heartbroken

quick posting about something that happened today.  College students especially, listen and be unoffended.

I was invited to the house of our watchman, (one of the 10 or so) Johnson, to meet his family.

He had wanted me to talk to one member in particular about sharing Christ and serving God.  so we rode his piki (motorbike) down the valley for about 2o minutes of rocks.

turns out he really wanted me to talk to his entire household about what i can do for them financially or in the way of getting jobs lined up.

i had nothing to say except “pray” and “go check in nairobi”.  all 3 had finished school, (kenya and uganda secondary schools) and one had even taken a course in computers (but that doesnt mean she has actually seen an actual computer. alot of certificate programs do not offer a chance to see a computer.)…

Now what do we do?

“now what do we do?”  kept asking me again and again to help them further their education or to help them get a job and i had nothing to say.  what CAN they do?  seriously?

then on the piki ride home (stalling and bumping up hills) i realized something we’ve heard a hundred times…what i have and what ive accomplished…God put it all in my lap!  you could be the hardest worker on earth but if you were born into a valley with no way out except a motorbike (and that can get you up the mountain where there are more wooden shacks) and no job in the vicinity,  no one would understand how hard you had worked.  no one would want to hire you in the US or in another country, and you’d be fighting all the other educated people for a job in nairobi.

But i was disciplined and studious.

even if you are disciplined and work 10 hours a day or you practiced hard or you studied the hardest, it doenst matter.  other students studied the hardest in their classes and there is now nothing for them to do.

today i rode by dozens of people sitting on the road doing literally nothing.  and i thought “why arent they doing something?”   but there are no jobs and no rain and no crops.  i HATE doing abolsutely nothing.

why did i get to be born someplace where i have everything imagineable…and worse, a disturbingly high amount of opportunities?  sometimes i complain that there are too many available options.  God have mercy on me.

the worst part was when mwangi said,

“well == you say this is a nice house we are residing in.

so let’s switch.  you stay around the place today.

i will go there where you are living.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “heartbroken

  1. It is hard to try to come with anything to help people in that situation. However, a large part of the problem is not knowing the culture/job hunting system there. People do find jobs somehow. Maybe interview people and find out what they did to get jobs. Talk to that family and find out what they’ve done already. Help them develop problem solving skills. Jobs exist even there. It’s just harder to find them, especially for you since you don’t know the job culture. Good luck and never stop caring.

  2. Tim

    I linked to that in my facebook page to see if any of my friends can think of something.

    But thing to think about is — they already do things for a living, don’t they? Is there anything they can do right now apart from a job — like at the end of the day, everyone needs a roof over their head, clothing on their back, and food on their plate. In some sense, you do not need a job to do that — you can plant your own. I think they might already know how to do things to produce those things. Have them ask themselves question like “what do other people need or want?” I think if you get them thinking about that — perhaps they can think of some ideas that they can do on their own that helps other people without having to have a job. Are they willing to do volunteer work to some extent to get foot in the door? Not everything needs to pay, sometimes it is moving from learning one life skill after another. Try to get them to stop thinking about themselves and think about what they can do to help others. That is the foundation of economy in a nutshell — to provide services that helps everyone’s well being, including yourselves.

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