Garth Brooks had a hit song a while back titled “The Rodeo.” The chorus began with:
“It’s bulls and blood
it’s dust and mud
it’s the roar of a Sunday crowd”
Well I don’t know about bulls, blood, dust, or mud, but what we had going on this past week was in fact a rodeo, complete with a roaring crowd. Our normal vet, Dr. John, partnered with another vet who came from America for the week, Dr. Barry, and we held horse vaccination clinics this past week in the countryside. I’m not sure why we call them horse clinics, because 98% of the animals brought were donkeys. On Tuesday alone, we (and by “we” I mean “they”- I played the role of assistant and record keeper) dewormed almost 300 horses, mules, and donkeys and also vaccinated them for African Horse Sickness, which is a deadly illness that affects all three species of equine here. Wednesday was another 200 animals and I’m still waiting on the count back from today because I am sitting here writing this blog while they are out vaccinating…hehe.
Tuesday was a rodeo of both people and animals as all the neighborhood donkeys and neighborhood children came out for the festivities. I don’t know which was harder to keep under control, the people or the donkeys. Wherever we were standing, the people and their donkeys were crowded in around us, with children acting like children and donkeys acting like donkeys and us just trying to get out of the way from the animal that was currently going berzerk as he was being given a shot. Mind you, there were no facilities available for these vaccinations. It was simply man vs. equine, but you would be surprised at the holding techniques they have that really seem to work!
At one point, I looked around at the crowd that seemed incapable of forming any sort of line or behaving in any sort of order and was reminded of the Son looking at the people harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Spiritually speaking, that is exactly what these people are – sheep without a shepherd. And we are asking that they would come to know the Good Shepherd – the one who leaves the 99 sheep and goes after the one that has gone astray because He loves even that one. He longs that none should perish, but they must come to the call of His voice. Ask that they would be able to hear the Good News and would come to follow the Good Shepherd.
Our working "pens" for the day.
Our "Sunday crowd"
And let the donkey rodeo begin!