A young lady, university student, writes this story in her notebook:
“In a small town in the Eastern Region of Ghana, I was on Christian evangelism. I met an old lady whom I started a conversation with in her house which had no fence or wall around it. In the course of a hearty Gospel discussion, I noticed a nine-year old girl walking about the compound. I choose to call her Princess. It was during school hours and she was in an old worn-out school uniform. I then wondered what she was doing on that compound when school was still in session. She seemed to be a curious girl as she kept on watching us with inquisitive eyes. I gave her a smile and she smiled back shyly. It was not so strange to find children loitering about during school time in that town. However, I just felt like talking to her and finding out why she was not in school.
I approached Princess and had a chat with her. After just about ten or fifteen minutes talking and listening to her, I discovered she was in a perilous situation. She used to leave with her parents who were always into fights with each other. Her father usually threatened to kill her mother at knife point. She has been exposed to violence at her tender age. As a result of her parents’ irresponsible behavior and uncaring attitude towards Princess, her grandmother decides to take her to her home in the village where I met her. It would seem that life should turn out better. Sadly, Granny was sick and needed to be cared for. So, Princess ended up being a caregiver instead. No more school. She only wore school uniform out of desire to be in school. Unfortunately, I was not in any better position: a poor university student, to help. Before letting her go I asked her to visit the mission house later to pick up some clothes which had been brought for donation.
During a session on reports activities later that evening, I spoke to the evangelism group about Princess to find out what help could be done for her. Not very surprisingly, little or no interest was shown. After all, Princess’ case was not different from what many others were going through in the village, nor was it even such a special case. So, I thought to myself, ‘Princess might not be able to get any help and would have to just live on this way until she receives divine intervention’. As a Christian, I should pray for her. I could not forget her.
Princess did show up at the mission house to select some clothes from the bunch available on the porch. We began talking again. She sounded smart and intelligent. While we were talking, the resident Reverend Minister entered the mission house on a short visit. Following the Minister’s interaction with the evangelism group, I seized a slim opportunity to speak to him about Princess. Actually, I did not really expect much from him. Besides, he had been living in the community for years and should be indifferent to the ‘normal’ situation by then. Nevertheless, the Minister was moved after hearing Princess’ story. Together with the Minister and Princess, we went to see sick and frail Granny. That was the beginning of a new life for Princess.
I returned to campus after the mission, called the Minister after about a week and received good news! Princess had been taken to the Minister’s home to stay with him and his family. She has also started going to school! How elated I am! Oh, but poor Granny has to fend for herself now!?!?!?”
Surely we can take a lesson from this young lady’s experience. We live in a world where some things are considered important, others less important and still others not important at all. It all depends on society, perspective or priorities. Some deplorable and sad conditions have turned out to be “normal” and no longer arouse pity or help. It is undeniable that there are various complex social problems to handle despite the great deal of efforts being put on the table. In all the complexities, let us take from this story the little things that count: