Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A “Start up” gift

A few weeks ago I told you the story of Amaka, the young lady who was a refugee from Libya who was abandoned by her husband when she arrived in Niger. You can read the story here: The shattered life of a young refugee

I have been over to visit with them several times since then and one time I brought them the “start-up kit” that several of you generously donated for. We plan to buy more of these as we hear about families in similar situations who have started to settle and re-start their lives here in Niger after fleeing Libya.

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  • 2 sleeping mats
  • 2 blankets
  • bag of clothes for both kids and mother
  • set of 3 food pots
  • 2 large metal cooking pots
  • local stove
  • metal cooking spoon
  • fake tupperware canisters to hold sugar, salt, spices, tea, etc from rain and insects
  • large bowl for washing laundry and children
  • large wooden mortar and pestle
  • large serving platter
  • soap
  • treated mosquito nets

Cost= $94 Canadian

Impact = Priceless

 

In this culture, when a gift is given, they usually say thank you, don’t open it, and put it away. You never see them open or enjoy it. With Amaka, it was different. Her face was beaming when we gave it all to her and she sat down on a mat on the dirt and started to go through each and every item. She kept repeating that this was just like her wedding dowry, that we were replacing her dowry items that had been lost forever. I was so touched to see how deeply she felt this joy and was so thankful. I told her many times that this came from people in Canada, that I was just the messenger of other people who cared for her and her situation. She thanks you all very much.

One thing that really struck me this morning was when her uncle stopped by. Her uncle is a well dressed, French speaking Tuareg man who is very friendly and I have met him several times. This is what he said to me, in front of all the other people present as well -

“ You know, this is what Christians do well. You see a need and you meet it. Many of us Muslims see the need, and yet we will not meet it. It is not a lack of money, because there is money out there. But we want to keep our money because maybe we will be the ones in need tomorrow. We can’t ever give it away for something like this. But you people, you see the hurt and you give easily. Amaka will always know and remember that it was the Christians who cared and who gave to her. This is a really good thing”

 

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2 comments :

Heather said...

sniff, sniff. heather. Again, the 'hands and feet of Jesus'. Bless you honey.

Di said...

This TRULY is a good thing.. the action of giving AND the recognition. May God use this to open their eyes to the Love of Jesus. Amen!