Tuesday, March 7, 2017

$3.10 Poverty Challenge: Day 6 The Real Challenge

Day 6 of the $3.10 Poverty Challenge was a beautiful day loving on kids with Sensible Shoes, but it wasn’t without its challenges.

As all the tiny children posed for a group photo, a local child unknown to the pastor or teachers helped himself to my wallet containing a LOT of money and all my important cards. Discouraged doesn’t quite describe how I was feeling, and I have yet to sleep from that event that occurred 12 hours ago, but I want to share more specifically what followed.

Once Pr Unda realized I was not joking—neither of us could imagine such a thing—he and the teachers sorted through a few stories and identified the likely culprits. He then called the village elders who did some of their own sorting. While these elders were at work and the sky grew dark, the teachers and a few of the church ladies gathered in the church and began singing and interceding with prayer on my behalf. For me, they were earnestly calling out to God for me! Humbled doesn’t describe how I felt.

The range of emotions flooding my mind was ridiculous: stupid, sad, disappointed, discouraged, responsible…can’t think of any good emotions passing through me at that point though I did manage to say a few prayers as I walked around the church building.

Eventually we went to the police who sorted things with a big stick (literally). However, our lack of evidence (the wallet was likely hidden at the boy’s home and his mother was likely rejoicing as she didn’t bother to appear at police) left us unable to proceed. Pr Unda had the foresight to call his bishop, another good friend of mine, and so I was surrounded by long-time friends and pastors (Pr Unda, Bishop Tsofa, and Pr Njuguna) throughout the ordeal. Though they were all speaking in Kiswahili and I could only pick parts of conversations, I had confidence that they all had my best interests at heart. I am so thankful for these men and their taking seriously the problem and simply dealing with it on my behalf. Truly blessed.

I find myself reflecting on this boy, this boy who will likely live a life of thieving given the absence of his parents. I think about his soul. I wonder who will love him as Christ loves us (Ephesians 5:1-2). I want to hate him and think that he deserves what he received from that big stick, and yet I find myself wanting to hold him and teach him to fear the Lord. I reflect on so many children who grow up in this way, and do not know the love of the Father. Oh Lord, what can I even do!

I was given some few shillings to at least reach home safely, again humbled that these pastors who have so little would extend themselves to me in that way. And there lies the $3.10 Poverty Challenge. The reality of life for so many. The truth is, if this happened to someone in poverty that would be the end of them without the financial support and encouragement from friends and family…and that is exactly what I received. Not only did I receive enough to reach home, but I also received enough money to go to Barclays and cancel my bank card and return to the police again to get documentation that my alien card was stolen.

Boda to church                        $1.00
Loss                                        A LOT of money, my cards, my wallet
Boda home from church         $1.00 (paid by someone else)
Glass of Juice                          $1.00 (also paid by someone else)                                         

Tomorrow is a new day.