Tuesday 21 Jul
Kath shares a story of the everyday, extraordinary generosity of the Yawo.
"We went adventuring again on the weekend. Jack and I rode our bikes about 35km through winding, sandy tracks that weaved in and out of small villages and around the mountains to the north of our house. We’ve never been as far out that way before so many people were seeing us for the first time. We usually get greeted with quite suspicious, even unfriendly looks which last all of about two seconds before people realise we’re speaking their language and will very happily greet us.
As we neared the end of our trip, we arrived at a 'footbridge' - fashioned from dozens of tree poles, spanning about 30m and suspended 5m above the water. I’m not a fan of heights, falling or village bridges and was reluctantly hanging back to see if Jack would make it across safely. As I waited, a young guy arrived and seeing how scared I was offered to take my bike and carry it across for me! I was so relieved… I barely made it across without having to carry it!
As we travelled further up the hill, we saw the car and Cam and the girls in the distance. As we got closer, we found them chatting to a guy who knew lots of the people we’re friends with. He asked us to come and sit and rest a while but we said we were off to explore the river and we would drop in on the way back. When we arrived back, we sat and chatted and heard about how he had studied to be a shehe in the mosque, he got out his Quran to show us and read some sections about Moses and the commandments and then eventually he sent us on our way with half a sack of sweet potatoes and five pumpkins!
We had put the bikes in the back of car earlier and all hopped in to set off on the journey home. When we reached the smaller village up the hill on the main road, we were flagged down by a man and a woman who were asking for a lift to the next village. We piled the girls out and into the front and the couple climbed in. As we approached the start of the village, the man asked Cam to stop, the man and woman hopped out and then the man asked Cam to wait a while and then ran off into a house nearby.
Wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into, we sat waiting… the kids asking with trepidation, “What are we waiting for?” We weren’t really sure. After about 5 minutes, the man returned with a bag of beans to give us. He asked me if I remembered picking him and his elderly mother up along the main road one day (about three years ago) and giving them a lift home. I told him I did. It was wet season and during the time when the road was being repaired. The section that they were walking was particularly dangerous and I’d stopped to offer them a lift. Three years later, he was overjoyed to be able to thank me with a gift of beans.
Every day here I am blown away by the kindness and generosity of our friends, neighbours and those we’ve only just met. In a context where there is incredible poverty and suffering, I am constantly challenged by Jesus’ words in Mark 12:44, “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on.” "
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