Edge of Faith July 2017 - Page 10

tunity to help themselves, so we just come alongside and say, “You can do it.” We want to empower them and encourage them.  From some of the stories in the book and what they would do for such a little amount of money, I never thought of them as helpless. They did what they needed to do. You started out here giving the happy ending; the redemptive part of the story. I’ve dealt with a lot of different missions around the world and thus I’m aware that not everything is as happy and peaceful as it is in the United States, although people think we are not. Even so, I was kind of horrified by some of the stories that I read about what happened to the Pygmies in the Congo. I know on the first visit you got the run-around because your interpret- ers weren’t telling the truth. You persisted and eventually you got in and got to know the people. Maybe you could share a couple of the stories so that the readers can under- stand their plight. Some really tough stuff was meeting Namboli. I had met other people that had been slaves but hadn’t really come to the realiza- tion that oh my gosh, these people are actually slaves. Until meeting Namboli, and seeing her carrying a 100 to 150 bag of char- coal that her slave masters put on her back and tied around her head with a rope and she had to carry that over three miles. And then she would do that trip multiple times a day. She would get fed scraps of food that we wouldn’t even call edible. People were working from sun up to sun down, children included. Children that are the ages of three, four, and five years old. At the end of the day, the slave masters would pay a fish. “We feed our slaves fish,” but really, it’s fish bait — minnows. Minnows the size of my pinkie. They would work from sun up to sun down to get that. Or a whole family working for a couple small bananas. Seeing stuff like that absolutely wrecked me. Having a one-and-a-half-year- old named Andibo pass away and hold his lifeless body as it happened and bur Z[[HH^^B[ۛ[]H\[]Hݙ\YH[] YH[[H[[YK[]BX]Y[K܈HۙH ۙH[YH\H]\X^XHYH\[ۛ]^H[H][] ˍLوۙ\H[[^H\H[YY][X]Y[[[^Z[B\][Hݙ[܈Y][ZH H܈ KH\[8'^H HX]Y[\H\܈X^[][HYH\[H\H[[ ۈH\] 'H]\]^HZ[[\Y^HX\\\ \ZH][[XH[K[YY][[H][Y]X H]BZ[Y[H][\܈\[^\Y\^HYY[\Y[\ۜ[ۜ