Where’s your faith?

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I’ve been reading the bible more and its been providing a lot of clarity for me in terms of how I want to live my life as a Christian. It’s been good. Just real good. Currently reading Luke and everything that I am reading is making me reevaluate how I view myself and how I need to sew more if I truly want to reap from Gods harvest. Also the question of Where is your faith? Has been ringing loud and clear in my head. Like the question keeps presenting its self time and time again and I think god is trying to tell me something. I think its in regards to my my walk with Christ and how it could be way stronger but also my community. Although its only been maybe three weeks I feel like I haven’t done much in terms of my community andn im staring to worry that maybe its me or something. Like I hear about all the meetings that people are being invited to and yet I haven’t gotten a single invite. Instead I spend most of my day on my homestead playing games with the siblings from sun up to sun down or either consumed with chores or rearranging my hut. But then the question Where is your faith? Poses itself yet again. Like do you think god would have led you all this way to leave you. The answer is NO. I should know better but I’m human and flawed. I am making connections and building relationships with people in my community. Just taking it one step at a time and reminding myself that this is not a sprint but a steady jog or yet a marathon. I’m in it for the long run. Just last week I decided to venture out in my community to check out a NCP (Neighbor Care Point) that I heard about.

My sisi was so kind enough to accompany me on my journey. It was about a 30 min walk from my homestead but it was good because that left lots of time for girl talk. My sisi loves telling me some of the most random stories and of course I am always all ears. Sadly we reached the NCP only to find it empty and adandoned. It looked as if people hadn’t occupied the space in quite some time. I felt defeated because I really was looking forward to meeting the people at the NCP hence the 30 min walk lol. But none the less we stopped by one of the makes houses from my church and said hello and that’s when she informed us of the NCP being closed. It was good to get a bit more clarity.

As we were leaving the makes house I saw a young woman with a warm smile in the distance and of course I smiled back and gave a friendly Sawubona greeting which means Hello is siSwati. I followed my hello with Unjani which means how are you? I also asked her her name and she replied “I’m Samkelisiwe and I’m a volunteer like you”. This surprised me because most people don’t have much knowledge about Peace Corps or the work we do. After further speaking with Samu she told me that she works for the Bantwana Initiative which does similar work to what we do at Peace Corps hence why she said “I’m a volunteer like you”. We chatted in the shade of the tree briefly about her work with the organization and she promised to keep in touch and invited me to meetings. I was so grateful to have met her. I then persisted with conversation and asked her about the NCP (Cornerstone) and she told me it was closed because there was no food. She also shared that there are few NCP’s in my community and that the lady who runs the Corner Stone lived near the tree we were currently standing under for shade. I asked where and she responded “Lapha” which means over there.

She said I’ll introduce the two of you. There I was meeting Make Khumalo. A gentle woman of maybe 50 or so who also greeted us with a warm smile and a Sanibonani.  We chatted in my broken siSwati with most translated by Samu and make Khumalo said “Yes I run the Corner Stone and teach the preschoolers but they won’t come if there is no food and there hasn’t been a delivery for a while”. Who delivers the food? I asked. “The World Food Program” she responded.  “But I don’t know when they will deliver” she followed. I could hear the hope leave her voice as her gaze shifted towards the road.

It was clear that she needed an answer from me or some sort of solution although she didn’t say those exact words. All I gave was the statement that I don’t have any money but I do have time that I can give. Time? Really? Is that the best thing I could have said? I don’t know but that’s all I could say in that moment. She seemed unimpressed with my response but still intrigued by my offer. I took her contact information and promised to come back and help which is a promise I plan to keep. I just need to figure out what to do about the food situation.

My peace corps brain quickly went to the idea of creating a community garden for the NCP but then my own brain said really a garden? Sustainabilty is important and the long term idea of a garden is a splendid idea but what do we do in the right now? People are hungry today. Like right as a sit to write this blog. Could they really afford to wait for a whole year until they reap the benefits of a garden? These are questions that I ask myself and answers I have yet to come up with. This was a great moment for me in really thinking about the role I want to have in my community and what I plan to do moving forward.

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