|Tsoho I. sitting in the back of the church|
The family had scrapped together bits for an improvised fix, but it continued to break. Apparently it needed a major overhaul. Wanting to help in some way, I asked if they could bring the vélo from their village . . . he talked it through with his son and his brother. No, they didn't think that was possible.
'Where do you live?' I asked.
Turns out, we would be passing through his village (about an hour's drive from us on some really rough roads) on the way to the wedding. Since BoyWonder would be traveling with me, and I thought he would have a better idea of what we would be able to fix in Galmi, I figured it was at least worth stopping and having a look.
We organized the date we'd be passing through, and I promised to call when we left Galmi.
|BoyWonder lowers the vélo from the car.|
Tsoho I. was sitting on a mat beside the church building when we arrived. His broken chair was held together with scraps of plastic rope. BoyWonder was confident that the repairs were all possible, so we promised to stop by on our way home to pick the chair up.
It took a month to get the repairs completed, but finally it was done! A few test-drives-around-the-parking-lot later and the chair was hoisted back on top of an SUV, ready to be delivered.
We decided to return the chair on a Sunday morning, so as to attend the church in this small community. Best decision I've made all month!
When we arrived, ours was the only car in the parking lot . . . but that's because no one else has a car. The pews were short wooden benches, and there was no electricity in the building. But as we entered, it was clear that despite the physical 'lackings' the joy of the Lord was abounding!
|Tsoho crawls to his chair.|
We were welcomed by the pastor and the whole congregation . . . especially the curious kiddos who stared through most of the service.
Tsoho I. took his usual seat: a mat by the side of the back door.
Being unable to stand, however, did not stop him from participating in the songs of praise to his God.
At the end of the sermon, we were each greeted by name (we had to introduce ourselves at one point . . . hard to blend in such a small congregation). 'Déborah! Welcome!! How was your sleep? How is your work? How is your house? We hear goodness that you have come!'
But we didn't come to be warmly welcomed, we came to give Tsoho back his chair.
The entire village crowded around the vehicle as the vélo was untied and lowered to the ground. Crawling from the church to the car, Tsoho I. was transformed into a kid on Christmas morning.
He climbed up into his chair and began to peddle; his grin sprawled from ear to ear.
The village children laughed and cheered as they chased him around, ready to help with a push when the sand got too deep.
Tsoho lead the way to his house where we met his wife, his youngest six children, and his mother. The whole community thanked us as we wove through the narrow streets between the mud-brick houses. Tsoho's smile never once leaving his face.
|Neighbor kids give a helping hand through the deep sand.|
When it came time for us to leave, she took my hand again and said 'Sai wata rana za mu ci abinci tare suma da Yesu!!' (Some day, we will eat together in Heaven with Jesus!) . . . and through the words of this gentle, humble granny, I was reminded that while I may use the means of repairing broken down tricycles, my reason for being here is Jesus.
|Mama shares her blessings.|