Name: Kalaha – “But If”
Role: President Fokontany
Kalaha was the first one to welcome Grant into Besatra and give him freedom to preach the gospel. It is now Kalaha’s family who leads out in the church–fitting that since they are located in the center of the village they would be central to the church also. It was Kalaha who was chosen to baptize some recent converts and he is also the most active in retelling the Bible stories. As president, Kalaha is the decision maker and peace keeper in Besatra. Kalaha is always noted for his easy going demeanor and friendly manner. Think of him like your sweet old grandpa.
However, Kalaha also struggles with the pressures of being a leader come market day. On that day, all the leaders, no matter how bad or expensive they know it is, go to get as drunk as they possibly can. Part and parcel with being a man in this culture is being drunk. Kalaha knows this is wrong because of Grant’s teaching but still struggles against the peer pressure and cultural weight of it. The first time we had a prolonged stay in Besatra Kalaha met us completely hammered and making a fool out of himself–a far cry from the wise leader we’ve come to know and love. Thankfully, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen that and we believe he is leaving that for a new and better life with Jesus.