I am so grateful to the Lord connecting us to Sibosiso. He runs one of the two chicken businesses on our property and is slowly buying the business from Sean/Manna.
We met Sibosiso through not-my-favorite circumstances. It was about 2 am; we didn’t know him; his wife was in labor. The ambulance was hours from being available, and no one else was around. We were annoyed because it was 2 am. And if we’re someone’s early-morning-transport-option, we kind of like knowing. But we discussed and decided we’d better go ASAP. She was in real labor and babies don’t wait for khumbis. So we took her, their daughter, the husband, and the community health motivator (who had told them to call us. I wasn’t getting into another birth-in-the-Bakkie story!) with us to the hospital.
Within minutes of getting her into the labor ward, she had birthed their second daughter. In the car, on the way home, Sibosiso told us that his wife was so skinny and didn’t look pregnant because he had no money to feed her. Although he was rand-less, he rustled up money and walked to our house the next day to pay us the fee we charge for late-night-hospital-runs (otherwise we’d be full-time at this!). I was kind of impressed. He beamed when he spoke about his new daughter.
And now he’s worked himself quite into our lives. He is perhaps one of the most joyful folks I know. This chicken business excites him. He’s always beaming as he hustles around on the bike, hauling his trailer. He’s a fast walker. I mean in record time he covers the 2.5 miles to the grocery store. He doesn’t dawdle. Now he’s got a bike and the man just races around.
Tonight, I went out after dark to fetch my charger from the car. There’s Sibosiso in the dark standing over his bike. Red light on the rear of his bike blinking, as he works to secure a flashlight to his handlebars. I greet him and then he spills forth the day’s events. He sold 18 chickens today! 18! To a homestead the next town over. And he’s grateful for their support. And he’s got an order for 10 chickens to be delivered Monday to the clinic’s nurse. I can hear his smile penetrate the darkness.
I’m so thankful.
Sean and I have decided he’s either a saint or a fantastic conman. Because we hook, line, and sinker think he’s a solid guy. He cares for his family; works harder than any man we know; and is genuine. It’s nice having he and his family around. And in the landscape of ministry work, of working with people and in community development, sometimes the triumphs are few or scattered. Sometimes you dig for something or someone to be grateful for. At times you doubt anyone’s life is better because you’re in it. But I’m thankful for Sibosiso. Because our lives are better for having him in them. He doesn’t take advantage of us. He cheers our spirits. Humbles our pride. And motivates our creativity. He’s a companion in the garden at times, or a smiling face to wave at as he races to town. It’s cool too see. It’s nice to know him.