I sat under “the tree” for some time today. Remember, this is how most business as it pertains to communities and CarePoint’s is handled. Elders, Leaders and Chiefs from the community gather and talk. Today was another typical day. Quite stunning with blue skys, distant clouds above the mountains and a cool breeze in the shade of the tree. A group of people speaking a language that we continue to only learn small pieces of (but thanks to my friend Njabulo-we knew every word).
This community has a problem reminiscent of the USA’s old west family feuds. One brother and wife no longer get along with the other brother and his wife. It has created division and they do not speak about rumors of “missing food” that was provided for the children. (note-the food is not missing). So today as I sat in the cool, a child peaking around the edge of the tree at me(has not been a “white” presence in this area) trying to see if I was like her, we all talked. I could see her rub her arm and look at mine. So I picked her up(yup, right in the middle of the meeting) and held her while we all talked. Eventually the issues surfaced and we were able to “clear the air” between the community and set a great plan to move forward with construction on their kitchen and covered structure for classes and clubs.
Amidst the chatter, the little one began to doze off. She had LOTS of boogers(didn’t expect me to say that did youJ lol). So the snoring began. At first it was just the rhythmic breathing in/out and then it got louder. To the point that it caught all of our attention and she sounded a bit like a backfiring chainsaw. As soon as the community leaders saw this-the chuckles began and the one that had the issue softened… he said “lets start over and any issue from the past is gone, we have a clean slate”. I watched as healing began. All because a little one was at the center. The commonality for the community and for me?…the kids.
They saw this and realized that the only hurt that would come of their conflict would be the hurt inflicted on their very own children. So they “move on” and work towards mending their relationships for the sake of the one… and more importantly; The One. We prayed together and all departed knowing we were on the same level and page. God is changing hearts in Africa through the children. The impact a child has on lives is profound. Perhaps that is why He said “Let the children come to me”