Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Why Africans are Late
Seven students attended the "Planning for Success" class. Only one came on time, the last arrived at 6:35 p.m. - 1 hour and 35 minutes late. But this is how it is in Africa. There are those who have to walk long distances and consequently it takes a long time to arrive at their destinations. I have sat in a sacrament meeting and seen women walk late into the meeting with beads of sweat on their faces having walked a long distance in the sun to reach church, some carrying a baby on their back. Or see members arrive late during Sunday school for the same reason. It is understandable why people don't come to church when it rains. If it takes them 1 hour to walk to church in the rain, sit soaking wet in the meetings, then walk home another hour in the rain - why come to church? Two weeks ago it started raining early in the morning and literally rained all day. So rain affects church, seminary, and institute attendance. However, not everyone lives long distances from the church. There are those who live close and distance is not the only reason for coming late or not coming to meetings at all.
The past 2 days I have been on a rescue mission -- rescuing stranded young missionaries. Elder Taylor, our neighbor 3 houses away, has a case with spare keys to every vehicle in the Port Elizabeth mission. He has permanently given me a set of 2 keys to his house - 1 key to open the rod iron door protecting the wooden door to his house, and one key to open the wooden door to get into his house. This is the procedure: if a couple of young missionaries misplace, lose, or accidentally lock their keys in their car, one of the 3 senior couples closest needs to go rescue them. Usually, it is who is available and the closest. I got the calls, was the closest, and so opened elder Taylor's house, picked up the case of vehicle keys and went to the rescue. One set of elders were 45 miles away, the other 6 miles away. Three weeks ago I also went on a rescue mission. The battery died in a missionary car. They were stranded after visiting an inactive. So I got jumper cables and was able to rescue them.
The young elders are very dedicated. It is neat associating with them. We have 5 sets of elders that we buy supplies for and help if needed. Well, this is all for now. I can't wait for the grocery store to open so I can buy a stick to eat for breakfast.
P.S. Just a reminder: my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org is dead. I can no longer send or receive anything on it. Instead I use email@example.com.