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Compassion!

Compassion! #5 – Clemency

It was late afternoon, and after going to see her newly adopted family and finding out the necessary expenses she was going to have to be footing from now onwards, she was on her way to church for the follow-up meeting.

She sighed as she arrived at the parking lot. Looking at the cars around, she knew she was in for quite a tough time. Especially that familiar Chevrolet Spark Lite. It meant Nathaniel was around.

His reaction over the phone when she called was anything but friendly. She hadn’t even gotten the chance to explain why she was absent; he was too livid over her no-show to listen to whatever she had to say. Typical of him. Fred was not wrong, he was quite the prim and proper kind of guy, as were most of the others. In love with sticking to the script. If so much as one thing was off detail, trouble.

She took note of the Toyota Camry with the ER registration plate. Barbara was in too. Another stickler for sticking to the script.

Well, Fred did give me that heads-up. Chale, I’m in for quite a drilling. Lord, soften their hearts.

She got out of her car, locked it and made her way to the youth hall where most of the executives would be waiting.

***

“… so that was the reason why I didn’t make it yesterday,” she explained, keeping her voice as calm and confident as possible. Which wasn’t very easy, considering how most of the eyes fixated on her seemed more interested in unleashing their vitriol on her than discovering why she had failed to show up for the previous day’s meeting.

She continued. “I realize that at the very least, I could have borrowed someone’s phone to call one of you and explain what the hold-up was all about. I totally neglected to do that. I just want to say that I’m sorry for my failure to show up.”

Silence all around. She silently prayed that they would at least be moved by the story and accept her reason for the absence.

Nathaniel shook his head. Clearly not impressed by her speech, he said, “Not good enough, Jennifer. Not good enough. Nothing should have prevented you from being here yesterday. Or you’ve forgotten how important the meeting was? That was not the time for you to go around performing welfare duties.”

“Exactly!” Barbara added, also looking very displeased. “There was so much on the agenda, and your presence was needed to sort things out for the convention in the next two weeks.”

Oh boy. Just as I expected. They just won’t accept it.

“But I sent the documents via email…” she attempted to add.

“Not good enough! Just sending the documents and not showing up is not good enough!” Nathaniel interjected, raising his voice. “We’re looking to make sure the upcoming convention is the best one we’ve had in a while, and everyone’s role is necessary. There’s no space for excuses…”

As she received the heavy outpour of rebukes and blasts from the others about her absence, she noticed one of the cleaners coming out of one inner office not too far from where they were seated. He looked oddly familiar. As if she had seen him already today…

“Jennifer!”

Amoateng’s voice snapped her out of her brief distraction. She turned to face them again.

“Are you serious at all? We’re pointing out how serious this action of yours is, and you’re busily staring into space?” Barbara questioned, sounding quite disgusted.

Nathaniel sat back and shook his head as he folded his arms, continuing to give her a hard stare. “I’m not gonna lie, Jennifer. You’re usually someone we can depend on when it comes to these matters. But I’m terribly disappointed in you this time. Very, very disappointed.”

Jennifer told there silently, clearly out of words.

Then the cleaner she had noticed, who had been standing at the exit door, suddenly put down the bucket he had been holding and moved to where the brief meeting was taking place.

Nathaniel held his fire as he noticed the elderly man approaching. He quickly put on a friendly expression and stood up respectfully as the cleaner arrived. “Oh, uh, is there anything you need, boss?” he asked.

The cleaner ignored his friendly show and looked around. Then he began to speak.

“I heard everything that was being said while I cleaned the office, and I must say, I’m disappointed in all of you.”

That took everyone aback. Including Jennifer.

He pointed at her. “This young lady you see right here. Even if she didn’t come for your meeting or whatever it is you’re raging about, she doesn’t deserve the treatment you’re giving her. Do you realize she saved a life yesterday?”

Looking at him again, she realized who it was.

Wait! That’s the cleaner I saw just as I left the hospital this morning! He works here too?

“I was in the room of that woman whose life she saved. The woman spoke to me after I finished my job there. Do you know what she said? She said she had been losing faith in the church. That all the people she knew as believers were not interested in helping her. Church elders. Deacons and deaconesses. All in love with doing big things for church programs. But none of them would lift a finger to help her. She was losing faith until this young lady came her way! Because Christians these days are more concerned with playing church than being the hands and feet of Christ!

