And for the bodies of believers there, that somehow God is able to use them to bring light and help in an ever-darkening situation.
Carol Brennan King, taken in warmer days
snow photo from Joyce Tice