She was fearful of meeting him again. She could not get him out of her mind since their meeting on the bus. He was lighter skinned, slender, and very handsome. He was charming. When he spoke, it was as if his words were coated in honey. She listened well. She latched on to every word he said. His words were both charming, and intriguing. He told her she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He told her that her big, brown eyes beautiful and mesmerizing. She was slim, shy and unassuming. Although only 16 years old, she looked mature beyond her years.
She glanced over her shoulder. There he was. His handsomeness oozing from every pore of his silky smooth skin. He just stood there, as if the universe rested on his person. Her head went into a tailspin. She liked him. Yes, the sight of him made her blood boil. Beyond his obvious attractive physical appearance, she liked his sense of rebelliousness. Around him was an air of mischief that both scared and fascinated her.
He had been a star academic pupil at his Christian all boys boarding school. He and some of his friends used to jump over the fence to go drink alcohol in the surrounding villages. They also smoked cigarettes together. Soon the school leadership found out. The boys faced the wrath of the school leadership, as well as the discipline from their homes. The naught boys promised to change. But, the boys were soon back to their old ways. After a few rounds of punishments, followed by unkept promises, the school leadership expelled the boys from the school.
He went to the city to live with his married sister’s family. His brother in law got him a job at the bus company where he worked. He kept drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes. She did not mind. She liked him. Love can incapacitate one’s logic. Love can rob one of their reasoning capacity. She threw all caution to the wind. She ran towards him. She ran towards his open arms. They embraced and kissed, before walking towards the bus station. They were in love. I, and my four siblings, are their offspring.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
In 1992 while attending Prince Edward School for my “A Level” studies, I was sent home from school for failure to pay school fees. I had received a bursary (scholarship) from the City of Harare, but it was not enough to cover the whole school fees. As I walked toward the bus station in downtown Harare— as a last hope — I stopped at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters.
The Army’s secretary of education there — a European woman — listened to my tale of struggles to get the school fees. She promised to help, but warned that it would take at least six weeks or more. That sounded like the end. I could not stay out of school that long. I went home, dejected and disappointed. Within a week the Salvation Army called to tell the great news that I would be receiving a donation from Europe to pay my school fees. Without that financial assistance from “strangers” in Europe, I would not have finished high school. People I do not know made a huge difference in my life.
I recently had the pleasure of walking into the administration office at a (primary) elementary school in Zimbabwe to pay school for a second grade child. I also had an opportunity to pay for examinations for another teenager. I was able to pay school fees for a dozen elementary school children. There is a sense in which the world has become a small village. What happens in one part of the world has a direct effect on those on the other side of the globe. Who knows? Maybe, one of these children will be my doctor, nurse, dentist, president, international scientist, or astronaut someday.
Going to bed knowing a few children will get an education gives me joy. In the depth of these children’s poverty, there lies seeds of hope and riches untold. I have found pleasure in being absorbed into something bigger than I. Helping people who are walking the path I walked, gives me purpose. Rather, I have discovered my purpose. It is to bring a smile on the face of a suffering child. My purpose is to make someone’s life better. My purpose is to introduce Jesus to the hurting, the hopeless, and the helpless. I continue to pray that I may serve and bless others every minute of each day.
Thank you to my colleagues and to my wife for your generosity. Thank you for empowering me to be the conduit of grace to those in need. Let’s do this again, soon.
- Have you discovered your purpose? What is it?
- When is the last time you helped someone in need?
- Who has God placed in your path to help?
- How are you responding to the call to help those in need?
- What is stopping you from seeing, and helping those in need?