Love Your Enemies…
Written by: The Bridge on Tuesday, July 4th, 2006
Out of the Palmgrove gate, to the left, there lives a small family of four. Gabriel, the father, with his wife and two small children. The young mother suddenly passed away. Gabriel had her embalmed and lying in the house for 4 months, as he had no Naira to bury her. To get Naira, the poor man sold some of his land to Palmgrove. He then had to use most of that money for the funeral. The immediate relatives of the deceased have to feed all kinds of extended family till, during and after the burial. Our men, Okon Sampson, Goddy, and Joseph went out to clear and work the new piece of land. Gabriel had apparently gone back and moved the livestick, (a planted tree) which marks the border for the land he sold. That caused a dispute and a fight. Our Security, (men at the gate) heard the commotion and went to help out. When they tried to interfere, he attacked one of our guards and cut his foot with his Machete. They subdued the man and brought him into Palmgrove. The Security then beat him to teach him a lesson, because they know him as a trouble maker, and the black sheep of the family. Glory came from the mill and asked Edward to come and put a stop to it, as the man was already bleeding. Edward quickly went and I slowly followed with a towel thinking we might need it.
They were still beating him when I got there. Edward got them to stop, and then had them take both Gabriel and Jeremiah out to the hospital. Jeremiah needed stitching on his foot and the worst of Gabriel’s wounds was a broken jaw. Palmgrove paid the bill for both. We don’t want enemies anywhere in the world, much less living just outside our gate. Edward gave Joseph Asuqua some money and asked him to check up on him and buy him some food.
A few days later, we had Gari for noon meal. Edward asked the sisters if he could have one bowl for Gabriel and they said no; the portions were already divided and nobody wanted to give any of their share! Edward pleaded with them, “Just give me a small portion of everybody’s.” They didn’t give him any. Edward was so discouraged about it. He told me, “I’ve been fixing and doing so much for them and now I want one serving of Gari and they won’t give it.” We fixed the woodchopper, two cassava grinding machines, one for Nepa and one for gas. He improved the Kitchen store, it was just a dark, dirty hole and now it has light and windows. I don’t want to tell you what all I swept out of there.
On Sunday, at church, Edward spoke about loving your enemies, he seriously admonished the sisters. I have to admire him, for the ways he finds to deal with the people here. He doesn’t get upset, impatient or discouraged like me. He only keeps thinking and trying a different approach if the first one doesn’t work. I watched him load a huge part of some road equipment onto a small pickup, with four young men. He advised and suggested till they had it right. He could have done it himself in half the time, but “then they wouldnï¿½t have learned anything”.