Friday, 27 March 2015

40 Acts - SCRAP the Schedule

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 
Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV)
Every day has the same number of hours. Every hour has the same number of minutes. Every minute has the same number of seconds.  But there are some moments that we just never forget.

Meeting Gina was one such moment for me.

Gina was one of many women I met in 2011. But she stood out because we bonded over my inability to sew and her total determination to teach me, and because we met in Haiti.

We sat together for nearly two hours in a hot humid church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Gina patiently trying to teach me to sew. And as I learnt to sew we talked about our lives.

Gina was 22 and had two young children. She’d lost everything in the earthquake that’d struck Haiti in January 2010; her house, her possessions and – even – some family members. As we talked, what struck me about Gina – despite her circumstances and everything the earthquake had stolen from her – was that she was still openhearted enough to give me her time to teach me to sew.

Giving someone your time is one of the most precious gifts you can give.

Like anyone running a home, Gina had plenty of other things to do that day, and I knew it. Gina’s home was a tarpaulin tent smaller than my garden shed. So Gina’s day was an endless list of keeping the tent tidy and secure, fetching and purifying water, getting food and cooking over an open fire, all while taking care of her children.

So next time you think you’re too busy to get involved, remember Gina. Remember a young woman in Haiti who, despite losing everything, was openhearted enough to give this British woman a lesson in sewing – and more importantly in generosity and kindness – that I will never forget.

Wendy Beech-Ward

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