Some of the photographs Chris took of the tools we collected for TWAM as part of our harvest celebration
Archive for the ‘Harvest’ Category
For the TWAM Harvest weekend we invited the children to respond to the topic of helping others to reap their own harvest. Grace and Lewis produced this long picture, which he tells me we’re only seeing in part: he says the original reached the full length of their house!
Last weekend was our harvest service. The newspapers were great to us, because we’re told that the story ran in the Evening News two weeks before, the Wymondham paper the Wednesday before, the EDP on the day, and apparently in some paper this week as well! Because they ran the story so many times, we’ve had people at the church three Saturdays running, bringing us tools. So since the one harvest day seems to have become a bit of a season, I’m collecting in some bits and pieces from what we’ve been up to.
On our actual Harvest Service Sunday, Frances brought us a terrific dramatisation of the people in a village that had benefited from Tools With a Mission. Frances has a real feel for the hardship in Africa and the difference the tools can make to a family, because she spent the first part of her life there. Here’s her play, for you to enjoy, either again or for the first time.
Tools With A Mission. Readings for six voices. Harvest service, 9th October 2011.
(Narrator) This is about a fictional village called Kittarrey in East Africa. Although it is not a real village the stories from it really happen in some villages.
(Boy 1) My name is Tusu. My family lives in a hut where the walls are made from sticks and mud and the roof is thatched with grass. There is some fertile land near our hut where we grow some groundnuts and banana trees but it used to be difficult work, digging the ground with a stick and fetching water from a stream quite a long way away with a clay pot. Although we worked hard we didn’t grow enough to eat a lot. That was before Mr Nagedey came.
(Girl 1) My name is Kammie. Tusu is my cousin. The weather here is usually warm, with a dry season and a wet season, so we don’t need thick clothes, but I didn’t like my rags and I always wanted to look smart, like my friend Mappa who lives on the other side of the village. Her father keeps chickens and he sells eggs in the market three miles away. Because of Mr Negedey, I don’t need to be jealous of her any more.
(Boy 2) My name is Molow. I couldn’t read, just like my friends Tusu and Kamie. But our village has been visited by some important people from the city and they can read. I wish I could be like them. Perhaps, now that Mr Negedey has been here, I will have a chance.
(Girl 2) My name is Fallay. My Mum and Dad were ill and they died. My sisters went to live with my Granny, who is very old and weak, and my brothers went to my other granny and grandpa. I live with my Aunty, but she already had seven children and she couldn’t look after us all properly. Mr Negedey arrived and changed everything.
(Narrator) Whoever is this Mr Negedey? Let’s meet him.
(Mr Negedey) I am Mr Negedey. I am just a part of a huge number of people working in a great big team, but we have a leader that a lot of us know – I won’t tell you who that is yet. I wonder if you can guess. I live in the city and I help ‘Tools With A Mission’. I visit villages where life is difficult because the people are very poor. They would be happy to work to grow enough food or earn a living if they could, but they cannot do much with their bare hands. They are often weak and tired because they are hungry or ill. If they are given tools it makes a big difference. Here’s how the village of Kittarrey changed when I was able to deliver some tools.
(Narrator introduces each child again.)
(Boy 1, Tusu) Mr Negedey talked with my parents and he realised that we could grow enough food for ourselves, with enough left over to sell, if we had a spade and fork for digging. My mother was given a bucket to fetch water, which carried more than our old clay pot, and it wouldn’t break if it was dropped. But later, Mr Negedey got some workers to help us to make a corrugated iron roof and build a special tank beside our house so that we could collect rain water in the rainy season. Now my mum just takes the bucket to the tap in the tank! She has much more time to do things at home, unless the tank runs dry – then she has to go to the stream again. We can dig more earth now, so we grow enough groundnuts to sell some in the market. When we go to the market we can use the money we make to buy different food, like meat. I feel much stronger. Mind you, although our roof doesn’t leak any more, it is very noisy when it rains.
(Girl 1, Kammie) Mr Negedey found that my mother liked the idea of making clothes. She likes sewing and she used to mend our old clothes with a needle and thread. Now she has a sewing machine! A lady from the city showed her how to use it and gave her a few yards of cloth. My mother made a dress and sold it at the market. With the money she bought more cloth and made more clothes to sell. Eventually she made a dress for me. Now I look like my friend Mappa.
(Boy 2, Molow) I always liked drawing in the dust on the ground. Mr Negedey had a long chat with me and my parents and he thought that I would enjoy school. He also saw that my Dad was good at mending things. Now my Dad has been to the college in the city and he has leaned how to mend bicycles. He was given a kit of tools, so people from about five villages come to him when their bicycles break. They pay him to mend the bikes, and he makes enough money to send me to school. Mr Negedey had arranged for the school to have some packs with paper, crayons, a rubber and a ruler, so I do very careful writing and keep it to show my parents. I still draw on the floor with a stick at home so that I don’t waste the paper. I really like paper. One day I want to be a man who earns his living using paper.
(Girl 2, Fallay) Because I am an orphan and have made my auntie’s family even bigger, my aunty was struggling to feed us all, but now her husband, my uncle, has met Mr Negedey. He has been to the college in the city, like Molow’s Dad. But my uncle learned how to build houses. He can make his own bricks and lay them. One of his friends has learnt carpentry. Together they are gradually improving the houses in the village. Lots of village people have been helped to earn some money, and now they spend some of it getting better houses. Our roofs don’t catch fire from the cooking fires or lightening. They don’t collapse in bad storms. And best of all, for me, I might be able to go to school, like Molow. I want to be a nurse so that I can help sick people. If a nurse had looked after my parents, they might still have been alive.
Mr Negedey also sent my sisters to an orphanage when my granny couldn’t look after them any more. They will be able to go to school too.
(Mr Negedey) I love my work. Kind friends from England give the tools they don’t need any more to ‘Tools With A Mission’. If it is necessary, these are sharpened or mended, and kept in a big storehouse. We find out what the poor people in our area need, and we ask for those tools. The tools are packed in containers and sent to Africa by ship, and then to our city by lorry. I have a team of helpers and we give the tools to the people who need them, and make sure that they learn how to use them properly. We have a college and also experts who can go to the villages to train people. It makes such a difference. God wants us to help each other, and – as a team – we can do so much more than we can do by ourselves. It is God who enables us to love people we have never met, and who gives us the vision to do what we can, to transform the lives of others.
(Narrator) Our creator, God, is at the heart of this story.
He is the real leader of the TWAM Team.
He created the land and water, the night and day, the seasons, the plants and the animals, and he saw that they were good.
He created men and women, who gave names to the plants and use them for food.
He gave us minds to understand some of the ways of nature and to work with them.
He gave us imaginations to invent tools and methods of working with crops and livestock.
Farmers have to work hard to grow crops and look after animals, but they cannot create food or cloth or wood out of nothing.
They are working with God’s creation and are relying on all God’s natural processes.
God gives us a love for others through the example of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit to feel compassion for those who cannot afford or make good tools.
He gives us the ability to organise systems to give tools and training to the poor so that they can work more efficiently.
He gives us the ability to cooperate with each other, in spite of our differences, for the benefit of neighbours and strangers.
He gives us a vision of how the world might be if we were all a part of the Kingdom of God.