“All of you, you’re more concerned with having a perfect program than actually showing the love of Christ to those who need it! Agendas and religion is what you people are more interested in. Do you know you’re no different than the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan?”

Some of them seemed pretty uncomfortable with that statement. A few looked like they were ready to argue with that. Including Nathaniel.

“Sir, with all due respect, you don’t understand. This program is very important…” he began.

“Gentleman, I don’t care about your flimsy little explanations! Now be quiet and listen to me.”

At that point, nobody else wanted to follow in Nathaniel’s footsteps. This man meant business.

“If any of you with this attitude had encountered that little boy, you’d obviously have ignored him. Then what would have happened? An innocent woman would have lost her life, and her children would be orphans by now. Do you know how much that would grieve God’s heart? But it wouldn’t matter to you, would it? Because your focus is all on putting up perfect shows and making people believe God is working. I’m so disappointed in you all. No compassion! None! This is not the attitude of a disciple of Christ!”

At this point, a lot of heads were bowed in shame.

“Do you think this is what Jesus saved you for? Just to come and play church? You think that’s it? Doesn’t the Bible you people read mention how Jesus was moved with compassion for the masses? He wasn’t interested in just preaching a good sermon or having a good reading at the synagogue. It was much deeper than that! You are Christians. Compassion must be in your DNA. Because your Heavenly Father is compassionate!”

Total silence. Unhappy and ashamed faces all around.

He walked over to Jennifer. Patting her on the back, he said, “Let this be a teachable lesson to all of you. Your Christianity means nothing if you’re obsessed with outward shows yet can’t show love and compassion when it’s needed. It means nothing. Follow this young lady’s example. Your programs and all may be important, but to show the love of Christ and make an indelible impact in the life of someone who needs it? That’s what touches God’s heart more than anything else.”

THE END

Remember, at the end of the day, showing compassion to others and being the hands and feet of Christ is essential! As the cleaner said: You are Christians. Compassion must be in your DNA. Because your Heavenly Father is compassionate!

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Compassion!

Compassion! #4 – Charity

As soon as she opened the door to her house, the first thing Jennifer did was to rush to the bedroom to check on her phone.

The screen was dimmer than usual, indicating the battery was dangerously low. 1%, to be exact.

It also revealed 34 missed calls. Majority of which were coming from church executives. A few from her mother, and a few more from her younger brother. Which was probably her mother asking him to try calling her.

Jennifer did a facepalm. “Well, thank God I remembered to send the documents via email. I’d be super screwed a whole lot more than I probably am.”

She took the phone over to where the charger was and plugged it in. As for the meeting with the executives, she’d definitely have to find a way to ease herself out of it. In the meantime, after all the happenings of the previous day, she needed to take a shower.

About fifteen minutes later, and she came back to check on the phone. Satisfied with the percentage, she took it off the hook and dialled the first person she needed to get in touch with.

On the third ring, 0:00 appeared on the screen.

“Mummy!”

“Ei, Jennifer! I was calling you the whole of yesterday, no answer. I even asked your brother to call you. I was getting worried mpo.”

“Yeah, I had a meeting at church to attend yesterday, and I forgot to take my phone with me, and the problem is, by the time I realized it, I couldn’t turn back. That’s why…”

“And you forgot to call back when you got home? Ah well, never mind. I hope everything is okay with you.”

Oh yeah, everything is fine ooo, by God’s grace. But there’s something I wanted to tell you. It’s about yesterday.”

“Saaa?”

“Yeah. And you’ll understand why I didn’t get back to you. Something happened on the way as I was going to the meeting…”

Her mother listened with rapt attention as she filled her in on the events of the previous day. She was filled with a pleasant surprise as Jennifer ended off with the announcement to help cater for the family’s needs.

“Wow! That’s amazing! Jenny the Good Samaritan!”

Jennifer laughed. “I guess so. It’s a good thing, though, right?”

“Oh, of course! You know me and my thoughts about money. If you have it, make sure you’re using it to make a difference in somebody’s life. As for the chilling, the trips, nice clothes and things, those enjoyments are cool, and there’s nothing wrong in spoiling yourself every now and then. But those are just some added benefits. At the end of the day, the money is a tool you must use to make impact. So if that is what you’ll do with your money, it’s good. God will certainly bless you big time.”

