By Kalengule Kaoma
A friend from the Chewa tribe taught me a proverb from the Eastern Province in Zambia that goes like this: “Mvula ikakuona lisilo sikhata.” A literal translation of this Chichewa proverb is: “Rain sees dirty won’t stop.” It means, “The rain won’t stop until it washes you clean.”
I was intrigued by the beauty of the idea of attributing sight to the rain. The sense behind it, of course, is that we can be like rain with eyes. When we see something that needs doing, we can stay with it until the job is done. For example, one of the many ways the Chewa tribe uses the saying is to express the way the elders, when confronted with a problem, will not rest until they find a solution.
As I write, I am attending an annual regional church youth camp. This is a time when we present young people with various challenges, pushing them to work their muscles and minds to build stamina and determination. We encourage them to see their problems and challenges as opportunities to find answers.
Wherever we see potential in campers, we make every effort to help them learn how to exercise it. When we see a glimmer of talent, skill or good desire, we gently and persistently encourage it. Some campers excel right away; others take a bit longer. But instructors and group counselors never stop helping each camper move toward the next level. Each person has challenges, but in the spirit of the Chichewa saying, we don’t write off anyone, but rather, we keep working with them until they reach their goal.
When “rain sees dirty, it won’t stop raining.” And when you and I see something worth doing, we can be like rain with eyes, not stopping until we see and taste the pleasant fruit of our efforts.
Kalengule Kaoma lives in Zambia, Africa, and is a mission developer for a number of African nations.