Saturday, December 22, 2007
2 Kina (70 cents) for a day's work
(Brother Robert Jerry, married with three boys)
"So how did you do today?" I asked Robert as he sauntered up to our house. "Not too great, I sold about 2 Kinas worth of peanuts, em tasol--that's it." My mind then began to do the math. How could he support his family with that? Impossible. In fact, for him to get to and from the market was a two Kina fare. Two Kina is about 70 cents Canadian. Not much at all. These peanuts were brought to him from his village, some 13 hours by car. He would have to share the profits with his brother who took them down. He has been frequenting the main market in town which houses some 400-500 vendors. Many of them also barely scraping enough profits to get home. This two kina would have been understandable if he had sat there for 10 minutes or so. But he was there for some six hours or so under the hot tropical sun because most of the market is exposed to its relentless heat. My heart breaks to know the burden that he carries to look after his family and the near impossible walls to climb to do that.
We are thankful for Robert. He has been a faithful member of one of our new churches for some 3 years. He is the deacon/treasurer of the church's funds and has been scrupulous in maintaining them. He has so little and yet is not bent on garnering the little he has with the church's collections. We praise God for men like that, but we worry about the poverty he and his family face.
Speaking of faces, his youngest son a few months older than Karlyn has the deep lines of illness and malnutrition etched into his face. He has what you would call an old face already. Please pray with us for Robert, his wife Julie, and their three boys that the Lord will provide for this faithful workman of God. They moved to the Tent City settlement for the education of their children..but education isn't free here. Life is harsh, very harsh. This is poverty.