Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Greenfield was his name.

Two weeks ago when I went to coach my four English self-learners, I came up short against the reality of how harsh life is in Zimbabwe, even for those to whom it is not strange and foreign.

Shonas, all Africans, really, have a greeting protocol. It follows our “how are you? I’m fine” western one, but goes a bit deeper. After they’ve said they’re fine the next few probes bring out whatever is under the surface. That was the point at which I learned that Greenfield had died in a tragic car accident in the wee morning hours.

Greenfield was someone I wanted to meet. He lived in the pastor’s home along with the family and the six other young adult orphans. He was thirty, educated, employed and helped some of them with their studies. When I saw some of the corrections and comments on their papers, I asked who he was and found out he was another “big brother.” Greenfield carried his weight and then some. He invested in his extended siblings and honestly cared about them.

So when I arrived and saw the pain in all the faces, the story soon came out and it was obvious there would be no coaching that day. Part of my sadness comes from not meeting this young Kingdom builder. Part comes from the reality that we do not know the whole story. The accident was a head-on collision with a police truck around midnight. All three young men in Greenfield’s car died instantly, and they have received the full culpability. They are not alive to give their version.

In this world we will have trouble. Take heart, He has overcome the world.