Flashback: A little girl named Boope’

Setting: August 2010, in the Zambia bush. On a six week mission trip with Mr. Matt.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Boopé. Boopé lived in the Zambian bush, which is equivalent to our rural areas of the US. She lived in a one room mud hut with a thatched roof. No electricity. No running water. No comforts of any kind, save for the grass doll her mother made her. 
 
Boopé was also an orphan. 
 
Her father died in 2009 of malaria. When he came down with the sickness, they had no way of getting to a hospital which was a 45 min car drive away. So, Boopé’s mother cared for him until it was clear he was not going to get better. She had no money for a bus ticket, so had to borrow a bike from a neighbor to transport her husband to the hospital. It was a 70+ mile trip, and he died on the way.
 
A $2 (USD) bus ticket would have gotten him to a hospital where they could have given him a shot, and he would have recovered.
 
Boopé came down with Malaria in early 2010. Mr. Matt was there, and by God’s grace went to the bush a week which he was not supposed to. They got her to a hospital and she survived.
Left to Right: Boope’s “Uncle” (a man just helping the two survive), Boope, and her mother.

This was one of the very first stories I heard when I went to Zambia. It was also the first time I seriously asked God “Why?“. Yes I had seen the orphans on the street. Yes I had seen the poverty of the Nation.
But when I heard a father died, because they could afford a $2 bus ticket, I was shaken. How many times have we blown $2 on a soda? A candy bar? Heck, even lost $2 worth of change.
It could have saved the man’s life.

To say I was upset would be an understatement. Internally, my head knew it was God’s plan, but my heart was revolted that such a plan would include a little girl who had nothing lose her father as well. This is the thing which I came to see being shown to me over and over again while in Zambia. It had to be drilled into me again and again. I remember searching Psalms, Proverbs, James, and more for scripture which would tell me why He let such a thing happen.

I found the answer in the latter part of Job, Chapters 38-42. A small excerpt is below.
Click here to Read Job 38-42

Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said:
“Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?
He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”

Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.
Once I have spoken, but I will not answer;
Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”

That passage struck me so hard I remember it quite vividly. Who was I to question the Lord’s ways in such ignorance? To think I knew it would be better if her father lived. Reading that passage could quite possibly be the most humbling experience I’ve encountered. My, coming from America with money to “help”, “sacrificing” myself to serve, and then seeing how really prideful my heart was (and still is) in rejecting the fact God does indeed know best.

Who are we to question the Lord in his perfect, abundant, exponential, awesome, mighty, incredible, omnipotent, and eternal plan?

Looking at Boopé and her mother. They weren’t angry with God. They didn’t turn away from Him. They continued to attend church and desired to learn.
I learned that week I may have been able to give physically, but Boopé, her mother, and their story gave to me spiritually. How incredibly humbling, to find the people you traveled the world to help and teach, first inadvertently taught and helped you through their example and spirit.

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