Sometimes we have to make sure we aren’t doing more than our share. A definition of “rescue” that I learned many years ago was doing something you didn’t really want to do or doing more than 50% of the work. I tend to be a rescuer by nature. It is something I got from my mother. I remember my dad saying disgustedly that if a bum came to our back door Mother would give him the shirt off her back. I thought that was great of her. He didn’t have the same opinion.
Now that I am older I can see some of each being right. If that “bum” could be working and was choosing to beg instead then maybe she would be doing him a disservice to give him something he could provide for himself. There is a time when helping hurts. I am sure I have been guilty of that. However I am trying to learn to listen to God’s prompting rather than rely on my own.
Henry was one of those times. When Bruce first came to the village of Masese he surprised me by bonding with a couple of boys. He actually was drawn to several but when he decided to actually help he had to narrow it down to a couple for that time. We were already doing everything we could for the school but these boys fell outside the parameters of the primary school. One of these boys was Henry. Henry is a quiet boy. I would never have noticed him. I think God picked out this orphan boy for Bruce as I couldn’t imagine how to pick certain ones from the multitude of need. We started sending money for his schooling. He had had to lay out of school due to lack of money and was excited to get a chance to go back.
I almost lost track of him. He wasn’t particularly visible. He didn’t come around and try to get our favor after that first visit. He was getting his schooling but we weren’t getting any relationship. I didn’t understand that as all the others were clamoring for our attention as we would revisit. It made me wonder and question if we were doing the right thing. I began to ask around. I found his brother, Dixson, who was helping with the building of the school rooms. We found out that Henry had had to go live with a Muslim uncle. He was in school but was struggling as this uncle did not have a value for schooling and was not encouraging education. His grades were not good. This uncle also was against Henry’s Christianity. Now I am worried about him! It looked like he was on the edge of a cliff and could easily fall. We might lose him in more ways than one.
I forgot about my want of a relationship and frustration over his grades and started praying for him more earnestly. We got him a tutor to help bring his grades up. It was some time before I got any other reports. We enrolled him in a Christian camp over the last school break along with some other sponsored kids in the village. We received a nice letter from him thanking us for the opportunity to attend that camp and asking if we would send him again next year.
After the camp I found out he had moved in with a different relative and his grades had soared. He was 26 out of 144 students! He was thriving! He had come up with his part in his well being, we are so happy to assist him and God is making Himself real to Henry.
It is not a rescue in the definition of doing more than 50% but it was a true rescue from the edge of that cliff. God stepped in between him and the rocks below. We rejoice in seeing a young man apply himself and get to know his God. We have much hope for Henry and I know if you could ask him he has hope for himself now.