The Coin and how God works

The Coin by Ilona Helmholz

Walking to Oasis of Hope on a gorgeous, clear morning with my eyes fixed to the dirt road which has so many “booby traps” which I have to avoid for the fear of falling.
As I entered the property I cast my eyes down on the grass and a flash caught my eye and instinctively I picked up the coin.   A boy, close by, followed my gaze and action but I got the coin before he did.    Now the dilemma!   He couldn’t prove that it was his as it could have belonged to anyone.  The normal procedure would be to go to the office hand it in and ask people to claim the coin as long as they could establish its worth.

The boy said he wanted to buy mandazi (a type of delicious triangular donut).   I insisted that I could not just give it to him because it could possibly belong to any of the children there.   I must explain that the Kenyans have absolutely no qualms about asking directly “to give me” and a comment with which our culture is not familiar or comfortable.  Then one always has to give to all and not just one.   The day continued with this little boy approaching me and eventually he was somewhat peeved.

Now, for morning tea they line up for a mug of tea on which is placed a piece of bread and I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to buy mandazis for everyone for the next morning.   I arranged with Julius, the caretaker – who is always present and speaks good English, to obtain the required mandazis and to have them for breakfast the next morning.

Most importantly, he was not to tell who provided them.

The next day he showed them to me and when it was time to serve them he randomly passed them out – well you know there are those who will return for a second.  I suggested he go into the kitchen and pass them out there with their tea and bread.

It was a good feeling to see the children eat a little more than they normally do (everyone loves mandazi) and as I stood there one child came up and thanked me which means someone let the cat out of the bag and I really wanted this to be a secret.    More importantly, it reminded me of the story when Jesus healed ten lepers and one returned and thanked Him and his response was “Where are the other nine?    Also it reminded me that I don’t always thank God as and when I should such as beautiful days and being able to walk – so many blessings which I try not to take for granted.
Ilona Helmholz