God Grant Us Wisdom…
Written by: The Bridge on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
Hi, we’ve been here in Palmgrove for 2 months now and we must say it has not been a holiday. The challenges are sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes we wish we would be back home, enjoying the already established, comfortable lifestyle. But then reality takes hold again and we realize we need to do our best here, to help build God’s Kingdom in this continent also.
Looking back, from the time that we came up till now, we can see many small improvements. Due to the fact that showers, toilets, sinks and lights in all the houses now work and other repairs that have been done, people are happier and more joyful. Even the school children are getting more attention, the sisters are busy sewing and patching their school uniforms, etc. The older people work very hard on the farm, planting African foods. The younger people are in school, and therefore only work with us a couple hours a day. We are trying to involve them, in working with us and teaching them all that we can. They need a lot of coaching. One feels sorry for them, because of their lack of practical education and proper guidance. They seem to be at a loss so often, not knowing what to do, and because of that, they shy away and avoid challenges. Hopefully we can establish some self-confidence in them with time. Our missionaries need to always keep that in mind. Around here, one always needs to be a teacher, no matter where one works or what one does. We need to train somebody as carpenter, electrician, poultry manager, palm tree climbers, etc. People that have been trained before have now left, leaving a gap so that one often needs to hire outsiders to repair or build. If there are no Naira to hire somebody, nothing is done and that causes dilapidation.
Lance will be working on repairs, such as roofs or rotten and broken down building sections. His first project is to put a roof on three containers that are standing next to each other, on which the tops have rusted and are leaking. We will then be able to use them as a storage place. It would be nice if he would have help. Maybe some young guy could be found and sent over here to Palmgrove. It’s important to set an example and people can see that slow and steady wins the race.
There are still a few challenges, like the income problems we have. The road grader is in good shape now and we’re trying to find work for it. The pay loader is still giving us hydraulic problems. We’re simply doing our best to bring things into order. It will take awhile.
On Sunday, we had a long meeting with all Palmgrove members and young people. There were some lengthy discussions on various issues where we feel changes need to be made. Some of the issues are, people or children staying in Palmgrove unauthorized, education, practical work, young people’s attitudes, commitment to community, TVs and Rock music. All visitors and children staying here for weeks and even months, and not having gone through management or brotherhood must leave. At this point, we cannot afford to play refuge camp.
We need to find a way to get more practical education versus the college drive that seems to tempt our young people. Free food and education, no need to work. Quite convenient for young people, who dream alot of getting out of hard sweating work in a hot climate. After college they have a long titled certificate of some sort, like technical engineer. Who would then still want to come back to this humble, two meal a day Palmgrove? That sounds like work again! If the convictions of true community is missing, then what’s to keep us together and why should one want to live that way?
We also need to find a way to get more young people involved in the church choir, we’re down to half a dozen. Most everybody else seems to show more interest in the Christian Rock band that was established in the last couple of years! If anybody wants to have his or her eardrums or nerves tested, that’s the place to come to. Disks a clanging and drums a drumming, electric guitars a strumming and keyboard a humming, the voice box full force, head held high with dark glasses, the microphone speakers are a crackling. The louder the storm, the wilder the dancing, there’s no more African culture in this situation. We decided to shut down the rock band and keep the keyboard only. It seems to be awful hard for the young people to accept. They have a big question mark??? The last missionaries instigated it, even paid for it, and now these new ministers have a different message. We keep saying that God is being chased out of church or even Palmgrove with such evil, fleshly, western world music and influence. The same with the TVs, wherever one goes when hydro is on, young people quarters or family dwellings, the TVs and VCRs are on. Worldly influences have crept in, which one can easily see in the way some of our people carry themselves and act. Homework? No time for that, again here we have the same problems. The last couple of years the TVs were brought in as baby sitters. Why is this influence suddenly so bad? Why such a different message now? When one listens to the reasons for keeping the TVs it’s almost a sin to have them taken out, even some parents are reluctant to have them removed. We’ve had some lengthy discussions on these issues and so the battle goes on.
We now need help from some of you young people, or whoever shows interest. Maybe you could write something pointing to the bad influence being brought in through such media. Maybe young people will listen more to other young people, instead of to us two supposedly old fashioned ministers. We could print it out and read it to them in church. We still believe in the good old time religion and that clashes with modern worship services. Otherwise, we seem to be making some progress slowly but surely, only God knows what lies ahead. Keep on praying for us that God may grant us wisdom to carry on.