Thursday, July 20, 2006
Every time we go to the village I wonder if it will be worth the hassle of packing small lunches, drive for (sometimes) hours, walk and wait in the burning hot sun while holding babies and trying to keep up with my bigger girls. “Amafaranga” the poor yell, meaning “money, give me money”. Others want “akachupa” (water bottles), and some want jobs. Realizing we represent Christ we hug them, shake hands and do the cultural 3 minute back and forth greeting ceremony. We always set a target time to return to Kigali, yet we never make it… The constant question if we can help… Will it be worth the hassle?
As we walked to the car today a young girl walked up to me; “Do you have cloths for my baby?” she asked. The baby was no more then a week old, wearing a filthy toddler size shirt, wrapped in an even filthier sheet… Many times the answer is; I would love to help, but I am so sorry, no. Looking at this tiny baby I had no choice but to walk to our car, open the diaper bag and get the extra cloths I had in there for Jasmin and Yaida and to give them to the young girl with her baby.
Will it be worth the hassle, really has nothing to do with the practical aspect of our village visits. The ”hassle” seems to me is the pain in my heart. Seeing an old man with sores on his feet, no shoes, a walking stick, makes me want to be able to give him shoes, but I can’t… Beautiful young women wearing dirty, ripped shirts, their heads shaved, oh how I wished I could throw them an all girls party with nice dresses, nail polish and make up. Children with big bellies as a result of malnourishment, I want to feed them at least 2 meals a day, but I can’t. All I can do is hug them, love them and deal with the “hassle” of it all.
So here we spent 6 hours in the burning sun, shaking hands, hugging people, praying with them and encouraging them. Many shoe-less people, dirty, mall nourished children, and old toothless grandma’s and grandpa’s. My heart was aching.
But was it worth it today? You bet it was.