Funny Story

I hope this comes across as funny as it was! It may be one of those stories that you just had to be there to really understand how funny it was.

Edith, Celestine (the nurse) and I were headed out on bicycles to check on a sick child. Edith and Celestine were on their bicycles and I was on the back of a boda boda (bicycle with driver). We had gone just a little ways and were right in the middle of the busiest intersection here. As we pulled out onto the major road, we were separated by traffic. My driver had been leading the way and I had no reason to worry until I kept seeing him glance back. Eventually I turned around and looked and there was no sign of Edith or Celestine.

We continued to go forward and I still didn’t see them so I asked the driver to stop and wait for them. We waited for a few minutes and I still couldn’t see them so I asked the driver to turn back hoping we would meet them at some point.

In the meantime, poor Edith and Celestine had gone into a panic because they couldn’t find me. They had gotten separated from us just before we went into the main intersection and in their panic they didn’t know which direction the driver took me. They began frantically asking everyone have you seen a muzungu (a white person)have you seen a muzungu? Of course since I am the only white person here, I am easy to spot and people were telling them, yes we saw a muzungu on the back of a boda boda and the driver was driving very fast! Well, that didn’t help the situation at all; they thought for sure this boda boda driver was speeding off to cause me harm.

Eventually they decided to ride on out in the direction we were headed and we found each other. Edith jumped off her bicycle! She shouted, Joy you get off that bicycle and then she let the driver have it verbally! He was in total shock!  She took some coins out of her purse and put them in his hand and she continued yelling at him until he drove away. When he pulled away she looked at me and said, I could have slapped him!

She got me another driver and we continued on our journey laughing so hard! When she starting telling me about asking everyone have you seen a muzungu, have you seen a muzungu I couldn’t stop laughing. Then she told me all she could think about was how in the world was she going to explain losing me! So for all of you who have been worried about my safety never fear Edith is here!

It is different for me here in regards to safety. It seems all of the people here live in some sort of fear and they are struggling understanding that I don’t require a guard with a gun or a guard dog. The compound where I live is a solid cement wall with razor wiring all around the top. The only way in is to put a ladder up and climb over. But then you can’t get in the house because the doors and windows have bars and the doors have strong locks.

I told them even if someone came over the wiring, they can’t get to me. And I would have to go outside where they are to unlock the gate for someone to come inside and help so there is just no reason to be afraid. Dogs bark at everything and I would never know if the dog was barking at something good or something bad. Since I can’t go outside to let someone in to help me without putting myself with the person wanting to cause harm, I choose to not be afraid and enjoy the home God has given me to live in.

Hopefully one of the things I can teach the women here is dependence on God when they are afraid. I know that I will never live in the fear they live in because they have told me I am a muzungu and muzungu’s have people watching out for them because they know we are here to help. Yet, in Gods eyes we are all the same and His protection is the same for all of us.

This is just one of the things I hope to help them learn. Tomorrow I am starting a challenge with the leadership staff at the school. I am challenging them to learn the New Testament books of the bible in order this week, and in return I am committing to learning the New Testament books in Kiswahili in order.

Hopefully I can continue to find ways of challenging them that in return challenges me. Down the road I want to learn the Romans road in Kiswahili and I think this is something we could do together. I have to remember that they’ve not had the exposure most all of us have had to learning specific things about the Word, like memorizing the books in order. Most of them have never heard the bible stories we were told growing up. They’ve not had VBS or any other type of training like we are blessed with back home. Most of them if they have a copy of the Bible, it is the New Testament so they don’t have access to reading the Bible stories in the Old Testament that we love. I am so excited to go back and revisit the stories of Jonah and Noah and David and Goliath and so many other wonderful stories.

So with this said, I am starting from the beginning with the most basic applications and stories and we will all grow together. It’s an exciting time for me because for a very long time I have wanted to teach others how to grow in their relationship with God. I have not been given the gift of teaching the Word, yet, I can share my walk and what I have learned and hope that it makes a difference in their lives as we study and learn the Word together.

I’m excited about ALL God is doing within our lives here!  I will let you know how the studying the Kiswahili books in order is coming!

Love to all,

Joy Breedlove

Missionary –  East Africa