Last night we ran into Mbuso and Nathi at the Spar. Not seeing them since we had a pizza night at our place over a month ago, we had a lot to catch up on. Our conversation jumped from the guys lending/borrowing some tube of gel or bonding agent for car repairs, how big their daughter is growing, how we’re going to cram another supper in before we leave on Friday, and childcare for their daughter.
Since Owethu is beyond the newborn stage of sleeping all day, her mom can’t just leave her quietly in the office while she works all day. Seeking someone to care for their youngest, this couple informed me about the girl who might help them.
“She’s young,” Mbuso starts.
“She’s 16,” Nathi adds.
“You see, she’s an orphan.”
“Yes, her grandmother was the only one caring for her, but now she’s passed 2 weeks ago,” Nathi explained.
“We know her from church, and thought maybe we could help her as she helps us. I will bring her to our home. Everyday when we eat, she will eat. When she needs clothes, I will give her clothes. I can make sure that she hs everything that she needs,” Mbuso reasoned.
I asked, “Where will she sleep?” thinking of their one-room home that already houses two adults, a 6-year-old, and a 4 month old.
“Oh yes, she’ll just stay with us.”
I might have picked my jaw up off the ground. Shoved my tongue back in and mumbled something about how creative and perfect their solution is, & I’m so impressed. But impressed doesn’t BEGIN to explain my emotions.
Challenged. Encouraged. Delighted. Awed. Thankful I get to call these people friends. Curious. Challenged. Floored. Amazed. That might be a start.
Here’s a family who intentionally has chosen to only have two children, so they can really pour into these kids. Married for 5 years, they’re a beautiful picture of teamwork, companionship, helpmates, friends, and lovers. My brain gets going when I think about the impact they’re having on people’s lives. I’m dreaming up marriage counseling seminars they’d teach, or the Christian man and woman their kiddos will grow up to be, and how I can bond them eternally to me as friends. Meanwhile, they’re inviting an orphan to live with them. Gone are their intimate times as a couple. Gone another 1/5th of their salary to feed this mouth, pay her wage, and clothe her. Gone extra time and energy into this girl’s heart and future. Present is such a deep understanding of a God who does the same for us. Present is a second chance for someone. Present is the joy in opening their lives and homes to a “girl from church.”
I can’t wait for them to bring over the freshly slaughter chicken, so we can grease that puppy up with herbs, pass around cool drinks, chop potatoes, slice carrots, and talk more about how they LIVE their faith.