Jennifer smiled as she lay on her bed, the phone to her ear. Trust her mother to deliver that wise counsel.

“Amen, Mummy! I’ll go and see them later on in the day, by the way. So I can find out what they’ll need and all that.”

“No problem. If you need any help, I’ll be more than happy to help out.”

“Sure, sure. I’ll definitely let you know where it’ll be necessary.”

“Alright, take care, then, darling.”

“Yes, Mummy. Love you, Mummy!”

She hung up, pleased with how that went. Having Mrs. Hanna Gaisie as a mother was a blessing that could not be underrated in any way. Wise, loving, God-fearing… the absolute package. She was a major reason Jennifer was the virtuous young lady she was.

As she got up, ready to give her phone some more charge time, the screen lit up with the arrival of a call.

It was Fred, her younger brother who had been calling the previous day.

“Hello, Fred,” she answered.

“Yo, Jenny, wossop? Where have you been?”

“Some crazy but amazing set of circumstances bi that happened to me yesterday ooo. While I was on my way to the church meeting. And I left my phone at home too, so chale, I was totally out of coverage area.”

“Saaa? What circumstances?”

“Ask Mummy about it. I just spoke to her.”

“Ah, but nothing spoil if you tell me, lah.”

“Brɛda, I’m sleepy, lah. And my phone battery too is extremely low. You, lemme just summarize it for you: I saved someone from possible death yesterday.”

“Kwɛɛ! Wow! So you turn Superwoman, eh?”

Jennifer rolled her eyes. What a clown this younger brother of hers could be. “Massa, behave yourself. Like I said, Mummy has all the juice, so ask her about it.”

“Okay, okay. So uh, that’s why you missed the meeting, right?”

“Yeah, yeah. I would’ve called them if I had my phone, but chale, some of these things happen. At least, I guess I have a valid reason for being absent.”

“Well… let’s hope your leaders understand.”

Jennifer was puzzled. “Why?”

“Hmmm. I was chatting with Banahene last night. And apparently, when Amoateng got home, he was quite annoyed. Because you weren’t around. From what I was told, they called you several times, and no answer, and the main ones were absolutely livid. Blasting you left, right and center.”

Jennifer shook her head. “Let me guess. The likes of Nathaniel and Barbara were included.”

“Oh, you know them dada. They were not happy at all, and if the way Amoateng was talking is anything to go by, then they’ve planned to grill the living daylight out of you when your follow-up meeting comes on this afternoon.”

Jennifer sighed. “Well, I’ll apologize, then explain the whole thing to them. They should understand. It’s not like I decided to go somewhere else.”

“Hmmmm. Hopefully, they’ll understand. The way they can be someway at times, especially Nathaniel. I just hope they listen.”

“Oh, they will. They should, in fact. Na human life diɛɛ, you can’t put a price on it. If I had not come through and the lady died, by now her children will be all alone with nobody to help them. That one too is something else.”

“That’s true, mohm. That’s paramount. Ah well, lemme leave you to charge your thing.”

“Cool, cool. I’ll call you later on in the evening, wai.”

“Alright, alright. Bye, Jenny.”

“Bye.”

The call ended, she immediately plugged it back in, heading to her wardrobe to freshen up and get dressed. Once that was over, she’d get in touch with one of the executives and explain her situation.

Surely they were gonna be reasonable about it, wouldn’t they? Yeah, the meeting was a very vital one, but… human life mattered more, right?

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Compassion!

Compassion! #3 – Concern

It was about 6:00 am when Jennifer stirred. Lifting herself from the bench in the reception, she felt a bit stiff in some part of her body. She stared around. Nurses bustling around, busy as ever. A few patients seated around her, waiting to see the doctor on duty.

She yawned and shook her head. Oh yeah, she had left the kids with their mother in the ward. The nurse who had spoken to her had been sweet enough to accommodate them, so that was a good thing.

What a relief it was to have them there. She had certainly been used as a vessel to deliver them from a tragedy that almost nobody would probably care about.

As she rose up, she thought about the family in there.

Clearly, that lady had no help coming in from anywhere. Per what Joseph had said, she had been dismissed as a witch and left to her fate. The slum she found them in was utterly pathetic. And the children were an absolute mess, as far as their clothes and bodily appearance was concerned.

