I first met Mr. Who in November, 2005. It was my first trip to Zimbabwe -- I was going for 2 weeks. Little did I know that this old man, with a heart on fire for the Lord would become my dear friend.
In the four years that I have lived in Zimbabwe, I have spent quite a bit of time with this man and his family. At first glance, it would appear that his family is poor. And in terms of material possessions, yes they are lacking, but in love and in spirit they were rich... and their most precious gem, was Josiaha Martin... Mr. Who.
Mr. Who got his name, when he lost his eye sight due to cataracts. I never knew him when he could see, but I loved that everytime I would walk down the hot, red, sandy path in Monde that before I neared his gate I knew I would hear "Who's there? Who's there?" He was always excited when someone would take the time to stop and pray with him, sing with him or read him the Bible. Those who have met him, as any of my friends who have come to Vic Falls have, know that as soon as you begin to pray with him he shouts "Amen! Amen!" His joy is contageous! His loss of vision was a constant source of frustration for him, and he was forever asking to be taken for medicine to restore his vision. Tonight, my heart rejoices at the thought of Mr. Who, with perfect eyes singing and dancing on streets of gold. He will never be hungry, cold or lonely again. He has been waiting for this day for a long time, although I will miss him, today my heart rejoices for him.
Mr Who, lived with his daughter and eight grandchildren. It appears that most of his children have died, as is so common with this generation in Zimbabwe, leaving behind many orphans. His one daughter stayed with him to help take care of the children, and as he aged, her father as well. Because he was so well loved in his community his daughter and these children have been provided for. People in the community, as well as ROCK of Africa, have seen to this, however one thing is important to note: A male presence in the home (Mr Who's presence) has kept them safe. Without a male in the home a woman and her children are left vulnerable.
Please pray for his family as they carry out his funeral this on Sunday, but also pray for their continued protection and provision in this time. The story of this man, Josiaha Martin is not rare, as a matter of fact, it is commonplace in this nation, but it is heartbreaking.
I will remain close to this family, and will do my best to help his daughter provide a safe place for these children to live. This is what I do in Zimbabwe, on the most intimate level.