Friday, March 7, 2008

Guards, Treasures and Thieves

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal…”

When we first moved into our neighbourhood last fall, an older gentlemen, a plumber for the hospital, pulled up on his scooter, greeted me and welcomed me but then quickly advised me to be sure that I hire a guard. We already knew that was probably a wise plan, though another friend counseled us saying, “A guard is good; a guard and a dog is better; but just a dog is best.” We’ve taken option number two till this point, but have never felt the need to be concerned. This week however things changed. We have a woman who comes to cook and clean a couple mornings a week, and yesterday while we were out she had a visitor at the front gate. He said, “The white people who live here sent me to get the television—you’re supposed to give it to me.” Fortunately, she knew better and sent him on his way. Our language teacher told us this is a typical ploy, and often works with young houseworkers fresh from the village. We shared the story with neighbours as we went out to walk the neighbourhood yesterday and today, and everyone seems to say the same thing: there’s a lot of thieves in the neighbourhood. One neighbour, David who works at the garage where I take my car said, “A dog is good but you need two.” The imam who lives next door said, “You need to talk to the guy around the corner who’s a municipal police officer, he’ll catch him for you.” The Chief of the Quartier’s son who sells vegetables on the corner told us that a thief was in their compound last night and the only reason they were able to chase him away was because the children hadn’t fallen asleep yet and heard him in the yard. I find that the story tends to arouse a strong reaction with neighbours. I must say that I don’t feel overly concerned but whether that is simple faith or simply naïve, only the Lord knows.
(Jenn says: little did they know that our tv is kind of like our car hardly worth the effort!)

Please remember Jenn's sister and her family as her father-in-law is battling cancer.

Here is the real treasure in our house:

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