The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. I Timothy 5:5 (NIV)
Our last day at the center came all too quickly. It seems like we just arrive and then, it is time to go home. The travel, not so much by plane, but the grueling five hour drive to Miami and the hour ride from the airport to Antigua wipes me out. It is Tuesday before I feel like myself again. One of these days, I am going to go and stay for two weeks to make the effort more worthwhile. All week my goal was to serve Nanny Christy. Whenever possible, when I found her cleaning cribs, sweeping, changing sheets or folding laundry, I would send her off to rest and do that work myself or find someone to help. One afternoon, she got to sit down in the kitchen, eat and rest for several hours. I doubt that has ever happened for her. Though the work was exhausting and I do not know how she does it each day, it was so much fun to find a way to surprise her with a completed task before she got the chance to do it herself. Though we cannot communicate in words, I knew from her gestures and facial expressions how pleased and grateful she was. On our last day, I was able to catch up with her alone and asked a translator to help bridge the language gap. When we walked up to her, she smiled and said, “You read my mind. I was coming to look for you.” Then, she talked for a few minutes about how she has known since we first met that I was her friend and that only friends do for each other what I was able to do for her this week. Then, with Olivia, the translator’s help, we were able to have a conversation like real friends about our children, our worries and our hopes for the future. Nanny Christy is my age; we are only nine months apart. She is a widow and has three sons and lives at the bottom of the hill near the center. She is concerned for her oldest son who has started his own business. She wants it to thrive so he can be successful. She is afraid that her middle and youngest sons may join gangs or make wrong choices with their lives. She wonders what will happen to her if she is asked to leave the house she rents. We share so many things in common. In our conversation, she said something that humbled me. When she asked when I planned to return, I confessed that with our son’s upcoming wedding, I might not be able to make it back until next spring because we were saving money for his wedding reception. Later, when we were talking about our faith in God, she said, “I only ask God for what I need and He will provide it.” Here is a woman who lives in a rented house, in a tiny town in Guatemala. She works 70 hours a week taking care of other people’s children in order to provide for her own. She has no husband to help her raise her three boys. Here I am planning to spend money on a party that she could use to support herself for almost half a year. And she can say, “I only ask God for what I need.” How many times have I gone to God with a list of wants way beyond my needs? I am now home safe and sound in a house four times bigger than hers getting ready to go on vacation with my husband to see my son who lives in luxury compared to her boys. I have much to think about while I travel. And much to pray about as well because I promised Nanny Christy that when I pray for my sons, I will pray for hers as if they are my own.