15 February 2016

What a privilege to be a blessing in the life of a young person, with the help of some friends

A photo of Martin and me, in front of my mud hut,
is on the back cover of my second book.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.   ~Philippians 2:3-4

I met Martin in 2003 when his father grazed cattle in the area where my mud hut was located (Mtoni, near Matunda market). Whenever he smiled, his entire face lit up... and he smiled a lot!

Gradually we became friends and hung out together, especially after he finished school each day. I got to know the whole family and had many meals with them.

Through the ensuing years, they had various difficulties, all of which are common to poor, jobless, and landless villagers. After a while I lost track of them, partly because of a series of moves they had made. Two years ago I heard from Martin's mom, Mary, that Zadok (Martin's father) had died.

Recently my friend, Nathan, did some inquiring and found Martin. We all had a great reunion at Matunda market! Nathan has a tender heart for people in need and, like me, has always liked Martin. I believe the Lord prompted him to try to locate our mutual friend.

Martin, on the left, plus Nathan and part of his family

Martin's mother and older sister both moved away and, not knowing their phone numbers, he has no way of communicating with them. His grandparents are struggling to raise the two younger boys. That means Martin (approximately 19 years old) is basically on his own, trying to find his own way in this world.

My friends, Bishop and Margaret, have also always loved Martin; there's something special about him with his magnetic personality. The Lord laid it on all of our hearts that a motorbike of his own would help him earn his daily bread. He had been hiring one and using it a taxi to carry passengers, commonly called a boda-boda. He made daily payments to the owner, but the guy recently decided he wanted it back.

I shared the need with some of my friends and they responded! After looking at four used motorbikes with Nathan, they chose the best one and we purchased it.

Technically the motorbike belongs to me, meaning I will keep the 'log book' (registration, etc). Martin will make weekly payments to me through M-Pesa, a fabulous way to send money through cell phones. If he sticks with the payment plan, the motorbike will be his after exactly one year. From then on, 100% of the fares collected from his passengers will be his. We all agreed this is the best way to handle it, instead of just giving it to him outright.

As Martin repays me, I'll put that money into the fund for paying school fees for the eight students I'm sponsoring this year. It's a win-win situation all around!

Martin and I signed an agreement and Nathan was our witness.

Here I am, ceremonially giving him the keys, while Nathan applauds the happy occasion

By the time we finished with our task, it was 2:30 and we were hungry!

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16

To those of you that contributed, thank you so much for investing in this young man's life! Please pray for Martin, for safety as he drives the motorbike and that he'll develop a good base of customers. 


Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you how often I have thought of Martin since you met him all those years ago. I so remember the picture I had on my cubicle wall when I worked at Mid-America. That face was one that touched my heart! His clothes made me ashamed for the things I had. I fell in love with that child from the first time I saw his sweet face. Tell him Jesus wants to lavish his love on him. Teressa

Anonymous said...

This is so encouraging Deb. To have known Martin for so many years and then to be reunited with him now. What a joy to know you could help purchase that bike for him to use as a means of working. I know he will honor the signed commitment. This shows yours and God's love for Martin. Priceless!

Anonymous said...

It is fun to see how God is using you in so, many different ways. You are on the front line where the action is and that is right where God wants you to be. I can't even imagine all the ways that God is using you. Jim D.