Meeting the Women
Friday the 13th, we joked - a lovely morning, blue skies and Edwin, Violet and myself on our way to Mbayi, Edwin singing a little ditty he was making up in the moment. The beginning of a beautiful day.
Upon arrival, some tragic news - the day before a young boy had drowned in the river. Some were still there waiting for the police to arrive to investigate. That's how remote they are!
Also, since the night had been quite cold, people were still feeling chilled and reluctant to leave their homes. No hot shower to warm them, no warm sweater to keep them that way.
Eventually a core group arrived and we began, after prayer, a very formal meeting in the clearing under the trees.
This was my opportunity to address a larger segment of the community and introduce myself to the women. The male leaders with whom I'd met previously mentioned the women wanted to form a club. I was curious about what this would look like.
Initially, they were hesitant, as once before someone had come and made promises, never to return. Once assured that I had come all the way from Canada in order to serve them, specifically, the mood lightened considerably and became one of hopeful planning. I was very moved by their request.
The women of Mbayi want a plot of land, set aside just for them, to be used for growing vegetables and raising chickens. They wanted to begin their club, they said, in a very practical way and then later discuss other ideas - like knitting. Wasn't my idea of a club, but I don't live each day concerned about satisfying hunger. I was so pleased when they enthusiastically agreed to teach me the skills required to manage a successful vegetable garden, and that I could be included in the group learning process of chicken farming.
Serving - that's what Jesus did, is such a privilege, to follow Him in this activity, a joy.
When I mentioned the community in Canada who were aware of their situation and planning to help, even visit, they were very excited with the notion of hands reaching across the ocean.
This is a very serious, determined group of women, just another example of the industrious nature of this village. I look forward to working with them, and sharing in the growth of their club.
So this week I'll be pricing chickens and seeds! Our first project has begun.
Anyone interested in sending funds for the women's club, just click on - Make a Contribution.
Next week I hope to explore in further detail the issues of water and agriculture introduced by the men a few weeks ago as a priority.