The boy who jumped over the wall for food

This post was written while we were in Chad.

I got up very early this morning, thirty minutes before the Fajr prayer time (which is one hour before sunset). Last night, the winds and the rain were violent, and the lightning and thunder were fairly close together.

Garibou boys; photo by Mary Newcombe

photo by Mary Newcombe

So I shut off the solar system, and read a book or two on my handheld and fell asleep.

As I worked at my desk this morning, there was a tall twelve-year-old boy, walking around in our yard! YIKES! This isn’t supposed to happen!

I fearfully but loudly yelled out the window, asking him what he was doing here. With a pleading voice, he told me that he was at the Madrasa (Qur’anic school) up the road; they hadn’t any food for a while. Their Qur’an Master was visiting the fields, and had left him and his fellow students to fend for themselves. He was told that there was a “nasara” (foreigner) in the home here, and that he would give him food.

The Food Problem dry food cropsThe time between seed-time and harvest is a very difficult time for many in this desert land. Since the harvest was so bad last year, and the fields will not be ripe for maybe one more month now. It’s Ramadan, so no one is eating during the day, and so no one is preparing food at the restaurants where they might normally beg for help

I asked him to sit in the yard, and brought some sugar-coated peanuts from my friend Ashta in N’Djamena. We sat together for a little while on the front porch. I told him never, ever to do this again, or any of his friends, or there will be consequences! On his end, he told how difficult things were where he was.

Before I gave him the peanuts, I asked him where he jumped across for future reference.

What else could I do? The director of this mini-village of suffering Qur’anic students had left them without anything to eat for three days now, and they came to the nasara for help in their desperation. I gave him some sesame snacks, put them in a bag, and encouraged him to go eat these with his friends who were probably also starving over there. He had come over the wall with tears in his eyes, but left through the front gate with a big smile of thankfulness on his face.

Are there any instances where you have had to help someone out of a jam? Let us know below!

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