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Aloysius!

Countless cultural differences exist in the world today. But despite these differences there is at least one struggle every culture has in common, the struggle for integrity.

It has been said that integrity is who you are when no one else is watching.

The real you shows up when given the opportunity to act in anonymity.

On a recent three country journey in Africa I was privileged to secure a driver who is employed by World Vision.

Water4 has partnered with World Vision on a 7,000 water well project throughout the region.

Water4 is responsible for implementation of the project and World Vision provides its vast infrastructure as a means to add velocity and grassroots representation to the initiative.

Late one evening we were making our way to a modest guest house in Accra. We were tired and struggling with jet lag. We arrived safely and were looking forward to a hot shower and meal.

As we nestled in for the evening our host knocked on our door. “You have a call on the house telephone,” she said.

I couldn’t help but wonder who it might be. Was everything okay back home? Was there bad news from afar or was it one of my local comrades calling with an important message for the following day?

When I reached the telephone I recognized the voice on the other end of the line. It was Aloysius, our driver. I was surprised he would have reason to contact me so late and with such urgency.

“Mr. Sanders I am sorry to bother you this evening but I wanted to advise you that I located your water bottle and business cards in my vehicle. I have secured them and will have them at the office for you tomorrow,” he said.

I hung up the telephone a little bewildered as to why Aloysius felt so compelled to let me know I had left a water bottle and a few business cards in his vehicle. It was nice but was it really necessary?

I settled in for the evening, emptied my pockets and laid my head down for some much needed sleep. Then it dawned on me!
Water bottle? Business cards? No! Aloysius was talking about my wallet and business credit cards!

I jumped out of bed, rummaged through my back pack, checked the pockets of my trousers and the counter by my bed. It was true! I had left my wallet and all its contents in the vehicle! Without it, I would be in a very bad way. Unless of course a man of integrity came to my aid.

How easy would it have been for him to have found my wallet, emptied its contents and pocketed the cash?

He was alone. No one was watching. No one would every know he had found my wallet.

Certainly he could use the extra cash. Only earlier that day he had shared that he would have to take public transportation all through the night to attend the funeral of his older sister who died unexpectedly.

How easy would it have been for him to have thought my wallet was an opportunity to offset his unexpected hardships?

But no, he took the high road. He too wanted to sleep well that night knowing he had done the right thing.

Some may recognize the name Aloysius. In fact, they should. Many years ago there was an Italian saint named Aloysius.

Of this I can assure you, there is a modern day saint named Aloysius as well. His parents picked the perfect name for their son. He is not Italian. Aloysius is an honest Ghanaian man who lives a life of integrity as he serves people everyday driving them from place to place with utmost integrity.

Aloysius will forever hold a place in my heart and serve as a reminder that integrity is truly doing the right thing, at the right time, even when no one is watching.

May God bless Aloysius for he has certainly blessed me.

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