Pit Stop

“Dear Lord; please stop my bowels. “The more I think on it the more appropriate a prayer it was.

After all, the place to ‘relieve’ myself was a two minute walk away from where I was laying.  It was in the dark, in the middle of the night and it was raining.  The house had no electricity so the outhouse of course would be difficult to find with the small flashlight I had.  Besides that, the pathway was muddy, slippery and my destination for the pit was just on the edge of the cornfield, obscured by trees and bushes.  So I prayed.  “Dear Lord, please stop my bowels!”  I was praying for constipation to set in.  Well it may seem like a silly prayer to you, as you have a nice, well lit, comfortable warm place to sit and read.  I asked the owner the next morning if there were any snakes in the area and was told only the non-poisonous kind were there.  This was all the more reason to pray harder.  Anyway, God granted my wish and I was able to make it through the night until the next comfortable destination of our trip.

I think on this kind of object lessons more and more.  What if I really did not have an option?  This was literally a pit.  It was a hole cut in the bottom of the floor of a shack, on the side of a mountain.  There was no seat.  That is you don’t sit, but you squat.  This is an uncomfortable position for me as I can barely maintain it to tie my shoes.  That is why I wear slip-on shoes today.

In a recent visit to one of the Internally Displaced People camps ( IDP’s or refugees from the election violence), we were made aware that for the 817 people in the camp there were a total of 2, count them TWO pit latrines.  That is one pit to squat at for each 408 people.  Can you imagine the lines?

Obviously hygiene on this 2 ½ acres is a problem.  (Watch where you step please) The name of the camp is JIKAZE.  That is a Swahili word meaning ‘squeeze yourself’.  This is certainly an appropriate name for the population density and the long lines at the pits.  There are still literally thousands of IDP’s, living in places with similar names.  A few minutes away there is VUMILIA, which means to persevere. 

Needless to say, I did not get in lines but recited my prayer again until we reached home.

“Pit Stop” now has taken on new relevance to me.  Either squeeze yourself, or ask God to stop your bowels.