Home sweet home away from home sweet home.
I love being here. It helps that 70 degrees is my love termperature - (like a love language but different). The air is singing me super sweet love songs and I feel like a butterfly.
Sunday was landing day and also the day for groceries. I'm all stocked up on peanut butter, crackers, eggs and coffee. Thank sweet Jesus for Kind bars because it looks like my only supper will be rice and a small portion of vegetables. I must add this though - the cook prepared some kale 2 nights ago that was to-die-for. And no, this isn't some sort of manipulative mind game for Pastor Darren - it was actually awesome. I'm pretty sure that was one heck of a massage.
Yesterday was all about conversation. The house of teenage boys is swelling now with many many guys. It is heaven to me as I get to spend time with guys that I haven't really had the precious fortune to before. Blessing me down deep into my toes. I could dance. Again.
And there is the cook. Auntie Dorcas.
She came into the living room where I had been sitting alone for a few moments reading my devotionals for the day. So poised, as they all are, she folded her arms across her legs and smiled so big, as they all do, indicating hope for a talk. She began with all the pleasantries of how "heyappy" she is to finally meet me and a string of kind of words that it seemed she had delicately knitted to present as a gift to me. Warmer than a blanket. I could have cried.
Before I asked, I knew her story. I could feel it coming. Imagine walking into a library and every book on the shelf is exactly the same, only the names are changed. Her pages read like so many. Her husband left. She gave the baby to her momma. She came to the city to find work to pay for food and school fees for her little girl. She sees her daughter once per month when she can find time and money to travel to the rural areas. End of chapter 1. Chapter 2 is still being written.
The thing that she said over and over that is haunting my mind is how she is the bread winner for her family. Auntie Dorcas is 24 years of age, the 9th born of 11 children. Her mother is 66. Her baby girl is 7. Auntie cooks and cleans for a household of 10 boys and makes $200 per month. She is the bread winner.
You know, in our culture, the bread winner is the money-maker. Our bread winners win cars and houses, clothes, jewelry, internet access, vacuum cleaners, x-boxes, paint, facial cleansers, Clorox wipes, wine and Starbucks venti-mocha frappucinos (no whip please). In this culture, the bread winner is the person who actually wins literal bread. The bread winner here wins fertizlizer and seed for the small maize crop just outside of the mud hut where 8 people sleep side by side on the floor. Bread is lunch and often, it is the whole of their lunch. Nothing else.
For Auntie Dorcas to be the bread winner she has had to forfeit a full-time life with her daughter.
I can't even…
I don't know.
The people in Zim give me so much to chew on. So much to wrestle with. Right now my shoulders are pinned to the mat and I can barely move.
I love people. I love and hate their stories. I love that Jesus gives me tears for them. I know I'm alive.
I wish I could tell you that the Holy Spirit moved me with just the right words to speak into her. He does that sometimes and it rocks but for now He is working in me quietly. He's knitting a gift from Himself, in me for her and I will give it to her before I leave.