There are very few white people here in Lesotho, so the 3 of us really stand out. People are constantly asking for my phone number so that we can "be friends and socialize." When I was at the mall last week I was stopped by a woman for a very different reason. Sometimes when I'm taking to strangers, I am very shy and reserved, while other moments I am direct and bold. As I spoke with this woman, I was very direct & bold. This was our conversation:
Woman: You are not from here, where do you live?
Me: You're right, I'm from America, but I live in Sekamang.
Woman: Tell me exactly where your house is. I am going to give you something.
Me: No, it's better if I don't tell you where I live. What do you want to give me?
Woman: Please tell me where you live. I am through with my son. I am going to give him to you.
Me: Why are you through with your son? How old is he?
Woman: He is 3 years old, and going to start preschool. I do not want him anymore, he is too expensive.
Me: It is God's plan for every child to grow up with their mom and dad. I will not take your son.
Woman: My husband died, so my child doesn't have a dad.
Me: So that means YOU are the one the your son needs! He needs to grow up knowing that his mom loves him.
Woman: I'm not sure if I love him, he is too much money.
Me: If you could have the child, you should love the child. And if you don't know how to love him, pray to God so he puts more love in your heart for him.
Woman: No, it's better if you just take him.
Me: Look, I work at an orphange with 40 children who have no mother and no father. There are only 4 adults looking after all those children. Do you think they get the love they need? Do you think they have new school uniforms and their tuition paid for? Your son is lucky to have you, and if you throw him away to someone else, or to a center, you will be destroying his future and God's plan for him to be part of a family.
Woman: 40 children? No mother & no father? How you pay school fees?
Me: The owners trust that God will provide. He loves the children, just like God love your son. You owe it to him to raise him yourself, and love him like he deserves.
Woman: Okay, I understand. I'll keep my son .
I was blown away that someone was seriously offering me their child. I wonder, though, how common it is for poor people to think their child is better off in a center, or with someone who has more money. During the children at risk school, there was a speaker who came for only one day, but she really helped me to understand that it God's plan for children to grow up in a family. Not an institution, not a center (as good as it may be), but a family with a loving mom and a loving dad. So as I spoke with this woman, I was filled with boldness to confront her ideas of a "better life" for her and her son, and tell her that God's plan for her son, is her raising him.