They needed help. Badly. It was not enough to just see that Maame Akua got better physically; her standard of living needed an urgent and immediate cure.

And as she stood there, an idea had just been deposited into her mind. A major idea that would most definitely change those needy lives for the better.

Jennifer decided to step out of the hospital for a moment, to get something to eat. While at it, she would get some food for Maame Akua and the kids as well.

And with the idea being planted in her head, she also felt it would be a good time to have a little chat with God about it. You know, seek a little confirmation before going ahead with it…

 ***

Maame Akua and her kids woke up to meet Jennifer with Hausa koko and chibom (bread and fried eggs), laid out and waiting to be consumed. The mother was beside herself with joy as she and her children ate. “I don’t remember the last time we ate and felt satisfied,” she remarked as she finished off her bowl of koko. “It’s been a hard time for us since my husband died a few years ago. I don’t have a job, we struggle every day to get proper food to eat, Kwaku and Akua are no longer in school because there’s no money to pay their fees, I’ve had to sell almost all my clothes just to help us survive… my dear, life is hard, and if it wasn’t for these two, I don’t know if I’ll find life worth living.”

Jennifer listened with absolute empathy. Exactly as she had expected. What she had heard was a total contrast to her life, which was pretty comfortable, her parents having more than enough money to cater for her and her two brothers, although she was no longer staying with them. This family was definitely on its last leg, and with nobody else moved to help, it would only be a matter of time until they went into extinction.

 Jennifer briefly closed her eyes and bowed her head. Alright, dear Lord, this is it, then. I’ll do it!

“Ma, after all you’ve said,” she started as she lifted her head up and looked straight at Maame Akua, “it won’t be fair of me to just leave you and the children after you’re fully fit. In view of that, I’ve decided to take care of you and your children.”

Maame Akua’s eyes widened. “Are you serious?”

Jennifer nodded. “Ma, I mean every word. I thought and prayed about it as I went to buy this food, and I know it’s what God expects of me. So don’t worry, I will take care of what you’ll eat, I’ll help you, Kwaku and Kessewaa get some new clothes, I’ll try and get them enrolled in a new school… look, whatever it is, I’ll do it. With the money I have, it’s going to be absolutely no problem taking care of you and your family.” 

Maame Akua looked like she was ready to burst into tears. “Oh, Jennifer, how can I thank you for this? I just don’t know what to say…” She trailed off, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Oh, Ma, don’t thank me. Thank God that He brought me your way, and that I’m ever ready to do what He wants me to,” Jennifer insisted, giving her a hug. “As far as I’m concerned, once I’m in that position to help you, it would be foolish of me not to do it. Don’t worry one bit, Maame. Just give all the glory to God.”

Wiping away the tears from her eyes with her cloth, she simply murmured words of thankfulness. From facing a bleak and hopeless future to encountering this Good Samaritan, there couldn’t be more to possibly be thankful for. The kids looked excited at the prospect of getting an upgrade in their lives. No doubt, they were tired of staying in the slums with nothing to eat and nothing proper to wear.

Just then, as a janitor stepped into the ward to clean the washroom, Jennifer noticed it was almost eight o’clock. She hadn’t stepped in her house since she had left for the meeting. She had to go and change, and besides, there was another meeting to attend to later on in the afternoon.

“Oh wow. Time dey move fast papa! Ma, please, I need to get going. I have to attend to some things back home,” she explained. “So I’ll be back later on in the afternoon to sort some things out.”

Still wiping away her tears, she nodded. “No problem, my dear. I’ll be waiting.”

“Alright. Joseph! Evelyn! I’m going home. I’ll be back soon, okay?”

“Okayyy!” they replied.

Evelyn held out her arms for a hug. Jennifer grinned and walked over to embrace the little girl, who gave her a kiss on the cheek and whispered, “I love you, Jennifer.”

Quite an effect those words had on Jennifer as she exited the hospital and headed for her car. They were stuck in her head as she drove back home. It filled her with a warmth that was so satisfying and fulfilling. Those words of affection coming from a little girl who had been hours away from being an orphan had lifted her spirit, and nothing but feelings of gratitude and pleasure flowed from her heart as she drove on. A little tear of joy stood in her eye as she continued to think about it.  

At a traffic light, she briefly shut her eyes and whispered in her heart, Lord, in so many ways, I feel it was You uttering those words through that precious little child…

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Compassion!

