Thursday, June 11, 2009

To Gogo's (grandmother's) House We Go

This week the weather suddenly turned cold, cloudy and rainy. The cold weather is not unusual for this time of the year, but the rain is very unusual. When the cold set in my thoughts turned to the gogo I met in April that has to be 90+ years old. She tells us she is 2000 years old! I wanted to take her a warm blanket and a little bit of food. So this morning, Jeri, Gary and I met Thoko in town and then we drove to the rural community of Ekukhanye which is about 30 minutes outside of Manzini via a dirt road of course. We met the CCS from Ekukhanye Methodist church and then went to the homestead.

The woman lives in the mud house on the left of the picture below. Her granddaughter who lives on the homestead with her said that she wasn't feeling well, but that we could go into her house to visit with her. We walked into the house and it was so smokey we could barely see or breathe. There was a little fire going inside a wheel rim off of an old automobile that was sitting by her bed. The house is made out of rocks and sticks and then covered with mud. The floor is mud and the roof is thatched. There are no windows or any ventilation to the house.

She was glad to see us again. She is such a kick. She would say anything that was on her mind. She told us she had a son and a daughter but both have passed away. She has her granddaughter and great grand daughter who is about 18 months and a grandson that is 12. When we first arrived she said to us in English "many thanks." She also told us she was hungry and hoped we had brought her food, which we did. We gave her an orange to eat and she was so happy and gummed that orange pretty fast. (I don't think she has any teeth left.) Then I put a warm, soft blanket around her. She kept saying it was so soft and then she started praying. She was thanking God for our visit, the items we brought and asking God to keep us safe as we traveled home. Then she said "When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink, when I needed clothes you gave me clothes and when I was cold you gave me a blanket to keep me warm." That humbled me so much and went straight to my heart. I've read that verse in Matthew many times and have wondered how many times I didn't do those things. This is the first time that I actually tied in what we were doing with that verse. We bring food and clothes to people and we help them get to the Doctor for medication, but somehow I never really thought of myself doing what the scripture commands us to do. I just knew it was what was in my heart and that it needed to be done. We left shortly after and she kept saying in English to us "many thanks." Bless her heart.

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