Davie is a little boy that lived next door to us while we were in Africa. I nicknamed him "HoneyBunches" and he called me "Mama HoneyBunches." He holds a very special place in my heart and I watched him transform in a way I never thought he could. "The Davie Chronicles" is a collection of stories/memories that I have written out. Expect to see a lot of these.
In our compound there was two families with children, one with twins (Shanya and Danny) age four and one with Lazaro (9) and Davie (4). Shanya, Danny, and Davie are together almost every waking hour of the day even though their two families are vastly different. Shanya and Danny are the pastor’s children and have a wonderful home. Davie and Lazaro are from a broken family with Dad hardly ever home. Their mama works hard to provide for and love her children.
One day Shanya and Danny received bicycles. There was much joy and excitement in the compound, as getting little bicycles is not very common. However, the twins would not share their prized possessions and Davie spent many hours watching them have fun, but not being able to participate. My family saw this and wanted to surprise Davie and his brother with a bike as a going away present. We looked around, but were disappointed to find out that buying a bike was out of our price range. In all, it would cost around $75. It was never said aloud, but still known that we wouldn’t be able to get Davie a bike.
A week before we left I saw one in town that looked perfect for him. But I didn’t ask the price of it. Part of the reason why was because I was kind of scared to ask, and the other because Dad said he knew it’d be too much. Five days before we left Tanzania Kat and I were visiting the Cottey’s, missionary friends of ours from England. As we were saying goodbye I saw a little orange bike lying by the door. I asked Mrs. Cottey how much they had paid and where they had got that bike. I don’t know why I even asked, because I knew we couldn’t afford one. I guess I just wasn’t willing to give up because I was sure God would give Davie a bike. Mrs. Cottey replied “Oh, I don’t know how much they cost. The Enns’ gave us the bike. Why do you ask?” I told her about Davie and why we wanted to give him a bike. To my surprise she said “Wait a second and let me ask John; we have two bikes and I don’t see why you couldn’t take one.” Kat stood there and said to me “They don’t need to give us a bike, Sveta!” But my thoughts were “If they want to give us a bike, then I’m not going to refuse. I want Davie to have a bike!” The Cottey’s came back out and said “Well, it needs a little fixing up, but you can take this one if you want to.” Kat and I walked up the road and took the dala dala (public bus) into town where we met Dad at the bike shop. The guy there fixed it up and we then caught another dala dala home. The bike cost us $2.28.
The next couple days were spent helping Davie learn to ride his bicycle. Even Lazaro wanted to help his little brother. Each time he fell, he’d get up and ride again. He was determined to learn. One day I reminded Davie, as he was playing outside, that if he wasn’t riding the bike it needed to be inside or he needed to be watching it so no one would steal it. He promptly went over and sat beside his bike “I’m watching it, Sveta.” He said to me in Swahili.
Two days later, and 3 days before we left, Shanya came in the house “A thief took Davie’s bike!” No way, I didn’t believe it. Just an hour before I saw it in their house…but then anyone could have seen it and taken it while the kids weren’t looking. I went out and looked in their house, sure enough it was gone. Davie was sitting outside pounding a hammer at dirt. He wouldn’t look at me or speak to me…and that’s not normal behavior for him towards me. Lazaro came out with red eyes, obvious from crying, and repeated what Shanya had told me. So it was true.
Later that day I told Davie to ask God for his bike to come back. Davie looked at me like I was crazy…kinda like how you all are thinking of me now as I just said that… and sort of laughed, but, you see, I didn’t think God would give us that bike like He had if it wasn’t intended for Davie to have. So, with Davie sitting beside me, I closed my eyes and said, in Swahili, “God, please bring Davie’s bike back.” Davie quit laughing when he realized I was serious. I feel like he suddenly had faith, too, that his bike would be back.
In the evening I was talking to Davie’s mom, but couldn’t understand what all she was asking and called one of the neighbor kids, Max, over who knew Swahili and English. We talked about this and that and then out of the blue Max told her that Davie’s bike got stolen that morning. She laughed and said something in Swahili. I asked Max what Mama Queenie had just said, he replied with a lot of laughter “Oh, she said the bike isn’t stolen. She had hid it in the bathroom so that no one would steal it!” Nobody had thought to look there! I turned to Davie and said “See, God brought your bike back.” He still looked at me like I was crazy, but he was happy to see his bike again.
Davie holds a special place in my heart. He started out hostile and kicking and biting and ended up my special little boy. He trusts each one of us as one would trust their mom or dad. I saw transformation in him that I’ve never seen in a child. Joy and life was brought back into his eyes, and he’s told me on various occasions that he loves my Dad. That meant a lot because he doesn’t have a dad around much and doesn’t seem to trust a fatherly figure too much.
To you, this story might not mean anything, but to me…it’s a story of one of the small miracles God did. When I remember Tanzania, and all of the moments I had there, Davie is a part of most of my favorites. I miss this kid like crazy, but I'm ever so thankful to have known him.