Compassion! #2 – Care

Jennifer opened her eyes. Momentarily confused, she looked around in surprise. What am I doing here?

Then she noticed the two little ones asleep on her lap, and she remembered. How could I forget? I’m here because of Evelyn and Joseph’s mother.

What a day it had been for her. Having taken leave from her workplace for a fortnight, she had relaxed the whole of that morning, preparing for the meeting, planning how well things would go. Now here she was, in the hospital, watching over these two poor, defenseless children as their mother fought for her life. She couldn’t remember the last time she had shed so many tears the way she had that day; it had been such an emotional period for her.

She had been silently praying for a breakthrough in their mother’s recovery as they cried themselves to sleep. Looking down at their now peaceful faces, she sighed. What adorable little darlings they are. I love their names: Joseph Kwaku Gyamfuah and Evelyn Nana Akua Gyamfuah. It’s so disheartening to see them like this. Living in horrible conditions, losing their daddy, now this. Oh, Lord, thank You for using me. I’m so happy I listened to You and attended to Joseph, else these precious ones would be orphans by now…

As these thoughts ran through her head, she briefly remembered the meeting and her phone, but quickly they drifted from her mind. Truthfully, the impact of saving a needy family made these things pale in comparison. She knew they most likely would be super peeved with her, but thinking about how a life was saved, their wrath sounded far better to deal with than the wrath of God.

Evelyn was starting to wake up. As she did, an elderly nurse exited the emergency ward and walked towards. “Miss Jennifer Gaisie?” she asked Jennifer.

She nodded.

“Good. It’s about the lady you brought in. in fact, you need to go down on your knees and thank God. When you brought her in, her condition was terrible. As the doctors attended to her, there was a serious doubt as to whether she’d make it in one piece, especially with the high fever and all. But her condition is much stable now.”

Jennifer’s eyes lit up. “So she’s much better now?”

“Well, not exactly. Her temperature is still quite high, although not as much, but I can assure you she’s out of danger.”

Jennifer raised her hands high to the sky and in a voice of extreme gratitude, thanked God for this piece of news. Evelyn, who was a bit confused, asked her, “What’s happening? How is my mummy?”

She woke Joseph up first before breaking the good news to them; their mother wasn’t going to die. The delight on their faces was a touching sight for her and the nurse. They quickly asked the nurse, “Can we see her now?”

“Oh, sorry dears, but she’s asleep. You can wait for a while, though, and spend the night here with her,” she answered them. No problem for them – as long as their mother was fine, that was OK. They were satisfied to sit and wait with the lovely young girl who had helped save their mother’s life.

As they waited, leaning on her as they moved in and out of light slumber, Jennifer could feel the tension from their little bodies had evaporated. And that brought her a load of relief. She had been as scared as them. Nobody deserved to lose their parent under these conditions, and thankfully, they weren’t going to find themselves in that unfortunate situation.

After about half an hour, and they were allowed to go in to see her. The sick woman looked a bit surprised to see Jennifer. “Um, please, who are you?” she asked in a weak but rather demanding voice. No surprise she didn’t recognize her; the high fever had made her totally lose track of everything that was going on around her when she was taken to the car by Jennifer and the children.

Jennifer quietly went to her bedside and told her everything that had happened the moment she saw Joseph crying on the streets. The children eagerly chipped in from time to time, full of glee, happy to see their mother was now okay to an extent.

When she was done, the mother of Joseph and Evelyn, whom she later asked to be called as Maame Akua, only looked up to the sky, with an expression that spoke more than the words ‘thank you’. She then turned her gaze of gratitude to Jennifer. “My daughter, words cannot describe how grateful I am to you for what you did. Eiii! For you to consider a nonentity like me when you had other matters to attend to…”

“Oh, Ma, don’t say that,” Jennifer gently protested. “Your life is far more important than any meeting or whatever. If I had decided to ignore Joseph and continue with my journey, and the worst had happened, I don’t think my conscience would ever let me be. It was all a part of God’s will; He knows exactly why He wanted me to be stuck in traffic, so I’d see Joseph and come and help you out. Give all the thanks to God; it was all a part of His perfect plan.”

“Hmm, I hear you, my daughter. There is not much I can say right now, I’m so overwhelmed,” Maame Akua replied, that look still on her face.

