Today I took Natilia’s 5 year old neighbor to the health clinic because he’s had a big growth on his neck for 12 days and his mom is too poor to buy medicine. We took a motorcycle taxi on the way there. I think it was maybe his first ride on one, because he shouted out greetings and waved to about every person we passed on the way there, and then sang the whole way home. It was the most adorable thing in the world. I just sat on the back smiling the whole way watching him.
After that I was walking on the street and saw a blind man sitting on a step all alone leaning against his cane. I’m always praying as I walk, asking God who He wants me to stop and minister to. I ended up buying the blind man bread and butter and returned and sat and talked with him. (Praise the Lord, my Creole has really improved with serious discipline over the past couple months.) He was so delighted about the bread. I prayed for him on the step with a small group staring on from the sidewalk.
Two days ago Sara and I took 4 of our street kid friends out to a restaurant for lunch. One had bare little feet under the table. They were so smiley as the bottles of cokes and sprites came. We played games at the table while we waited, prayed, and then feasted on chicken, french fries, fried bananas, and rice. Two of them saved the drumstick in their pockets for later. They were just so smiley the entire time. I feel like they’ll remember that day forever.
Every bed in the women’s hospital room was occupied that day, so Natilia ended up in the men’s room while her stomach was draining. An old man across the way was being bathed by his wife on his bed, all hunched up and crying. In the other direction was a man in nothing but an adult diaper, every bone is his body showing. The room was full and depressing. I felt drawn to 2 men, the only ones in the room without a visitor there with them. We shared my almonds, talked, and prayed.
This is just in the last 3 days. There are many more stories. And sometimes it all just feels like drops in a bucket. Four kids out of thousands. Three patients out of a hundred. Nothing earth shattering appears to be happening. No one has been healed yet. Salvations aren’t rolling in. But I know better than to be discouraged by these thoughts that come sometimes. Because I know God often works in these ways. In small moments, in little actions of love. And although they may feel like drops in a bucket, in a sea of so many people, it always seems that God leads to a certain few, and these are the ones I must love with His love.
I think of Paul’s God-inspired words in 1 Corinthians 3- “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” God is letting me plant in people’s hearts. He’s letting me water in others. Others have come before and will come after to continue to process. But it’s all God orchestrating the entire thing and the outcome. Only He can make people grow; only He can draw someone to Himself. So I just take joy in the little part He’s allowing me. Such a privelege, such a grace.