story of a boy..
It's been a while since I've posted...and today I found myself thinking of a day early in July when I ran into a boy.I hope to inspire courage in your heart, by sharing openly about the experience I had, the thoughts and feelings I had during this encounter.It was a friday, the last day of school for the term and it was the last day of Kids Club at Mahushu CarePoint. As routine had it, I stopped at Daiyzenza Plaza, the new shopping centre in the area, to pick up speakers from Ronnie. Ronnie is a member at 'Kingdom Shines' Church at Mahushu CarePoint. He recently got a job at Joshua Doore. It's convenient as the CarePoint is just up the road from the Plaza.This particular friday, I needed to go to the grocery shop to buy some bread and juice, as the lesson was on Communion and I planned to have the children take part. The Plaza has an interesting feel to it. It's a large shopping centre with a large parking lot. At month-end this place is buzzing. There are people everywhere. But during any other time of the month it is very quiet; there are hardly any cars in the parking lot. Quite different to suburbia.As a white South African, being in a situation where I am the minority, is an uncomfortable feeling. It's not a feeling I shy away from, but rather take as a learning experience.Since I knew Ronnie, and didn't want to draw attention to myself being the only white person at the Plaza, I asked him to join me to the shop. He said he couldn't, as he was busy with something at the store he worked at. So, decided to not be afraid, and just go by myself. In situations like this, I have to fight off negative thoughts and normalise the environment.As I headed over to the grocery shop from where Ronnie worked, a boy came up to me and said 'me hungry, please give money for food' and pointed to his stomach. I'm ashamed to say, but normally I would not respond to someone asking me for money and just shoo them away. But without hesitation, I told him to walk with me to the shop and started to engage in a conversation. I asked him how old he was, what his name was, if he had any siblings. He was very concerned with getting something to eat, but there was a sincerity in his eyes. He was hungry, but not just for food. He had nothing to hide. There was a purity about him, something beautiful.I had half a pie in the car, and decided to give him that to eat. On our way out the shopping centre, I asked who we was with. He said he was with some friends, and they were just hanging around the mall. That's when the idea popped into my head! Why don't they all come to Kids Club at Mahushu?I called Ronnie over to my car to talk to this boy I had met just a few minutes earlier, as his english was limited. He called all his friends over, there were 3 friends. I realised we were too far for the boys to walk and the only way they could come was if they drove with me. I would also need to bring them back.Suddenly I started to worry! To be honest, I wasn't sure if this was a safe idea. I did not know these boys. I didn't know if their parents would be upset that I took them from the Plaza. What if they have a weapon on them, like a knife? Suddenly, this love thing was infringing on my space. Where is the line? Is there a line? I know we white people have clear lines that are drawn, keeping a distance between us and 'others'. We love...but from a distance...from over here. There is no 'need' to cross the line, to blurry the line, to go to the 'other' side or the bring the 'others' to our side.The boys were very keen to come. They were not concerned about getting into trouble, since they would be hanging around the plaza till late anyways. I told Ronnie to give them a pep-talk, about respecting other people's things, and being kind. I was trying to be calm and collective. I knew I had to do this. I knew they needed to come to Kids Club.While Ronnie was giving the pep-talk, I looked over and the boys were dusting each other off, to get into my car. My heart sunk when I saw this. They cared about not dirtying my car and knew they were dirty. That was the last think I was worried about, yet they cared. I just wanted to hug them so hard.After Ronnie was done and their faces showed that they understood all he said, they got into my car carefully. I said goodbye to Ronnie and confirmed that I would see him when I dropped the boys back at the Plaza.As we drove away the boys started giggling. They were full of excitement and anticipation. My heart was full just watching their faces light up.As we got to Mahushu, they helped me carry all my supplies out my car, being very polite and helpful. They participated in Kids Club and were fully engaged. I was thrilled that they could be there. I was worried they would run away after the program, but why would they do that?On the way back to the plaza, they were full of energy, full of smiles with their decorated page from Kids Club, that says 'Free from Sin'.I hope to run into these boys again...my boys!What joy they brought me that day...as they joined me at Mahushu Kids Club!