My Gift

When Gift was young, (age was displayed by a hand marked at just above the knee)
She lost both her mother and father. She now lives with her Agogo (grandmother).
Recently she has been sneaking out and disappearing for days at a time!!
I was sitting with her Agogo hearing this when Gift walked by slowly with her hands covering her face. She didn’t not even acknowledge that we were there. She simply kept walking by us and went into the house. Something clicked inside of me… she’s not mad. She is sad. Very sad. I called after her and scooted down the bench I was sitting on. I patted the seat next to me and she promptly sat down. I wrapped my arm around her. Only a few short moments later she was crying with her head in my lap. I collapsed over her like a protective blanket and held her in silence, in view of her whole family.
I could tell, something is wrong with this situation. The grandmother started yelling at the girl telling her that she is worthless. “She doesn’t even know how to cook or do laundry! What good is she?”
I was already feeling like I knew what God was asking from me, but I was unable to make my voice work. The grandmother continued to say that, last night she had the police pick Gift off the street and beat her. Gift gave a shutter in my arms and I could see her chin shaking with emotion.
This beautiful 12 year old girl was beaten by several grown men that don’t know her or care for her, at the request of her own grandmother. Cheese got mad and told the woman, “if she can’t cook or clean who do we blame but you? You are her mother and her father, is she not supposed to learn from you?!”
I took a deep inhale and said the words that I had promised never to say.
“Gift can stay with me. I will teach her how to cook and clean. I could use the help and you both need a break from eachother. School is out for the summer break, she can stay with me until school starts again.”
I can’t explain why. I don’t know how.
I can only think that she prayed, “God? Who am I? What is my value? Why would you give me this life? Do you know me? Do you care about me? Do you love me? Will I ever be loved?”
God, in his most faithful way said, “Yup”.
It will take almost a week for this to be approved by the family. I doubt they will deny it. She is Masuzu (problem).
After everything was said and done I took a pen and wrote on her arm, “my name is Teneil” she took my pen and wrote on my arm, “my name is Gift” I took my pen back and wrote next to her name, “-yes you are”

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