Today as I anxiously prepare to go and meet the natives of Naput, I wonder what to expect, what the reception will be like and most of all if all that I will say will be a seed planted on fertile ground that will sprout up bearing beautiful fruit and wonderful flowers.
A wise man once said, “if you want to transform a village, start with one man,” and this is our mission here, to transform the community one child at a time knowing very well that they are the future.
As I walk to our meeting spot, I am greeted by children screaming “auntie Aaron”, apparently Sharon is hard for them to pronounce; I should get a K’ Jong name the next time we meet up. The joy radiating from the children is so contagious it left a smile on my face. Many of them told me stories that I could not understand because they spoke in k’jong but I had to be interested and it kept them talking and glad that there is someone that pays attention to what they have to say. This may sound strange but the children in this area are not allowed to speak in the presence of elders as they are young and are believed to have nothing important to say in the presence of elders.
Upon greeting them, everyone updated me on how their week was and how they had done the assignment I left them with the previous week. The assignment was to brush their teeth every morning, sweep the compound, take a bath and use the pit latrine instead of bushes. Even those that missed out on certain days were honest enough to let me know. The fact that I had little presents today got me their full attention as well increased numbers of children and parents.
We shared from the book of Genesis chapters 1&2 which presents the creation story and our take home verse was Psalm 139:14. The main focus was one’s identity and also for them to know that each one of us has a purpose for which God created us. Just like Adam who was given an assignment to till the land, we all have a particular assignment for which God placed us on earth. The children also learnt that it is an ultimate duty given to us to take care of God’s creation.
It was heartbreaking to find out that some of these children did not even know their names, and to add salt to injury, many of them have strained relationships with their parents especially the boys and their fathers. The only time they get to talk to their fathers is when they are being disciplined when they stray. Out of 10 only 2 have ever been hugged by their fathers, and this broke my heart because how will they learn to relate with the father in heaven if they do not have an exclusive relationship with their fathers here on earth??? This is a call to you that is reading this to stand in the gap and we pray for these children.