So long it seems. I feel like I have been in Africa for a lifetime. Every part of me feels older. My knees sure, but also my heart. So many times we as people can open or lives to someone only to be completely blindsided and left questioning why. I know that many will agree with me because people are people wherever you go. Most people won’t hurt you or help you they are just trying to make it out of this world alive, which is a strange ideal… then there are the few that bandage bumps and kiss bruises, help others and genuinely care. On the other side of that is another handful of people who feel like they are above the rest and genuinely don’t care about others or who they hurt to get what they want. 

These people are the rotten blemishes that make the everyday human feel unsafe.  They cause more damage than they understand. They don’t just rob you.  They don’t just cheat you.  They take a stab at that place inside of us that wants to help at all. These types of people can cause years of damage to families and relationships. 

Many people, after being taken advantage of, stop helping people all together. Which is no problem to these blemish people- there is always another would be do-gooder on the horizon.  But for humanity as whole? We have become a trustless people. We are letting them get away with destroying who we are, not just what they take from us. 

We are told to be peaceful as doves and clever as snakes. We are ment to protect what we are given, from people who would want to wreck it.  Your bank account and your peace of mind. But still be open to giving… If you are taken advantage of, learn from it and be stronger for it, don’t be hardened by it. Easy to say sure, but in life???

The girl who has been living with us throughout the school year, Maria? The girl who is top student in her class and gong to South Africa on scholarship? 

Her name is Alice. 

Apparently Alice saw the big dreams and high hopes for the whole world sparkling in my eyes! I can’t say I blame her, I attract sharks like a chum bucket. For people like Alice, my open willingness to love each person with all my heart is more satisfying to look at then a baby zebra with a broken leg to a hyena. 

Unfortunately for Alice and most would be takers, I have learned much from the ones who have hurt me in the past. I was unwilling to give “Maria” the money for her college trip, like ALL big expenses, I intended to pay the school directly.  Though all of “Maria’s” paperwork was in order and had the official stamp from the school, I still wanted to meet her new college personally. 

Needless to say I have not seen nor heard from “Maria” AKA Alice. 

I was told, after I sent “Maria” to live with her mother, that she is also receiving help from one of the lodge owners. So I had lunch their today. 

Gift and I were a bit slack jaw when I showed the owner a photo of Maria and she said, “No, that’s not her name. That’s Alice. I help her with her school fees.” 

It was an interesting conversation to say the least. 

I could be mad.  But I’m not. I’m sad for Alice. 

No one who wanted to support Maria lost their money. (I have lost plenty of my own money in these types of learning experiences, so you don’t have to!) However I will be contacting a few people to ask what they will want done now with the money that was for her…

Alice lived with us. She saw my heart and still tried to take steal from me. She has a hard life to live. I ask prayer for her and her own heart. I have heard that she went to Lilongwe, the capital. Who knows what she will do there? Hopefully find a dinner that serves humble pie and is given out free samples? 

I apologized to Gift. I understand now how much worse it could have been. 

Still hurts my heart, I treated her like my daughter and was only thinking about a future with her obtaining her dreams. I was so proud to be helping her. 

Hard to write this up, at the same time it’s good to share this with you. Betrayal in third world ministry is part of the game. It hurts me every time, but it can’t make the spark leave my eyes or my stride.

Alice can not slow me down, she has only made me stronger.

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