I learned a new concept the past few weeks. It's called "load shedding," and it's what Eskom does to most everyone in South Africa. Eskom's our country's "electricity supply commission," but they're not able to currently supply the country with enough electricity. (What's crazy, though, is that they're allegedly exporting power to neighboring countries!)
So what does your supplier do when they don't have the goods to supply? They cut the power. Which would've perhaps been understandable if they announced when they're cutting the power. They say they do on their Web site. However, they don't stick to that schedule. They also say that they won't cut the power for more than two hours in any area. However, over the past 2 weeks, I've personally experienced several days of no power in Pretoria from around 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. (Several in this case would be about 6 days.) What baffles me is that friends in Johannesburg have had no power outages in months.
So what? you may wonder. Imagine the impact on your economy when
a) shops, filling stations, offices have no power for days in a row;
b) you don't know when your power will be out, so you cannot plan work activities accordingly;
c) you don't know how long power will be out, so you don't know if you should simply send your entire staff home, or hope the power comes back on in 2 hours;
d) supplies in homes and shops go bad because of lack of power;
e) banks have to close immediately, movie theaters have to give people refunds, and only a handful of big businesses can afford expensive generators for backup power.
Losses are currently estimated in the "hundreds of millions of Rands" (one dollar = around seven rand).
Imagine the impact on traffic when all the traffic lights simply go out and there aren't cops at intersections to direct traffic. All intersections simply become 4-way stops, causing crazy traffic delays. And you can go on and on and on...
It's been very frustrating not being able to plan activities. You simply don't know if there'll be power tomorrow. Would I be able to e-mail? Don't know. Work on my computer? Not sure. Go to a library and study? Not if there aren't lights.
Ugh. It's really no good!
It seems trivial to complain about something like this when my friends in Kenya are facing a major humanitarian crisis...
News from Kenya today is far from good. The past two days have brought more deaths and more clashes.
It breaks my heart to hear stories of friends who are personally affected by deaths, of division among families and neighbors, of children traumatized by the violence, of a child from my neighborhood in Ilula having been kidnapped and barely escaping death... (Please note: It's not a kid from our orphanage.)
In so many ways, I feel powerless when it comes to what is unfolding in Kenya. I want to be there to pray with my neighbors, to encourage them. But I'm still waiting for an OK from my directors. I know, however, that I am NOT powerless, that I can pray. And I have been.
This morning, I had a very vivid dream. In my dream, a person was urgently and emphatically saying to me,
"Ephesians 4. Tell them!"
That was all. I woke up and immediately read the chapter and prayed accordingly. Wow. God's amazing. If only we would follow His directions.
Please join me in praying this passage for Kenya. Please pray that people would be willing to surrender to God's statutes, regardless of politics, tribe or beliefs. And He, my friends, never fails us (unlike politicians or Eskom.)