Suza woke us up at 5am. I use the term woke very lightly as the night didn’t provide much sleep. Only a thin thatch mat separated us from the hard concrete floor of the hut.
I climbed out of my sleeping bag and followed the two boys into the soft morning light of the village. There was no complaining, no pouty faces, just a common and calculated barefoot walk to the dirt field beyond the hut.
This morning, like every one leading up to the rainy season, was to be filled with “growing God’s way.” It’s the typical type of gardening in the village. They (grandma, Suza and the two boys) hit the ground with hoes, creating rows of holes and hills of dirt. Moses, the youngest (who was allowed to sleep in this morning), would normally go around and put a seed and manure in the hole. Then all that’s left is to wait and pray for rain.
My boss and I felt of little use, so we jumped at the chance to help. Pointing to the next place on an invisible grid, Suza directed us where to make the hole. They made it look so easy, but trust me, it wasn’t. For each hole they took about three strokes and I took about ten. This was not soft soil, oh no, and after two holes I could feel every muscle in my body aching clearly.
Our family laughed with us at our weak attempts, patiently directing us on how to stand and where to hit the soil. I’m afraid we were more of a distraction than a help, so we focused on our filming while they completed their work. (videos will be coming soon!)
I couldn’t help but stare at the boys bare feet, covered in dirt. I suppose it was easier that way, easier than getting mounds of dirt stuck in shoes from the backlash of the hoe. But, I marveled at how close the sharp end of the tool would come to those little toes.
I really can’t describe why, but being out there with our village family was such a spiritual experience. Their life, so different from the one I have led, is still sweet and full of love. And for one brief day I got to share in that love; share in the work God is doing in their lives; share in the Kingdom of God. And it was beautiful to join in as they sowed seeds and prayed for life.
Matthew 13:8, “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”