“Ma, let’s just get some sleep. I’ll stay with you and the children. Once I brought you here, I might as well stay around till morning.”

“But won’t your mother be worried about you?” Maame Akua asked in concern.

Jennifer smiled and shook her head. “I live by myself, Ma, so don’t worry about that. I’ll be fine. I’ll just get the nurse to get something for the children to sleep on. I’ll be in the reception.”

Maame Akua nodded.

Jennifer then stepped out, went to look for the elderly nurse and got her to get some cloths for the young ones. Once they were settled in, and almost asleep, she made her way to the reception, where there were a few others asleep.

Lying on the nearest bench, she let out a deep sigh of relief. A few hours ago, she had cried out to Jesus to save their mother. And He did not disappoint.

“Thank You, Jesus,” she whispered as she closed her eyes, a smile on her face.

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Compassion!

Compassion! #1 – Consideration

It was five-thirty on a Friday afternoon. Jennifer locked the door to her house, and walked along, humming to herself as she prepared for the meeting at church. She opened the door to her Honda CR-V and drove off.

A young, vibrant woman with a passion for God, Jennifer was the secretary for the main youth group in her church, and she loved her job to the maximum. Nobody could deny her dedication and commitment to her duties, and many of the pastors held her in high regard.

This meeting she was going for, however, was a meeting of pretty high importance, and her presence was urgently needed to rectify a few issues concerning the group.

As she drove along, her car’s stereo bumping out the sounds of Mali Music, she reached for her phone on the other seat to call the youth group president to let him know she was on her way. It wasn’t there. “Oh, crap!” she said to herself. “I totally forgot to take it out whilst I was charging it. Oh, chale.”

Well, too late to turn back for it, as she had already found herself on the main road; she had to move on. The music on deck soon made her forget the phone, and she was busily singing along as she sped on to the meeting.

All the glory belongs to You, all the glory belongs to You, O God,” she sang, still on her journey. Then she found herself in traffic. Groaning, she looked at the digital clock on the dashboard. Without the traffic, she’d be a fifteen-minute drive away, but with this familiar traffic, an extra thirty minutes would be on the cards. The meeting was scheduled to start in thirty minutes.

“Oh, Lord, pleeease let this traffic move faster. I just can’t afford to be late,” she silently prayed.

It didn’t work. The traffic lived up to its expectations, keeping her in the line for half an hour before she could move on.

“Ugh, I can’t believe it. Now I’m late for this meeting, and I can’t even call Lawrence to let him know why I’ll be late. Why kraaa did I leave my phone at home?” she whined to herself, picking up a little speed. Then as she turned a junction, she noticed a little boy of about six years cuddled up in a corner. There were a few cars passing by, but none seemed to take notice of him. From the distance which she was at, she could see the redness in the boy’s eyes; it was quite obvious he had been crying.

Jennifer slowed down a bit, a bit oblivious to the taxi behind her. “I wonder what could be wrong with this little boy. Maybe I should get down and find out what it is,” she said. Then the meeting came to mind. “Oh, but I’m already late for this meeting. I have to get going.” She started to move on, but two seconds later, she stopped abruptly. She took a look at him. He was now wiping his eyes. Looked like his tear glands were in function yet again.

Jennifer was always one who took serious precaution when dealing with strangers and all. But upon seeing the boy in his miserable state, she had a very strong conviction to go and see what it was that had the boy so miserable. She knew she had to go for the meeting, but with the feeling inside her, she’d probably not be at peace with herself if she left.

After a moment, followed by the honking of the taxi behind her, she decided, “I’ll stop here and see what’s wrong with him. The meeting can wait.” So she moved her car to the side of the road and parked. All her attention was on the boy, so she hardly heard the nasty words the taxi driver threw at her when he passed by.

She walked to the boy, still crying, bent down and gently asked, “My dear, what’s wrong? Why are you sitting out here crying?”

The boy looked up at her, unable to speak. He just shook his head and raised his arms about, as if he was trying to find the appropriate words to describe his situation.

Uh-oh. I hope this boy isn’t dumb. I don’t understand a tint of sign language! Jennifer thought. “Come on now, talk to me,” she urged him. “Maybe I can help. What is it?”

He looked at her, then slowly, opened his mouth. “My.. my…my mummy is dying.”

Jennifer was horrified. “What’s wrong with her?”

