Friday, October 8, 2010

A Random Act of Kindness....African Style (Part 2)

If you missed the beginning of my story, please read the post just before this one.

...this crazy lady had been hanging around our junction for the last few days.
**To throw in a little explanation, we do have a few insane asylums here in Ghana, just not very many. From time to time we see crazy people living on the streets. There are many reasons people here go insane: some from drug use, some from curses, some from life circumstances that have been too much to bear, and some from demon possession. All of them are a sad symbol of the destructive power of sin!
Even though these people are very sad, they are often times a bit scary to run into. Many are very strong, and because they are "crazy" they don't think like someone in their right mind, of course!**
Back to the here come Ella and I to the junction to catch a tro-tro (public transportation) to get to the clinic. I was carrying Ella since she couldn't walk on her bad foot, and I had my eyes wide open watching for the crazy lady who had been hanging around for the last few days. I was walking in the middle of the road with a large brick sign on my right and a bunch of little wooden kiosks on my left. Two things happened in quick succession, and I was in trouble. A big water truck turned onto the road, and the crazy lady jumped out from behind the sign where she'd been hiding. The truck blocked my way to get to the left side of the road with the shops and the people, and the crazy lady blocked my way to get to the junction. What should I do? I was afraid to turn my back on the crazy lady; I wanted to keep her in my sight. The truck blocked my escape route. So I kept walking, just hoping that she was going to walk past me. Well, she didn't. She walked right up to me and grabbed Ella!
Picture this, I've got a three-and-a-half year old on my right hip, and my purse on my left arm. Needless to say, I was doing my best to hold onto Ella, and she was certainly doing her best to hold onto mommy! The woman had a hold of Ella's arm and was jerking with all her might.
At first, I tried to stay calm. That's what you are supposed to do in an emergency, right!?! Wrong! Well, at least wrong in this case! I told her to stop in the language we speak, but she kept pulling. I then started shouting it, but to no avail!
Now, I was really getting upset and Ella was screaming so I started beating at her with my purse. Did that stop her? Nope! She had it stuck in her head that she wanted Ella. By this time, the ladies who were in the little shops were screaming too, except they were all as afraid as I was! No one here likes to deal with crazy people.
Then, I saw my rescuer. An adult man saw what was going on and came to our aid. He ran at the crazy lady and swung his bag at her with full force. It hit her in the head, but she didn't let go of Ella. So he swung again, and this time he knocked her off! He yelled, "Run!", and I was on my way!
I ran straight to the shops, and all the ladies huddled around Ella and me trying to comfort us. Of course, we were shaking and crying, but we were fine.
I looked up to see where our helper had gone and saw the woman coming at us again! By this time, our good samaritan had had enough. He ran and grabbed a board (like a 2x4), and he whacked the woman in the back of the head. That was enough to finally do the trick. I'm not sure if it knocked some sense into her or what, but she turned around and ran.
By this time, quite a crowd had gathered, and the story had to be repeated several times so everyone could hear the details. Who doesn't love a good story? In fact, I'm sure our story was repeated all over town that day!
After our trip to the clinic, (and yes, we went, even though we certainly didn't want to) we made it home and got to tell Daddy and Carey our story. It was a good reminder for all of us of God's protection here on the missionfield.
A few days later, I was reading something in a Reader's Digest my mom had sent me. It was a story of people doing Random Acts of Kindness for each other. Some were huge, like donating a kidney for someone they didn't know, and some were small things like putting quarters in parking meters.
Suddenly it hit me! I had been the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness. Mine had simply been African Style!


  1. Maybe that was a bad thing to say.... I meant that I love your outlook of life. SO thankful that you and Ella are safe!!!!!

  2. We love you! How scary that must have been.
    Praying for you and cannot wait to see you !

  3. What a great example of the sovereignty of God. God in his sovereign wisdom had you grow up in Saginaw, Michigan to prepare you for days like that. Because, seriously do you think growing up in Midland, Michigan or Traverse City, Michigan would prepare you to whack crazy people over the head while trying to protect a small child? Maybe there have been days when we have doubted that growing up in Saginaw was a blessing. But, God in His wisdom knew exactly how to prepare us for His future plans for us.