Christine, the proverbs 31 woman.

J Brenda Lanyero
Posted December 2, 2018 from Uganda

What gives me hope is the experience of one woman, a "foreigner" as she was sometimes referred  to. Tall, bold and brown-chocolate with refreshing smiles indeed. She was the synonym for courage. A woman in her own league, a lioness, not even the toughest man in the entire village intimidated her. The ground under her feet made that thunderous sound as she walked straight and upright.

She moved and stood at the entrance of Lodi the village most fiercest man who was chasing his first wife with a red faded belt for failing to cook his favorite black beans. It was a crime, an insult for that to him. Time could not be an excuse and it could not save her except for this this woman standing at the doorway. She commanded the man to let his wife Sylvia to come out. Small and young as she was, the man obeyed her authoritative voice. She took her by the hand and added her to the group of women already gathered at her house under the big mango tree. She wanted to bring a difference, a change not only in the lives and households of these women but the entire community. 

"Madam" they called her, for she was a teacher by profession, a primary school teacher loved by every pupil in the school. She was from a different part of the region, but only a wife and teacher in that town.

Her first topic always was submission. A reminder to all the women who attended her Try And Apply It meetings. She talked so passionately about submission to husbands that I now think St Paul used to smile down on her from heaven. Before any other thing to be communicated, submission was always the thing, accompanied with how to take care of a home, including the children and the in-laws. She emphasized that when all these were in place, being submissive to husbands was now that aroma and the bottom pot taste one gets when eating.

She did basic school training on especially, maths, primary healthcare, home economics and English. She was strict but very lenient, understanding and patient with them. The fast learners attached to those who newly joined or slow in catching up. Food security was added in their "curriculum". I saw this working as she never had to spend in buying food items but all came from the farms. She also invited a number of her colleagues whom she met from other schools during workshops and seminars to talk to these ladies and encourage them.

Just as they say, "When the messenger is gone, the message must continue" so true it is. I recently visited this village where I learnt the art of being a woman myself though I was way too far away from that age. I saw her legacy still intact. The message is really continuing, I found that even men (husbands) are now in the Try And Apply It group and some more programs have been added, for example those with HIV/AIDS are cartered for in that they are encouraged to go for drugs, take them on time and should keep themselves and others not yet infected safe. They are encouraged to go to schools the students to keep safe and also go to the health center as counselors. I talked to a number of them including the discordant couple who testified of how their marriage is now flourishing and are happier than before one of them fell sick and joined the group. This is because you come and try by acting out the problem solving tactics in dramas and then when you go back home and a problem comes up, you apply what was in the drama during the trying.

Lots more people testified of how homes are happier, less domestic violence as everyone is aware of their rights and know where to run should the challenge or situation runs out of hand. How children attend school not like before when it was only for the boy child and are graduating as teachers, nurses, police officers or start up businesses. "With no war and the like of Kony  (LRA- Lord's Resistant Army) the community is happy and intact". Their now leader a well built woman in her late forty concluded.

This striving initiative started by, the Proverbs 31 woman as she was popularly known among the elderly women. As a form of rescuing wives from the claws of domestic violence. Knowing that the initiative is still on and growing each day gives me hope that one day all the women, will be this woman, my late mother, Christine was her name and let her candle burn on in their own homes and pass these to their children no matter the gender and marriage will be a celebration. The thought of such an experience in that community is very refreshing. 

This post was submitted in response to What Gives You Hope?.

Comments 14

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jlanghus
Dec 03
Dec 03

Wow Brenda,

What a great, success story... love it!!! I'm so glad you shared this with us. We need to see and hear more success stories like this. Think if there were Christine's in every community in the world, what our world would be like....aaaah. Love it sooo much.

I hope you're doing well, and having a great day.

Good luck with your story submission!

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 04
Dec 04

Hello Jlanghus, thank you so much for your encouraging words, so motivating. You have really lifted my spirit up.
I will be here to read and encourage other sisters here once am done with exams.
Thank you for being that candle that light other candles through your encouraging words. Thank you for always being here.

jlanghus
Dec 04
Dec 04

You're very welcome, dear. Yay! Great to hear. I love getting that feedback.

Looking forward to it! Good luck with your exams.

Aw. Thanks for your kind, poetic words:-) I appreciate it!

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 05
Dec 05

Thank you so much. And thank you being here, always.

jlanghus
Dec 06
Dec 06

You're very welcome, dear:-) Thank you for your appreciation.

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 06
Dec 06

You are welcome ☺

jlanghus
Dec 06
Dec 06

Oh, tricky. You got the emoji to work:-) I can never get it to work on here...

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 06
Dec 06

Oh! Mine does.

jlanghus
Dec 06
Dec 06

Interesting. It could be a mac or ipad thing. My ipad definitely doesn't like them at all on here. Ha.

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 06
Dec 06

I think that is why. I use my phone.

jlanghus
Dec 06
Dec 06

Ah:-)

Corine Milano
Dec 03
Dec 03

This is wonderful, thank you for sharing. I am so glad Christine's initiative carries on

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 04
Dec 04

Hi Corine, thank you so much for appreciating. Am glad you are here to lift a sister up.

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 08
Dec 08

Dear Brenda,
This is such a good example of how one woman can transform a whole community in a lasting way. It is especially a celebration to know that now girls in that community are able to go to school.