Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I would like to tell you about a lady I know.

Her name is Georgine. 

She's my veggie lady. 

She comes to my house every week, I give her an order of what I want and she comes back the next day with what I ordered. 

She first came to my door a few weeks after we arrived, she has been selling fruits and veggies from a road side stand for years! I found out that she sold to some of the MAF ladies back in the 80's. It was her Mother before her who sold in the same place years before that, the veggie business runs in her family.

I've learnt a lot about her over the years and the more I learn about her the more I am certain that this woman is a survivor. She can be a bit pushy at times and a bit harsh but I have tried my best to show her love and kindness when she comes by.

The last year our visits have become longer and longer, she has told me more about her life and I have listened, spoke when applicable, and helped when I could. 

When Nick first asked me to come to Africa with him I responded with saying 'People are people, its just a different place'. After being here a year I was having trouble with the culture and I thought my assumption had been wrong, but the more time I have spend with Georgine and we have torns down each others cultural barriers I have come to think that maybe that statement was true. 

I haven't done anything exceptional for Georgine, what I did do was listen and to treat her with respect. Isn't that what we all want?

But life has been difficult for her, the President of the Congo is putting a ban on all road side 'shops'. The police go around and burn their tables and destroy their merchandise. I even heard a rumour that last week they burnt down the famous Art Market down town, with all the art still on the tables! What a tragedy. 

So there are lots of people like Georgine around that are losing their livelihoods without being given any good alternatives. Its sad. 
If you could join with me in praying for this country as we inch closer to elections at the end of 2016; that the effort that is being taken to look presentable on the outside would instead be put towards making what is inside beautiful instead.

"... The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7

** Edit: the art market did indeed get burnt down. This is a photo that was taken when it happened.