You may have read our recent news story about Mama Salama. If you remember, she explained that God had given her a heart to help and share with others, which comes from her own personal experience of what it is like to be hopeless. When we visited her just before Christmas she told us two more stories that illustrate the power of a compassionate and generous heart.
A little while ago, around Eid, Mama was preparing the food for her small business, making tea, snacks and lunch for workers on building sites. She decided on that day though that she wanted to do something a little special and make the men some meat stew to have with their lunch. She went out into Kasubi to buy 2kg of beef but was astonished to find a man giving away free meat and managed to get 3kg! She took it home and prepared a nice stew, at which point she felt that as she had been given the meat for free, that she would bless her customers by giving them free meat stew with their regular lunch. The men were amazed! The Muslims among them asked her why she didn’t give it only to her fellow Christians and the Christians asked why she didn’t give it only to the Muslims for their celebration of Eid. She replied that she loves everyone the same no matter their religion. Two days later she was at home and noticed a goat in her garden. She asked Salama to chase it away but five minutes later it was back. She told Salama to chase it all the way down the hill so it wouldn’t return. Upon reaching the bottom of the hill with the goat, Salama was amazed to find 35,000 Shillings (a day’s earnings) lying on the ground. Mama couldn’t contain her joy and delight at how God consistently provides for them beyond what they can give.
As well as her own four children, Mama Salama also takes care of Irene and Ian, two of her neighbour’s children who have not been accepted by the neighbour’s new husband. Mama volunteered to look after them when she learned of her neighbour’s difficulty – whether she was able to pay for their care or not. A few weeks ago, Irene fell sick and Mama took her to the local clinic and paid the fees herself.
Now, each week Mama buys 4kg of sugar, which she uses in preparing tea and snacks for builders. This lasts until the Wednesday of the following week, when she has to buy a further 4kg. So on the Saturday when Irene was feeling better, Mama sent her to buy sugar from the local shop. Mama used the sugar as usual through the week but when Wednesday arrived, Mama found that because of Irene’s medicine costs she didn’t have enough money to buy any more. She asked Irene to just check if they had anything left in the store so they could plan what to do. Irene returned a few moments later looking confused and told Mama that there were still 4kg left. Mama Salama wondered what she was talking about as she had been using it since Saturday and went to look herself. Sure enough, there in the sack were four, full 1kg bags of sugar!