The meeting that we had tried to schedule for yesterday afternoon did not happen. Katie and the boys and I went to the village in the afternoon and greeted at the village chief’s family’s house. Then Katie and the boys stayed there chatting and I went to try to connect with the six men with whom I was hoping to meet. I was able to see all but one. One man was quite angry and yelled at me a few times. Another of the men told me that an “older brother” among them had come to visit him to get them all in line with his view that no one should even talk about the garden project we were considering. I suspected we would not be able to have any kind of meeting but went and waited at the meeting place anyway from around 5 to 6:30. I had some other good conversations with others who were just hanging out there, but did not get to talk about the project with the group of six men. At this point there is nothing to do but drop the project.
I’m not disappointed we aren’t able to do this project – there are some legitimate reasons not to do it that I can think of – but I am disappointed that we couldn’t talk about it. I had wanted to get together and talk about the issues, and see what solutions they could come up with, but even that was too much.
What I have been thinking about as I’ve been talking with these men is that there are a lot of broken relationships and broken hearts in these villages. They do project a sense of peace and of tranquility, but there’s a lot hiding under the surface. The broken pieces of those hearts can be jagged and hurt others as they get close to them. These folks need a way to be able to forgive each other for past hurts and have a new start. As we continue to visit this village, our prayer is that God will let us help them understand how they can both have and give forgiveness through Jesus.