The Shumaker Family's Blog


Upon getting sick last weekend I began thinking about my trip to Babo. When we arrived we greeted everybody and immediately they wanted us to drink Zoum-Comb. This is a drink made of millet. Even though this is supposed to be rich in vitamins I could also imagine the germs. With about 50 flies swarming around the bowl and a cup shared by everybody (by the looks of it, I am sure it is never washed), I was offered to drink after about 6 of them already drank. You ask, what did you do, well I drank it. Then we were offered tea. This is not Lipton, it is very strong, and again we all shared the same cup. I am not a germ freak or anything and if I was, I would never have gone out there in the first place, but I do try to keep myself healthy if at all possible. We ate food together. Many times when we eat, we just eat out of one common bowl. One bowl and lots of hands. (And the Africans believe the time to wash their hands is after they eat, not before. When they do wash, it’s not usually with soap.) Finger-licking good. During the night I tried to sleep but with all of the mosquitoes flying around my head it was a little hard. I have had malaria at least 10 times now, as well as amoebas and worms countless times.

People ask me why I would subject myself to these situations, sicknesses and germs. I have always felt that I am no better than these people. They are not a lesser or inferior people as some people think or have stated to me before. They are intelligent, loving and some of the most generous people that I have ever met. The reason why I do this is because I want them to feel that I love them but most importantly Jesus loves them. They have told me before, when we had a group of young Americans here, why do you love us, hold our children, hug us when we are dirty and unclean. I can only say it is because Jesus loved me and accepted me when I was dirty and unclean, and He has given me a love for them. So bring on the malaria, amoebas and worms so that I can win some to Christ.

I was told a month ago by some of the Burkinbes, “You are different than other missionaries.” I asked, “Why do you say that?” “You eat our food and like it, you drink what we drink and you will live with us,” they replied. I am not trying to say that I am anything special because I am not. I am just trying to share with you what a difference a little love and compassion can make. They know that we are not on the same level but when they see that I accept them for who they are, they are more likely to realize that God will accept them for who they are also.

One Response to “Germs”

  1. David Lundy Says:

    “Finger licking good”. I honestly have to say, I laughed out loud when I read that. You are blessing. Your testimony is tremendous. You are a prime example of what it takes to take the gospel to the world. To win them, you have to be like them and and part of that is eating, drinking, and getting the same germs and sickness just like they do. Not many people are willing to do that. You are a blessing. I love you a lot buddy.


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    Pastor: Dr. Billy Goolesby
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