So another week goes by. This time some sad experiences. Brother Blessing, a convert to Elder Amoah is a tiler. He works with tiles. He is a busy person, he works far from home and usually stays and sleeps there for the work week before coming homeevening for church the next day. He lives very modestly with his parents and younger brother.
Several weeks ago, brother Blessing had called us several days in a row saying that he was told to meet someone at another branch for his Melchizedek priesthood interview but the person would never show up to the appointment. I was frustrated by this, especially when it happened the second time and we called the leader in question. It sounded as though he had just awaken and said that he didn't go to the appointment because it had rained that morning. From my experience living here I have concluded that the relationship between Beninese/Togolese people and rain is equivalent to that of American people and spiders.
I was upset by this because I knew that Blessing needed to be at work but he must had sacrificed what would have been one day, but now two days of work so he could have his interview. It was laterthat I found out, when he told me, that brother Blessing hadn't been at work the whole week because he didn't have enough money for transport. He asked me if I could help him with 1000 francs, which is almost 2$ so he could simply get to work. That broke my heart. I only had 500 francs with me at the time but I borrowed another 1000 from Elder Mayani to give to Blessing. Later on, brother Blessing gave me a letter that thanked me for helping him make it through a hard time. It's crazy how many people's lives here hang on a thread. People get kicked out of their homes because they fail to pay the last 1500 francs on their 5000 franc($8.60) per month rent. Many fall asleep not knowing if they'll have food to eat the next day. Many rely on unstable jobs to provide for their families.
Last Thursday night, as we pulled into the driveway at our apartment building I saw a man standing nearby with a little girl in his arms. We got out of the car and as we walked over to the building the man approached us and said: "You are missionaries right? Can you help me pray for my daughter? She drank bleach". The little girl seemed uncomfortable moving but the man told her to open her mouth to show us the scarring and damage that the bleach had done. He said that he had taken her to the hospital but was refused treatment for lack of 4700 francs. He had been wandering around all day since the morning looking for help and he found us. It was around. Elder Adjo and I brought them into the garage and gave the little girl a blessing. Then I gave the last 5000 francs I had for the month to the man and told him to go take care of his child. It saddened and bothered me that this little girl risked dying over a matter of 4700 francs. I left the man our number but I haven't heard from him since.
Then just the next day, we were delivering propane gas to the sister missionaries when a man approached our vehicle, crying, and asking us if we had anything at all for him and his family. I gave him some coins that were in the car.
Well there are some of the sad depressing moments.
But here are some fun pictures!
1 The new president doesn't live in our neighborhood anymore, so the power goes out more often :( we had to sleep outside on couch cushions because it's too hot to be able to sleep indoors.
2 Here we are in front of the airport waiting for Elder Stanfill to arrive
3 Practicing hymns
4 I made the invitation for the conference and it was cool to see it made into a large poster
5 Me at the conference
6 Elder Adjo, me, Elder Mayani and Elder Ouizan Bi (we are all in the same apartment)
This week is transfers. I will send another email about the conference soon!
Love you all