Hopes run high this time of year to get hired by “sugar”. Everyone is searching out a friend or relative to place their reg card with personnel to be considered for a seasonal job. We have one young man who has made some good decisions since he got saved. He decided to return to school, which he did and completed with good marks. He did piece work here and there to get a driver’s license. He chose to forgo a possible job in the big city to stay in church. This year he was led to believe that a friend of the family was going to put a good word in for him to get hired at “sugar”. He went out to this manager’s office. The man chased him out of the office. He waited outside for him. Again the man chased him and told him to never come back again. He was not prepared for this. That day he went to his family’s home and the sister told him what had happened. The “sugar” manager had propositioned his sister, she had refused, and this was one of the results.
When AIDS first attacked Zambia it was the managers, teachers and people in authority who got blasted first. Sexual favors are a normal transaction when it comes to school, jobs and extra money. Graft is the other side of this coin. We have one driver for “sugar” who is threatened every year by his supervisors. They demand payment of a portion of his bonus or they will make sure he is not rehired. Each new season brings anxiety into his life as he wonders if they will make good their threats. With so many people going for so few jobs it is easy to see fallen man take advantage of his position.
This happened on a Wed. That night I preached about the promises of Abraham being transferred to the church. God will bless those that bless us and He will curse those that curse us. Our existence needs not depend upon falling to the level of bribes and prostitution to make our way forward. We have God looking out for us. He had told me his story and let me know that the sermon really helped him. Preaching hope and faith in the face of Third World realities is always a bit trying. God is opening doors for us and this young man is sure that God has something for him also. I am sure of it also.