Beast of Burden

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As I write this, everything is dry in Kangaba. Even though the Niger River flows through Kangaba, in the dry season water is hard to find. To bring water to our home, we have two donkeys. Our male donkey is named Zarco, and our female is Zinnia. We are very grateful to have these donkeys, and we appreciate the great job they do.

After arriving back in Kangaba following 16 hours of travel from the States, we were shocked to learn that Zinnia was deathly sick and hadn’t been able to stand in many days. Our guard told me not to pay attention to Zinnia, that she was just lazy. I told him it was my responsibility to care for her, so I would do all I could to make her healthy again. I told him that animals are subject to us, but they are not ours. They are unique creations of God.

Immediately I called a veterinarian, and he diagnosed Zinnia with a nerve problem. We began a therapy program for her, helping her stand up every morning and do exercises. Because she had spent so much time lying down, she had developed sores, which we also treated. Animals deserve care and respect because they are created by God. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” We prayed over Zinnia and spent money and time to help her. After two months of therapy, God answered our prayers, and Zinnia was healthy again.

The money and time we spent to help Zinnia irritated our guard. He is not very charitable toward animals. In fact, because of his attitude, we previously lost two beloved dogs, Evie and Carol. Not long after we returned to Mali, he told us he would quit his work with us in two weeks. I asked him why he wanted to quit, and he wouldn’t give me a real answer. Frustrated, we prayed and asked God to show us what was really happening with our guard. Soon it came to our attention that our guard was secretly operating a side business as a fortune teller. His dark spiritual alliances made him very uncomfortable around us and in our home, which we have dedicated to God. We recalled that months ago after we had a spiritual cleansing service for our home, things had never been the same with our guard again. He feels tormented by our fervent prayers.

We thank God for this revelation, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to work on our former guard’s heart, drawing him to the Savior.

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