Tsumkwe is known as the green desert but when we arrived here in October it was far
from green. The light here is intense. When we first wake up at about 6am in the morning there appears to be more colour in our surroundings but as the sun continues to rise the colour bleaches from everything and we are left squinting in the harsh light. When we received our first rain there was little visible change though the temperature dropped which was nice. About a month later we received a second lot of rain that came with a major storm that threatened to take our roof off. The noise of the shrieking wind and the lashing rain plus the flapping of our roof made for a night of much prayer but little sleep. Our concern was not just for ourselves but also for our neighbours as in the frequent lightning we could see that their roof sheets had moved.
We were unable to communicate with them partly because of lack of language but mostly because of the noise. Fortunately the roof on their house moved but did not come off completely. It made for a wet night with not much sleep but the roof was readily fixed in the morning by removing the rocks holding the sheets down, adjusting the sheets to cover and then the addition of more rocks to hold them down more firmly. We ended up with water coming through our walls and soaking our mattress and pillows until we realised what was happening and moved the bed away from the wall.
Although we are technically in the rainy season we have only had one other day of decent rain. We have watched plenty of spectacular lightning shows all around us but have not had any rain associated with them. The rain is very much needed not just to revitalise the natural surroundings and give the wild animals the water they need to survive but it is also essential for the locals who have their own gardens where they grow food to supplement their diet and for those who have farms to enable them to have a harvest in this year.
There is a food crisis looming in southern Africa and this will only worsen if we don’t get the rain we need in our area. Please join us in prayer for rain.