Hard, working in the garden today.

Some of the miscellaneous items that I collected out of the garden today for disposal.
Some of the miscellaneous items that I collected out of the garden today for disposal.

Hard, working in the garden today.

No, I didn’t mean to say “Hard work, in the garden today.” You read the above statement right. It was hard, working in the garden today and not for physical reasons. I love gardening and truthfully I was really looking forward to getting out there and getting some things accomplished today. However, I finished my time working in the garden in a difficult place emotionally today.

Some of the bricks and rock I pulled out of the garden
Some of the bricks and rock I pulled out of the garden

The work wasn’t difficult in itself. All I was doing was cleaning up debris that had been unearthed from digging up the sod and preparing the plot. Brick, rocks, sticks, old rusted tin cans, glass, nails, shells, batteries, plastic bags and wrappers, strips of rubber, broken plastic pieces of who-knows-what and bones.

Bones.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Bones.

In the states when you are digging you find bones, yes. The first thought in your mind is “I wonder what animal this came from?” and then you move on with your digging, not giving it another thought.

Not in Congo. After realizing that you are holding a bone, your first thought is “Did this come from a person?” “Is this a human bone?” My mind asked those two questions and then, despite the gravity of the situation, I couldn’t help but think about the movie ‘Funny Farm’ with Chevy Chase. That brief moment of comic relief didn’t stop the hard thoughts that followed though.

Knowing what has happened here, war and massacres (literal massacres here in Nyankunde, not just Congo in general.), your mind can’t help but wander down roads you would rather not travel. The realization that you could be holding a piece of someone or multiple people in your hand that died a horrible death, is really hard to wrap your mind around. It brings such a grief and sadness to your heart and soul that I can’t describe. Heavy heart indeed.

Three different pieces of bone I found in the garden today
Three different pieces of bone I found in the garden today

Working in the garden is usually such a pleasure and something that refreshes my soul, but not today. Today it brought with it great sadness, grief and mourning, eeriness, tears and dread at what other pieces I may find in this earthen plot.

What do you do with pieces of bone that might have been a part of a person? Do you bury them? Burn them? Throw them away with the rest of the paraphernalia from the dirt? Those people who died on your homestead, not so-long ago, laying forgotten underneath the soil. What about them?

I haven’t decided what to do with the bone I’ve found. It disturbs me on such an enormous level, knowing that they are in a bin with all of the other garbage I collected from the garden today.

Homesteading can be hard.

Gardening can be hard.

But homesteading and gardening in Congo Africa brings about challenges that even I didn’t think about before moving here.

Bones
Bones

Hard, working in the garden today.

3 comments

  1. Awesome and powerful especially the way you tell it. I was there in my minds eye as you revealed your insight to this alien land.
    HE is able to give you peace even in a troubled land. God bless you and Dave as you serve there in Congo.

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  2. How sobering to be there and experience that. I can’t imagine. I know that God is going to use you to spread the gospel to people who really need it. His grace is sufficient, even in a place like the Congo. Praying for you and your family!

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  3. What a great description of so many things that we take for granted. Such tragedy and turmoil as most of us will never know. I am so thankful for your faithfulness to go where God has called you and share the Gospel with people who so desperately need Jesus. It will likely never be easy, and your sweet family is always in my prayers. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

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