Jean Evans is a Sister of Mercy from California. She ministered for 28 years in South Africa, where she worked in Johannesburg with victims of the apartheid regime — teaching and administering three vocational centers, and teaching high school in Soweto. Back in the U.S., she is currently doing substitute teaching, spiritual direction and grant writing.
From 1982 until 2020, sisters, singers and musicians accompanied people who came to Taizé prayer to find peace, solace and God's presence at the convent chapel. Now, somehow, COVID-19 has transformed and enhanced our prayer.
When I applied to be a substitute English teacher for the last 10 weeks of this school year, I had no idea I'd be the one getting educated, as the COVID-19 lockdown came unbidden in my first week of teaching.
Arriving as a volunteer in South Africa in 1984, I encountered a new place, unfamiliar faces, and the mystery of two communities living the founders' dreams miles and years into the future.
You can understand a lot about a particular group of people by getting to know their proverbs. From my time in South Africa, I remember one saying in particular that shines a light on African culture.