Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Sleeping On Bare Earth"

One of my aunts does missionary work in a small community in Kenya, including running a school. The stories she shares about everyday life there are often bittersweet -- someone with very little to start with (possessions, education, health care, etc.) faces a crisis, and others step in to help in whatever way, big or small, that they can.

Here's one of those stories she just shared:

"Our little first-grader Samuel came in on Monday and was about to be scolded for being out of uniform when he told us his house had burned to the ground on Saturday. His "house" was a floorless room, rented for $5 a month, where he and his parents and younger brother and sister dwelt. All their possessions, which weren't much to begin with, went up in smoke. They were left with absolutely nothing. An uncle found Samuel some clothes so he could come to school. Teacher Jane then gave him a school uniform.

"Today when I heard they were sleeping on bare earth, I sent Titus, our trusty helper (he just graduated from high school and is doing odd jobs for us while he waits to get his results) over to their place to check out the details. He went over to Riverside and got the full story. The two younger siblings were cooking on Saturday when the fire went out of control. Their parents were out seeking odd jobs so they could feed the children. Their neighbor also lost his house due to the fire.

"Titus found the two younger siblings in another rented room and assessed what they had and needed. They had an aluminum cooking pot contributed by a neighbor. They had no clothes except what they had on their backs. There was no food in the room, and no other item was found in the room. And it was true---they were just sleeping on the cold ground. So we now sent Titus back to town to buy a foam mattress, blanket, small cooker, 5 plastic plates, 5 spoons and 5 cups all at 10 cents each, another cooking pot, a lamp, and a few other items, plus some shoes and a hat for Samuel. Samuel was just beaming. I think his parents will beam too when they get home this evening, and see that some help arrived while they were out doing odd jobs."


Maria said...

We just don't GET IT, do we? So sad.

Roey said...

My mattress is uncomfortable but it's still a mattress and is not on the floor and we have heat, blankets if we need them. We are so spoiled.

Joanne said...

I got to thinking this morning ---- we took one blanket to cover 5 people ---- so we did take over more blankets today.