Humble but home
Recently a group of Sunday School Members and Youth from the Lamontville Ecclesia went to visit the home of two young brothers under the age of 12 who have attended Sunday school for over 2 years. It was brought to our attention that they live on the breadline and are in urgent social need, i.e. that they need some moral as well as financial support.
Their home is a make shift shack made from corrugated iron and any other material useful to hold their low cost home together. It is a space of about 18m² with hardly any heat or cold insulation. This space is home to about 5 people and the key provider is their 78 year old grandmother or otherwise known as ‘Gogo’. She is extremely frail but the children’s only reliable provider. The children’s parents had both died and it is our understanding that she is raising them on her meagre pension.
You may appreciate the fact that when we first met the children we were not aware of their very poor living conditions. Often there are signs such as poor hygiene, badly worn clothing etc. However, what astounded us with these boys where the fact that they were well presented, sharp and friendly. They carried no sign of their daily hardship, their sad life story and not having any visible hope of changing their circumstances in the near future.
When we discovered their plight we decided to visit their humble home to assess the situation and to see where we could offer help. As we entered the poverty belt which normally starts when you cross-over open sewerage our hearts sank. However, as we came to the door and waited for Gogo to arrive we were all surprised when we suddenly heard this cry of joy and unbelief as she appeared in the dusty road down below. She was warm, loving, tearful but always exceedingly humble. I still get gooseflesh just thinking back to that precious moment meeting her. I now realise why her grandsons, despite being shackled by chains of poverty act as if they are free spirits. Their Gogo knows the only way to fight poverty is to give a child dignity and what we often overlook is love is the best way to ignite dignity in a child’s heart.
Giving gifts to a truly humble person is like receiving a gift! Yes, we arrived with gifts of food, clothing and toys but we left feeling that her gift to us was far more precious and lasting. We went there thinking we have come to help but we found, as we walked up the steep path, hopping over the sewerage waste, that she had instilled in us a thankfulness that God found it good to allow us to meet her.
We intend to visit Gogo again… but until then we are honoured to teach her grandchildren and in doing so to learn from our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus.