African Blessings Blog

World Donkey Day

World Donkey Day

Love from Zillah

After we had our faces washed, our fur brushed, our eyes treated against those pesky flies, and our masks put on; we were ready to face the new day outside in our field.

There are six donkeys that live at African Blessings, I am one of them, and my name is Zillah! After many years of suffering and pain, I was loaded into a big box and brought to my forever home.

Zillah the donkey

Today was extra special – we had visitors! Our carer, Leslie, spoke to the visitors – they were tiny humans – but very friendly. He told them about us and told them what makes us special. We were braying right through his talk and then Leslie allowed the visitors to feed us crunchy carrots AND sweet apples. What a delight! We were wondering why we were being spoilt so much and when the small humans sang a song to us we remembered! It was World Donkey Day!

We know that we are six of the luckiest donkeys in the world. Sometimes we remember our cruel lives before we came here and then we say a donkey prayer that many, many other donkeys will soon have good, kind homes like ours.

Thank you African Blessings for saving us! We love our home, our fields, our stables, the eragrostis, the kindness and the freedom we enjoy!

Bible Class

A man by the name of Balaam was on his way to a place where God did not want him to go. He was riding his donkey. Suddenly the donkey ran off the road and into the field next to it! Balaam got very angry with his donkey and beat the poor thing. He made the donkey go back on the road. There was an angel blocking the road.

Three donkeys

The donkey saw the angel in the road, but Balaam did not. The angel was holding a sword in his hand and the donkey had gotten a fright from the reflective metal. The angel went along the road to a spot where the road narrowed and the donkey would not be able to, once again, veer off the road. When the donkey saw the angel the second time, it tried to squeeze through a small gap between the walls and Balaam got his foot squashed against the wall. The donkey got his second beating!

So the angel of God went even further down the road and found a place so narrow, that the poor donkey could not get through the gap at all. This time, when the donkey saw the angel in the road a third time, he just lay down with Balaam still sitting on his back. Balaam’s anger rose and he once again beat the donkey.

Then God performed a miracle. He allowed the poor, hurt donkey to talk to Balaam. The donkey said; “What have I done to you that you think that I deserve to be beaten so terribly thrice?” Balaam shouted at the donkey; “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you right now!” The donkey answered; “I am the same donkey you always ride, and I have never run away, squeezed through a tight gap or just laid down. Surely you should know that I have a reason for this?”

Balaam, quite perplexed, answered; “No, you have never behaved this way before.”

Then God opened the eyes of Balaam and he, at last, saw the angel standing in the road. Balaam got off the donkey and fell face down on the ground before the angel. The angel of God spoke to Balaam; “Why did you beat your donkey three times? I was sent by God to stop you from going this way because you would have been killed if you had. Three times your donkey saw me, but you did not! I could have killed you because you did not obey me. Your donkey obeyed when you were too stubborn to.”

African Blessings donkeys

Then Balaam said to the angel; “I have sinned. I did not realise that you were standing in the road to stop me from going on. I will turn around and go back home.” And so, he climbed back up, stroked the grey neck of his donkey, and returned home.

The lesson learned from this reading is:

Never be cruel to animals. Psalm 33:13 – The God who sees knows your deeds. He cares for you, but He also cares for animals. Animals feel pain, hunger, heat, cold and thirst. Never beat, kick, or ignore the needs of animals. Be the human being you are meant to be and do the right thing. Maybe we should look and listen better, more like the donkey in our story, so that we too obey God.

Blog written by:

Rita Edkins

African Blessings Missions Director