She is a breath of fresh air. Mama Jackson is a breath of fresh air.
Today we went walking again, and today we spent the entire afternoon in her home. Today was a little different. At first we talked about the usual, I took Jackie this time. We had to explain why there was a different visitor with me, and talk about Elsa being sick.
We covered all of the usual greetings. We then shared a meal. When we were finished, we started talking. I asked if I could ask some hard questions. Asked her about the neighborhood, were there many single parent homes? yes. How about unemployment? A problem. Do the kids go to school? Some of them. What about disease? Prevalent. What about water? There are two sources, they pay for clean water by the bucket, the stream that runs right by their house is unsuitable for drinking or cooking.
Then she had a few questions for me. Pam, you mentioned you have walked around here for several months, what are you going to do to help us? What are you doing to do about our problems?
I then start explaining that we would like to start a program here. She pipes in, gets excited, Like Compassion? (There are several children in Unga sponsored through Compassion) I explain, that although we are both ministries, CMF functions differently. We recognize that there are groups like Compassion and World Vision who can do child sponsorship really well. So we are leaving that up to them. Instead we want to teach the parents and their neighbors about how to live healthier as a community. I then give her the CHE pitch. There is obvious disappointment in her eyes at first. She was hoping for money. She was hoping for the immediate answers to her long term problems.
We then had a healthy chat about prevention, and about how all of the money in America couldn't really solve the problem long term. But educating her and her neighbors could make a definate long-term solution. She perks up as we talk about using CHE to teach her neighbors about Christ, and about how it could help with their water problems, and the children being sick, and with poor relationships. It was fun. I have to say, this was the most intense conversation I have had yet about CHE with anyone.
It started to get dark. We needed to start the trek to our car so we could get there before dusk. We thanked her over and over (and thanked God over and over too) as we departed. On our way out, she introduced us to her landlord, and told her landlord how good we were, and then informed her that we had really good ideas to help them. We also were able to meet many of her neighbors, to start building trust in that community. During our visit, many different neighbors stopped by to visit the white people. She introduced us to everyone, invited them into our conversation and talked about God using us. She invited us in. Further this time. We are becoming a part of her circle. What a JOY!
Praise GOD! Praise Him for opening this door into Mama Jacksons community! Praise Him for showing us He is capable of all things, of ALL things, and is just as interested in reaching this community (actually more I am sure because He is GOD!) as we are.