Yesterday I went out to the village. It was a mostly normal visit, much like dozens of others I've done previously. What made it just a little bit different, and better, were the many things I learned. Following are some great things happening in Lassa Tchou, according to the people themselves. So often we ask them what is wrong in their village, but this time we asked them what was going right, an insightful question by Monsieur Michel, the Community Development specialist.
- They said that marriage relationships were getting better. They have received teaching in previous months on the subject of marriage, and they have been sharing these things with their neighbors with positive results. Whole families are eating together on a regular basis; men, women & children, a rarity in Kabiye culture, where the men usually eat separate from their families.
- The Kabiye love to laugh. As we were discussing families yesterday, I gave them the old analogy of "The man is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck, and the neck turns the head". They about fell out of their chairs, and two guys had to leave the building to hack up some Harmattan dust.
- The 3 women at the meeting all said that the women/wives of their village are being treated better, often given a voice and respect by their husbands.
- They said that they are doing better disciplining their children. A young father even repeated to me, "My children learn more from what I do than what I say." I had taught this same concept at a Kabiye marriage retreat back in August, and this man was not in attendance at that meeting, which shows me that information is filtering out from core groups.
- They said that here are several large compost pits in their village, implemented after they were taught about composting in a development lesson. I have recently fallen in love with the dark, rich, and all natural fertilizer known as compost, a better long term alternative than chemical fertilizer. I plan to visit again next week to see how these pits are coming.
- They said that they are having Bible studies with their neighbors. This is obviously the most important teaching they have received, the story of love, redemption, sacrifice and everlasting life with God. I thank the Father that his Son is being proclaimed in big ways and small, through avenues both direct and indirect, in the village of Lassa Tchou.