One day every week, we nurses at the clinic are given a 'ministry day' - a day 'off' from the clinic, but with the intention of making the most of the day by getting involved in some other ministry outside the clinic walls. For the past few months, I haven't taken full advantage of this day. After eating some humble pie from a co-worker encouraging me to get my rear in gear, I am finally using this day to do something that I feel is totally valuable, and bringing much Joy to my heart :)
Please met my friend Rhoda :) Rhoda is a wonderful lady, mother of one little boy named Marcus and is currently expecting another (hopefully before I leave for home in August!!), and wife of a fabulous man, named Bulus who used to translate for us at the clinic, but is currently going to secondary school in Yabus.
Rhoda is a lady who is full of joy, always ready for a good joke or laugh, a hard worker (works at the clinic for a few hours 3 days a week keeping it clean - quite a task!), and is very generous... Just before I left for Nairobi two weeks ago, she gave me and Amy (clinic co-hort) a pair of earrings each, directly from her ears to ours :) Rhoda is a wonderful lady.
Rhoda, like most Mabaan women, cannot read. Bulus tells me that she did go to primary school in the refugee camp, but didn't complete her 3rd grade. So... a few weeks ago, Rhoda and I talked about it, and decided that every tuesday, I'd go over to her house, and we'd "do books" together... by the Grace of God Rhoda is learning to READ!!
It's rather amazing to sit with a grown woman, who, although she is younger than I, is so much farther ahead in life, and watch her eyes and lips struggle to identify the letter in front of her. I can hardly tell you how much joy we BOTH get when a letter that she finds particularly hard to remember just comes and clicks into place! We both laugh and grab each other's hands as if we're 5 years old, and then she'll flip the page, grow serious again, and try to remember the next one.
We're only a few weeks in, but she is already improving. In spite of my lack of Mabaan to explain things, and my inexperience at teaching anyone to read English, let alone Mabaan, she is a great student and dearly wants to know how to "do books" :) Please pray for me, as I teach and for Rhoda as she tries to 'study' and run a house as a single mom, with Bulus 3 hours away. It so tugs at my heart that so many women with SO much potential for SO many things, are, day in and day out, doing many things of importance for their families, but with a quiet & deep desire to learn and know, and READ... but have no opportunities to do so. I also pray that this is just the start of something... I pray for more opportunities in the future to give time and energy to wonderful women like Rhoda, with the vision that one day, they can pick up a Bible for themselves, read Jesus words, and be transformed by His truth on their own.
The girls that I work with in the clinic told me the other day, that Rhoda is the Mabaan equivalent of me... I'm not exactly sure that I agree, but I do take it as a great compliment... Rhoda is spunky and has attitude... perhaps therein lies the similarity :)
The day before I flew out I was over at Rhoda's for another lesson, and this time brought my camera. After I took the above picture of the two of us she said to me, "Katta, now take a picture of me with the book, and tell everyone at your home that I am learning to read!" :)
This is my friend Rhoda. And SHE is learning to R-E-A-D. :)