As we head back from the town of Choma to the capital city of Lusaka, we travel the Great South Road. This paved “highway” connects Livingstone to Lusaka where it branches off into Great North Road, Great East Road, Great West Road. No major interstates here. Skimming along you may suddenly find that the road is blocked, with herds of cattle or goats crossing the road. Vehicles and people don’t seem to think twice as everything stops while the cattle lumber their way across and goats skip and squeal. Yes, they rule the road.
We had traveled this road earlier in our trip going in the opposite direction, to Livingstone. There we did a follow-up with SOS Village – Livingstone. We met with the beautiful house moms as a group hearing their stories of successes and challenges. We were encouraged as we drilled them in what they had learned and found that they not only remembered much of the training but had implemented it as well.
One house mom shared how there was so much more peace in the house, as they had learned to spend time with the children, “drawing them close”, and spending time listening to the children’s questions and fears. It reminded me of the scripture, “Where love abounds, grace also abounds much more.” The foundations of love and acceptance and understanding had taken root here.
They also shared how much the HGCA Youth Event had helped. For most, they had found it difficult to manage the older youth in their homes. During the event, the youth were challenged in such things as identity, purpose, and responsibility.
The social worker shared this testimony of one young man. “This particular youth was very arrogant. He would always brush off the advice that we (the social worker and caregiver) would give him. This included not only in his studies and behaviors, but also in regards to taking his medications. He is HIV positive and would cheat (not always take) his medications as he should. After the event, he came to me and apologized, saying ‘I realize you are trying to help me. I am redirecting my life.’ He then went home and also apologized to the caregiver. ‘I have not appreciated what you do.’ This youth, and many of the others have a different view after the event. We really appreciate what you have done.”
And now we head in the opposite direction. Towards Lusaka. Skimming along. Slowing down to let the animals pass. They have the right of away, after all. A picture of what has transpired in that village in Livingstone. No longer looking to the left or the right. But crossing over. Lives “redirected.”