Monday, February 04, 2008

Steve Peifer and the Policeman

I have posted before on Steve Piefer and his ministry in Kenya. Among the things he has done is to have organized a school lunch program for many schools in Kenya. During the recent troubles, getting food to the schools has been a big problem. He reported this to those of us on his email list:

We have been trying hard to get the food to the schools. Margaret, the Kenyan woman who administers the School Lunch program, asked me to go with her to Muchorui, one of the nine schools we have just been able to add to the feeding program; we are up to 34 schools and 15,000 thousand children fed a day. Thank you for what you have done.

She asked me to go with her because, although she is adept at dodging riots and problems, there was one policeman that she couldn’t get past. He was insistent that she couldn’t pass his checkpoint without giving him nine bags of maize.

I’ve had several bad experiences with police in Kenya. Once I was delivering food and they told us they were going to arrest us; they explained that we would need to drive them to the police station, where they would process our paperwork, and then I would drive them back to their checkpoint. Then, I would drive myself back to the jail so they could put me in jail. Another time I picked up a drunken police officer who amused himself by pointing his rifle at the back of my head.

I wasn’t anxious to do this. But sometimes you just need to have a showdown with the worst of yourself and face your fears. I went with her and met the policeman.

Policeman: You must give me nine bags before you are permitted to pass.
Me: Why?
Policeman: Because you have stolen it.
Me: Here is the bill of sale.
Policeman: I will not allow you to pass until you pay me nine bags of maize.
Me: I will do it if you do one thing for me.
Policeman: What is it?
Me: You must go with me to the school and pick out 40 children who will not be fed because of what you have done. You tell me which 40 do not deserve food, and I will give you the bags.
Policeman: I will do it.
At this point, he stopped and said `I cannot make that choice.’
Me: Neither can I.
Policeman: You can go.
So we went and the children were so happy. Prices have increased so much that many of these kids will only eat what is provided at the school.

(Want to help? Here's the link to Steve's website that deals with the food program.)

1 comment:

Sean Meade said...

what a great story! thanks, Paul!