Monday, June 27, 2011

Team Work

We spent the morning on the farm and our afternoon at the OVC today. 
What I enjoyed most about today was the chance to work alongside my husband all day.  We won’t have that opportunity many more times this week.  He will likely be in a classroom teaching, so I cherished the opportunity today.

We have had practice working together in the past and if I am honest, we aren’t that great at it.  I remember our first attempt when we were planning the staff party at the end of summer camp in 2006.  I’m not even sure if we were dating at the time.  We went to Wal-mart to pick up a few things for the party.  I really thought it would be nice if we bought ribbon and tied together everyone’s staff gifts individually.  Forbes thought it was a much better idea to just hand each of the items, a t-shirt and yearbook, separately.  It was quite the dual in the middle of the Wal-mart as we batted our opinions back and forth.

Ultimately he won; his idea was better, easier, and made more sense.  But it takes me quite a bit to admit to not being right.  Just like last night when I had to tell him that his idea for a game with the children was better than my own.  He doesn’t hear the words “you’re right” quite as much as he probably should.  I’m learning.

We spent yesterday afternoon planning the children’s devotion that we led today.   We worked together alright, but I wouldn’t say it was great.  However, today as we led the children in songs, a reading and even a game, we did a much better job working as a team.  Even when things weren’t going very smooth and the children weren’t catching on to our game, we would cast each other a sideways glance and just roll with the punches. 

Today was one of my favorite experiences working with Forbes.  Along with leading devotion, we also helped serve lunch and snack.  The OVC serves 270 children a midday meal every day of the week.  For many of these kids, it is the only food they eat all day.  I was humbled when the feeding assistants offered us lunch as well.
Inshima is a traditional African food and is very similar to polenta but made with white corn, not the sweet yellow variety we have in America.  Collards and a soy-based “meat” product were served with the Inshima.  I think the workers at the OVC expected us to be appalled by the Inshima and soy “meat” and were shocked when we ate every bite on our plates.  Little do they know this is a typical meal in the Kummerow home!  I was excited to see collards but a little hesitant to try the inshima and soy product.

When we walked into the gates of the OVC today the children instantly jumped to my side.  “Mekua! Mekua!” they cried!  The little girls ran up to me, grabbed my hand, told me their names and asked me how I was.  They are beautiful children with big, round eyes that show wisdom beyond their tiny ages.  Despite their daily struggles, they are children just like any others.  They play, they swing, they jump rope and sing.  They even fight and yell sometimes.  I find that I forget where I am when I am in their presence.  I could be in any schoolyard in any country and these boys and girls could have any circumstance or background. 
But it isn’t just any reality for them.  While I sit here getting ready to eat another meal, they are at home now and perhaps won’t have that opportunity tonight.  After today’s inshima, soy, and collards, they won’t eat again until midday tomorrow.  I forget these things as I play with them outside the OVC, but as I watch Irene cook our next meal I am reminded.

Each day here I have questioned what my purpose is, and why God has sent me.  Anybody can hold their hand Lord.  Anyone can give these children a hug.  Why me?  What am I supposed to do?  Forbes will be teaching at the high school.  Ben, Mike, Eric and Steve are teaching microfinance. Doug is teaching seminary students in the bush…but what am I doing here?

I still don’t really know the answer to that question, but I have realized one of my tasks is to share the stories of Mwandi with the world.  I am but one person and can only do so much.  But I have a voice and I have an audience and maybe that is my purpose.

1 comment:

  1. you are there to be with your husband...can you imagine not being there? praying for you lots :)