Two tears rolled down the boy’s face, and he wiped them before continuing. “She got malaria about a week ago. We don’t have money to buy drugs. I don’t know who to turn to; my daddy is dead. My uncles and aunties think my mummy killed him, so they don’t want to mind us. Nobody wants to help us. So she’s in bed right now. I just can’t…” he trailed off, the tears starting to fall again.

At this rate, Jennifer’s eyes were filled with tears themselves. Judging by the clothes on the boy, it was obvious his story was true. His clothes were horribly faded, as if he had worn them continuously for three months. Before she could say anything, he continued in a wobbly voice. “You know, my mummy always taught me and my little sister to pray no matter what. Since she fell sick, we’ve been praying and praying, yet nobody wants to help us. None of our uncles or aunties care. People drive us away when we ask. I…I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m crying to God for help, but He’s not hearing me! Why? Whyyy??”

If that first speech from the boy helped form Jennifer’s tears, this one helped push them out of her eyes. Watching the boy start to cry loudly, the tears flowed at a fast pace, fueled by the misery of this young poor boy lamenting his mother’s pathetic condition.

I can’t let this young boy lose his mother. I need to find her and take her to the hospital ASAP! “Sweetheart, she asked, sniffing, “Where do you live? I’ll take her to the hospital straight away.”

The boy looked up at her, his eyes shining all of a sudden. “Really? You’ll do that?”

She nodded, wiping her eyes. “Yes, I will. Take me to your house and let’s get her to the hospital right now.”

He sprung up with delight. “WOW! Thank you so much, madam! Come let me show you my house!” He pulled her along through a lane littered with empty water sachets. At the end of it was a cluster of houses, all joined together. Typical slum on the streets of Accra.

She was looking all around her as she was led to the place where the little boy lived. He opened a wooden net door with a torn net and led her in.

The place was so small and cramped, almost equal to a prison cell. This living room is about a quarter of my bedroom, she thought as she looked around.

“My mummy is in here,” the boy said, pointing to a room with no door. She peered into the room.

There lay his mother on a small mattress on the floor, shivering uncontrollably and muttering intelligible stuff to herself. She was clearly in awful shape. A little girl was sitting next to her on the floor, face streaked with tears, clearly devastated at how her mother’s condition seemed to deteriorate by the minute.

“Mummy, please don’t die. Mummy, please don’t die. I beg you, please don’t die,” she said repeatedly to her mother, who was oblivious to these vain pleas.

The sheer helplessness on the little girl’s face, coupled with the evident high fever and the deplorable surroundings, was too much for Jennifer to bear. Hand over her mouth, tears streamed down her face as she beheld the heart-rending sight before her.

“Evelyn, this lady is here to help us,” the boy said to his sister. “She’s taking Mummy to the hospital.”

Evelyn looked up to Jennifer as she went over to lift their mother up. “Please don’t let our mummy die. Please,” she pleaded, pity in her eyes.

“I won’t, sweetie. That’s why I’m here,” Jennifer assured her. Within a few minutes, she had the two children and their mother in the car, off to the hospital.

Arriving at an exclusive private hospital, where the terribly sick lady would have the care and attention she needed, Jennifer informed the nurses of her condition, and they duly had her rushed to the emergency room, as her case was an extremely serious one. “Will she make it?” she asked one of the nurses nervously.

The nurse turned to her, a sympathetic look on her face. “Young lady, it’s a very good thing you brought her now. We’re going to do what we can, but I can’t assure you she’ll survive. She might go into a coma, or even worse, not make it. All you can do right now is pray.”

So she and the little ones waited anxiously in the reception. The two children continued to cry, still aware their mother might not make it.

“God, please don’t let our mummy die. Our daddy is already dead, and nobody will take care of us if she dies. Please, God, don’t her die,” they said mournfully, clinging to Jennifer.

Jennifer rarely cried, but with all that had gone on that day, her tear glands were in overdrive, and despite shedding so many tears earlier, the trepidation of the young ones at becoming helpless orphans was enough to provoke a fresh batch.

“Don’t cry, dearies. God won’t let her die,” she said to them, holding them tight in an embrace. Tears still coming out of her eyes, she looked up to the heavens, and said a silent prayer…

 Jesus, save their mother! Please, save their mother…

Let’s see what happens in part 2…