I have always been a lover of the outdoors and of my neighborhood but, because of my busy schedule, I have only been able to get to know a few people around my community. On Sundays, my family usually takes a stroll around the community to meet and greet our neighbors. This has always turned out to be fun, especially for the kids, who get to make new friends and meet new pets.
During the three-month lockdown, life turned out differently and came with many lessons, which, without a doubt, God intended for me and my family to learn many lessons. Because of the boredom, pressure, and wanting to ease the tension from our minds, as well as keeping the children busy, we decided to walk further each evening. This allowed us to visit with people we had never met before. We went from house to house, well to well, and swamp to swamp, seeing new things and meeting new people.
The lessons are so vivid that I feel the urge to share them.
About five months before COVID, my wife and I, along with a friend, planted a garden of potatoes. Harvest came at the right time, weeks before COVID hit. We did not need all the food and so we thought about selling some of it, but this work I do with Bright Hope has taught me differently. Someone is always in need and many cannot afford to buy food for themselves and their families.
Two weeks into the COVID lockdown, we met people who were desperate and needed food. The garden supplied food to so many. As the Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive, we received this joy and satisfaction within our hearts. While many were finding it challenging to keep together as a family, our family enjoyed wonderful times together as we walked almost fifteen kilometers every day in order to make sure that the food was gathered from the garden and given to those who needed it.
Working with people who are focused on helping others achieve their potential and live better lives has impacted me in such a way that I have learned to put others’ needs before mine.
Not economics, not myself, but others first.
That is the Bright Hope I have; if we all work together for the good of the next person, then no pandemic, problem, poverty, nor situation will ever be too big for us to solve.
Creating a relationship first is the key that opens up even the most closed of souls to share what goes on in their lives. We shared with children at the well, people in their homes, and strangers along the road. We got to meet those we could help and those who could help us. There are more needs in this world than we can ever imagine. All we need to do is reach out because we cannot claim to love God, Whom we cannot see if we do not love those close to us and created in His own image.
Finally, we began having a family sharing time in the Word every evening as my wife suggested but, amazingly, all the Scriptures were summarized by one thing: love, love, and more love of one’s neighbor. And that is how we managed to live stress-free through the lockdown period.