No Longer Elusive Hope

We began our weekly circle meeting with catching up. This happens to be the part of the year where casual work is hard to come by. I give a quick glance through the faces of the 7 women seated here today. They look a bit sad. One of them almost looks angry at something. I quickly remember this particular one had just mentioned to me that her teenage daughter whom she had worked very hard to educate in high school had dropped from school. Reason – she was pregnant. Was this woman now angry about a dashed hope for her daughters education? Does she feel angry at this turn of events? Is she ready to be a grandmother? How about the burden of feeding one more mouth? On the right is one of the most hardworking lady in this team. She too looks forlorn, her skin is a bit drier than usual. Living with AIDS and raising 6 children has not been an easy feat. I particularly have a softer spot for her. Next is a young orphaned lady in her early 20s. She speaks good English which has been horned at a nearby adult education school as well as interaction with English community at AIU. Her general demeanor is well nurtured by a loving aunt who takes care of her. Our eyes meet and then she smiles shyly. She had been sick the previous week and had missed the last circle meeting. I am glad she is here and that she can find friends among women who are older than her.

I have carried my usual training manual purposing to proceed with our weekly training. Today i have planned to read about Ruth of the bible and also talk about woman’s health. At the look of things I have to change plan, do more of listening. I lay down the new plan, listening around one question, ‘how have you been this last week?’

All women take turns around the circle to talk. ‘No work to do for income’ seems to be the general report. One of them had tried to trade green vegetables, most of it had dried before selling, leading to loss. She shakes her head hard at the thought of trying that business again. No work in the farms, no laundry work and no sewing work. This means the monthly rent will not be paid and therefore they stand at risk of being evicted? How about food for the children? How about drugs for those living with HIV/AIDS? How about tomorrow?

As i listen, I am drawn to read Psalms 139. On one hand, this is an easy exit for me, to point them to God. On the other hand, i believe that God’s assurance of his knowledge of us and his presence as expressed in Psalms 139 is so critical at this time. So I read in Swahili, posing to lock our eyes. I read on and hear whispers of ‘Amen’ and mmmm. I know God has been listening to us and now we are listening to Him. Our hope has found a strong rock to rest! No longer elusive hope!

Did i mention that we visited Jane on Tuesday? Here is Jane with her son at her house. I will tell you about our visit in coming posts

No Longer Elusive Hope :: Global Bag Project :: Handmade African Bags

Mom (Jane) and Son (15 year old)

By Mary Ogalo