Yesterday, ___ asked us to drop by his hut for something small he wanted to share with us before self-reliance class. Things then transpired to prevent us meeting him, including some urgent difficulties with two Elders that demanded attention. This took some time so we didn’t make the appointment.
Then today, ____’s father asked us to drop by for something small. We arrived at 5:00 PM to meet both the father and son. After an opening prayer, the son presented us with a hand-written document of something small, to whit:
5 September, 2015
Dear Elder and Sister Taylor
RE: Recognition of love to my family
On behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I wish to register our overwhelming gratitude for the true and sincere Christian love, care and concern you have exhibited to our son in particular and the family in general especially at this moment of dire need.
Sincerely, words are not enough to express our deepest appreciation. It is only God who knows how we feel. However, in recognition of the foregoing, the family has resolved in principle, to offer you a token of 50 acres of virgin land free of charge. Yes, the land is therefore yours. See what you can do with it. This is in line with what our Lord Jesus Christ himself said: There is more happiness in giving than receiving. Acts 20:35
In conclusion, may our Heavenly Father bless you and bless your family back home abundantly. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always in the sacred name of the Son, Amen.
The offer was agreed by the following family members…signatures, witnesses, etc.
Perhaps you might guess our stunned tears and humble thanks for this amazing gesture. Wow. A gift of land! We learned that this 50 acres includes fertile ground that can grow anything, with some banana trees, and is bordered by streams and a river. It is part of the family property in the village where they plan to build their homes and establish a productive farm – and they want us to be their neighbors forever.
Of course you know that we could not accept the offer, and we had to talk gently with careful reasons why. We did not come to receive gifts, we explained. We did not come for blessings. We came to share the love of the Lord and to bless lives, with no hope for thanks, just to be tools in the Lord’s hands. We further explained to the son: You can give us a more precious gift than this generous parcel of land. You can make of your life an example by becoming well educated, serving an honorable full time mission, marrying a worthy girl in the temple, and spending your lives in His service.
It took some time to convey that we wished no offense and that we greatly appreciated the offer. After many emotional words, we again prayed and parted.
We never dreamed of a people so generous and kind-hearted as these. And this family will always be dear to our hearts, forever more. We keep in our possession the legal document of the land gift, as a memento of the incredible love of the people of Africa.
Recently, we went with our friends to see our land. We hiked about 10 miles round trip and had a great time. Here is a photo tour of the journey and the destination.