Chapter One: Know Your Roots
The church bells sound aloud in the streets extending onto the far off neighbourhoods bringing a message that service is about to begin. Blissful melodies that touch the heart and transform the mind can be heard as you make your way into the doors. Thousands skip about and dance around as they feel the music uplift their downcast spirits and breath new hope into their lives.
Cumber Street was once a brittle vicinity riddled with brutes who caused fear no matter where you may go. Growing up in this area was a wild ride for sure. My mother trained me up to know the gospel and had an encouraging spirit that urged me to follow the Lord’s voice concerning my inner dreams for the future.
Father never seemed to stop lecturing me about staying clear from the guys at school or focusing on my morals and faith regardless of where I found myself in this world. It feels like it was yesterday when I was living in their household, but that all is simply a memory.
Being the only child really made me trapped in the clutches of boredom, but it caused my curious mind to wander into the street to search for others to be around. Eventually, this funky behaviour led me to the church, which quickly became my second home and my new workplace.
Everyone here knows me well and welcomes me with open arms; as soon as I walk through the double doors, the staff greet loudly toward my direction, most notably the coffee guy, who’s pretty quick with getting a steaming cup of coffee to my face.
Got to admit I commend him for his diligence, especially since he learnt my name rather quickly, unlike the rest. He’d always jump and wave his hand as he calls out my name from afar, “Evelina”, then he’d wait till I do my classic gentle smile before placing the coffee cup in front of me.
It’s places like these I keep noted in my diary on things to be thankful for. Without this church, I only wonder where I’d be right about now or where I would go if not for here.
Two things my mother taught me, the first was to always be thankful for where God places me, and the second is never forget where you came from. Then she’d go on to say, “always keep in your heart that which is true and not walk away from it no matter what”, a truth I’ve never let go of since the day I moved out.
© Roderick Lukenge