Wilfreda’s weathered face reveals an old woman who has suffered hardship. To look at her arms, you can trace the bones within. Her clothes are tattered and threadbare.
Wilfreda lives in a small mud hut with a thatched roof. She and her aged husband have no means of making money. We visited Wilfreda at her home because she had been blessed with a male and a female goat through a project facilitated by Hungry for Life and our good friend Edgar.
We saw the goats first, as our visit was unannounced and Wilfreda was not home. As we talked to our guide Pastor Michael about the project, Wilfreda came running up the dirt path to greet us.
She happily shook our hands and told us through Pastor Michael’s translation what a joy it was to meet us and how excited she was about the upcoming birth of her goat. She talked of the blessing these goats will be when she can start to sell the offspring at the market to make a bit of money.
We had a little chat and headed on our way as we had much to see and a long ways to walk on this particular day. And I thought that was the end of my story about Wilfreda. But then we went to Pastor Michael’s church on Sunday.
The mud walled and tin roofed church was full of mostly widows and orphans. Some had probably not had anything to eat for breakfast; three meals a day is unheard of in Boro.
Pastor Michael’s flock is a very poor one. While they cannot bring much to offer, what they do bring is joy. Wilfreda and the others arrived at the church with huge smiles, dressed in their Sunday best.
They came to worship, and it was a sweet sound. Out of the congregation, one lone woman would begin to sing praise to God. The rest would repeat after her, moving and clapping their worship to Christ. As one song ended, another woman would begin a new song, and so it went for song after song.
It was beautiful. There was such a presence of God in this place, and the humble surroundings made it all the more evident that God seeks after our hearts alone. I watched as Wilfreda sang out to her Saviour, giving Him her praise. I am sure God smiled down on his followers in the Boro church that day.
The Hillside team’s pastor, Durwin, gave the message, and then it came time for the offering. A large basket was placed on a table at the front, and quickly after people began to drop in their offerings. As a team, we had decided to each give about 100 shillings each, a lot for these people but under $2 for us. I was standing right by the basket, and as I watched, Wilfreda and most of the others in the church came forward. They dropped in change – 5, 10, maybe 20 shillings at the most – releasing their grip and dropping their meagre offerings into the hand woven basket with a clink.
As I watched, I began to weep. I couldn’t help it.
We gave so little. These people gave a tenth of what we did, yet they gave so much more.What we gave was nothing in comparison to what they gave. How can I describe the sacrifice these people gave, their precious offering?
It was so real to me, after seeing Wilfreda in her home and witnessing the poverty she came from. To see her and others that come from similar living situations give their offerings to Christ was humbling. No sacrifice I have made for God’s glory comes close to the 10 shillings Wilfreda gave that day.