That night, Akos went to bed with a little hope and much gratitude in her heart. “ Lord, I thank you that I have someone to confide in”. Those were her final words before going to bed. The following morning, she was up by 6am to begin her babysitter duties. Unlike the previous months, today felt different as she waited with much anticipation for that phone call. At exactly 3 pm, her phone rang and it was Henry. I have been worried about you Akos, he said. How are you? What is going on? It’s a long story, Akos replied, but in summary, I have been tricked into becoming a babysitter and I can’t seem to find a way out of my predicament. I thought I would have the opportunity to further my education and be gainfully employed but it all seems far fetched now.
I have spent many days crying because I am at a crossroad. Being in the US under my current circumstances means I will resign myself to either being a babysitter or engaging in other menial jobs but returning to Ghana also has its own ramifications. I don’t think I would be able to withstand the family and public ridicule and I’m uncertain as to how quickly I will find employment in Ghana. It seems that whichever path I take, I will have to face many obstacles. In hindsight, I should have known that my relatives offer to support me once I came to the US was too good to be true.
As Henry listened to Akos recount her agony, many ideas flashed through his mind. How could he help his longtime friend who selflessly came to his rescue a million times during their primary school days? How could he forget the kind hearted and cheerful classmate who shared her lunch with him each day because she did not want him to go hungry? In those days, while others mocked Henry’s unkept appearance and extremely slender physique, Akos saw past the physical and resorted to help him academically and physically.
Akos is the reason he did well in his Common Entrance Examinations and gained the opportunity to further his education in one of the most esteemed secondary schools in the country. Surely, there has to be a way he could help. When Akos was done narrating her ordeal, he asked her what she wanted to do. I will support you in any decision you make my dear friend, but I just want to know what you would like to do so I can determine how best to assist you. After much deliberation, Akos concluded it would be wise for her to stay in the US a little while longer while she mapped out her future.
Okay then, said Henry, give me a few days and I will get back to you. I cannot make any promises but I think I might be able to find someone who can help you find “ real work”. Over the next 4 days, Henry contacted his friends who had been living in the States for decades now. Some were lawyers, doctors, nurses and IT professionals. He presented Akos’s situation before them and they brainstormed on the best way forward. Interestingly, some of the friends he contacted were familiar with Akos’s scenario because it had happened with other people they knew.
After 5 days, Henry called Akos with some “good news”. I think there might be a way for you to pursue your career but it will involve you taking a long winded back road (figuratively speaking). You will need to move to another State and you will also have to enroll into a Nursing Program; you have 3 weeks to ponder this decision. I know this might seem a lot to absorb now but time is of the essence so, take a moment to think about it and let me know how you would like to proceed. Before hanging up the phone that night, Henry assured Akos again that he would stand by her and do the best he can to help her irrespective of the decision she makes. “Thank you Henry”, said Akos, with tears welled up in her eyes. I will surely give you a response in 3 weeks. That day, Akos learnt 2 important lessons:
Prayer does work
Good works are like seeds; some take time to grow into trees, but when they do, you will enjoy their shade.
With this in mind, she had to devise a strategy of informing her relatives that she would no longer be available to render babysitting services. Would it be easier for her to abscond than to try and find reasons why she would be moving to another state? How about the very idea of moving to another state where she knew no one? If her close relatives were able to deceive her, how can she be certain that this was not another trap? Was her desperation causing her to lose her mind? Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!!!!!!!! One more time, she turned to the only person who had never failed her, the one who always watched over her, the same one who loved her deeply, His name is God. With open arms she prayed:
“God, it’s me again, I normally have words to say but this time, it’s different
I’m not sure how to pray or what to say, but you know my heart
And you know the end of a matter ere it begins,
So lead me to make the right decision, let me not be put to shame”
To be Continued ………