A few weeks ago, I went to visit the Cashew Nut Factory in St. Ignatius Village in the Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana. There, I met a woman selling raw, unshelled cashew nuts to the factory. Incidentally, a man from Georgetown had talked to me about supplying him with large quantities of raw cashew nuts.
I started talking to the woman, and she told me that she lived in the neighboring Brazilian municipality of Bonfim. She told me that she sold the cashew nuts for about $1.00 US per pound, which was a very reasonable price.
So I proceeded to take her contact information, agreeing to meet with her the next day. Her name was Theresa, and she told me that she only had a Brazilian phone number which was difficult for me to call, and that she lived far away in the outskirts of Bonfim which was hard to find. After a short discussion, we agreed that I would get directions to her house from Mark, the breadshop man, whom we were both acquainted with.
The next day, I went to meet Mark, the breadshop man, in Bonfim, to get directions for Theresa’s house. But Mark wasn’t home. His family told me that he was expected home since the day before, but he didn’t turn up, and they were getting worried.
Mark finally came home the next day, safe and sound, but a conversation I had with Elton concerning Mark’s absence shed some serious light on “what a troubled world we live in.”
Nevertheless, coming back to the topic, I met Mark the next day, and he was in the process of giving me directions for Theresa’s house when, suddenly, Theresa rode by with a bicycle. “Hey, Theresa!” I called out.
Theresa stopped suddenly. Tears were in her eyes. She looked worried. “They kidnapped my children,” she said in an uneasy gesture.
“Who?” I asked quickly.
She didn’t have time to answer. She rode off hurriedly, apparently in a state of worry and shock. I looked at Mark, a bit confused myself, and befuddled.
I wondered, is kidnapping a regular occurrence in this region? Who kidnapped her children and why? Did she make a report to the station? Will she find her children back? Is there anything I could do to help? All these thoughts raced through my mind as Theresa peddled away down the opposite road.
After a few minutes, I started my motorcyle and rode behind her. I had to get more details. I had to help in some way.
When I caught up with Theresa, she had stopped in front of a yard where children were playing. Two children ran out to hug and talk to her. I don’t know the details of the conversation, but Theresa told me that those were her children, that she found them, that they were OK, and that they had escaped from their captors.
“I’m ok now,” she smiled, wiping away a few tears.
In our world today, many people miss the meaning of life. Many people harm and plunder other humans. These people do not see eye-to-eye with God. They do not understand what dawned upon during that short incident: how precious is a human life in the sight of God.
Yes, there are occurrences which we do not understand and cannot explain, but God watches over and cares for all His children on earth, and He is able and willing to avenge any evil and reward every good.
This little incident with Theresa and her missing children, the look in her face and the tears in her eyes, inspired me to write this poem:
How Precious is a Human Life
How precious is a human life.
How awesome in the sight of God.
When I saw the woman cry,
As she rode by.
I stopped her by the roadside.
“How are you?” I asked.
“I’m not OK. They stole my children!”
I rode behind her.
How wonderful it is
To help and not to harm.
At last she found them.
Safe and sound.
Her heart at ease.
Her mind at peace.