SEPTEMBER 29, 2010
COURAGEOUS POT MAKING 101
We visited a man that makes aluminum cooking pots for his living. He has a small thatch hut on the very outskirt of the village Jubilee. His domain is easily identifiable by the black soot that surrounds the ground where he works.
We find this sinewy man, (though he appears ancient., in truth I am most likely his senior by at least ten years, maybe I also appear ancient? ) He is stoking the fire that burns hot with a strip of old tire. Careful to cover it loosely with a piece of tin. He uncovers the chamber holding the melting cans and stirs to see if the liquid is ready. Though we speak and he answers kindly ,he seems to be completely unmoved by this crowd of teenagers and one white lady that have come to visit.
Watching him silently , meticulously working his craft, stirs my soul. ,
We peer into the simple thatch building where he has frames laid out on the dirt floor , the fine dirt holds the forms for the liquid metal to be cast. Again, silently, with confidence, he works, skimming the dirt gently at first, then pounding it down until it is ready.
I should admit here that I am somewhat on a quest to investigate possibilities for small business ventures to help the widows and young women in the community provide for their families. I am thinking….can this man make pendants for jewelry? Can we set some mommas and teenage girls up in a Jewelry making business?
Every day as the official date for the government schools to open, draws nearer, we have more kids and their parents asking for help to pay for their kids schools. ( these are kids that our school doesn’t yet reach…we are pre-k to 1st grade ) The kids themselves beg for help, they are desperate to stay in school.. Laura Lynn is helping many ( probably more than I know) Others are too. But the need is great and HUGELY important. Though the cost is not outrageous…$400 Haitian dollars…roughly $50 US there are books to buy and uniforms to have made. Shoes and proper undergarments to find…Call it roughly 75.00 USD. A lot of money in one lump sum.
A side note here….many of us are deeply moved by the Justice issue of human trafficking. We know in the core of our being that everything about human beings being bought and sold for another persons dark intentions is WRONG in every moral sense of the word. What we may not realize is that it is proven that one of the best ways to protect young girls from being trafficked is to keep them in school. And going to school is relatively expensive all over the world.
So I pray, I think. I try to imagine business plans that work here, where there is no running water or electricity. It is difficult . I wonder how we keep pushing forward for a way of life that is beyond the daily acceptance of things like diarrhea that kills, sexual abuse and children that literally fill their bellies with dirt cookies to stave off hunger. The mountain of problems can be daily overwhelming even to the ones here to help.
It is at this point in our visit that one of the young men in our entourage picks up one of the finished pots stacked loosely in the mud at our feet and says “ I love Jesus” and I say what? He points to the side of each pot, the man has ‘engraved’ I (heart) Jesus on each piece.
I ask HOW does he get the impression in the mold….( ever thinking business…designs….words….) But he answers WHY he puts the impression in the mold. “Jesus is the one who gives me the courage to keep going”.
He smiles a deeply authentic smile and nods my way.
“You are right.” HE is talking to me. And , I kind of get it. Take courage. ( Didn’t we preach that this summer at the Marketplace…) Take courage. Keep going. Never ever give up. Wrongs are not made right without a battle. This really is what it looks like on the ground. Messy and beautiful. This guy preached me a good sermon in those few words….and I am grateful.