The first time I saw her she was going through my rubbish. Well, at least that was the first time I thought I has seen her.
You know that nagging feeling you get when you feel like you have seen someone before? That was how I was beginning to feel about her.
On with my story.
Destiny saw her first, “Mommie someone is digging through our trash.” I said, “It’s okay Destiny, don’t go out there,
just let her be.”
I have come to know through our travels that sometimes and for some people, their only source of provision for their families is from other people’s trash.
I did not want to embarrass her so I carefully peeked out the window to see who it was for further reference, maybe I could help her in the future.
To my surprise she was not alone in her task. She had three little ones in tow and carried a baby with one hand as she rummaged through our garbage.
My heart was touched. What if it were me, and my children?
I quickly and quietly got some things from my kitchen,
a bag of rice and beans, a loaf of bread, milk, juice,
eggs and some fresh mangoes.
I went outside and approached her. She worked quietly at her task and kept her head down in shame.
Her children stopped and stepped back.
I grabbed some of the mangoes and handed them to the children,
who quickly began to eat them peels and all.
I handed the eldest of the children one of the bags.
I reached out to shake the mother’s hand saying, “Mamma, if you need food or something,
please feel free to knock on my door, anytime.
I am a volunteer here at the albergue, and sometimes I have food and sometimes I don’t
but whenever you have a need come over, I know God will provide for us. Here,
please take these bags. I know it isn’t much but whenever I have it I am ready to give it away.”
Her eyes never met mine, she motioned for her little girl to take the bags I was carrying. I went in the house and let her organize her things alone. She looked a bit more in the rubbish and then left.
A couple of hours later one of my neighbors knocked on my gate holding my rubbish bin.
Actually, it is really just a large plastic box with a lid so the street dogs don’t toss my rubbish everywhere. A real lidded trash can would get stolen quickly and they are too expensive anyway.
As the rubbish truck comes every day except for Sunday,
it works well for us.
My neighbor had seen me give her food, and then seen her take my rubbish box
when I went back into my house.
She then chased the woman down
and brought my rubbish box back to me.
Knowing that our family is serving the orphanage here, she thought is was a horrible way for the woman to show her gratitude, and told me so.
I thanked her for helping me.
Two weeks later the woman stole my rubbish box again.
We found another lidded box for the rubbish
and that one was stolen as well.
I also had a beautiful flower plant that John had planted
on the sidewalk in front of my house for me.
There was a big hole left where that flower bush used to be.
I have to be honest at this point and tell you that I was upset.
Mainly because we were broke and no had no way to buy another bin,
or fill the huge hole in front of the house.
Also, we had no money for food that week, and I was almost regretting giving away
food to someone who was so ungrateful as to steal from the hand that helped her.
I did not know how to handle my feelings in it all so I took it to God in prayer.
Eventually I began to forget about it and occasionally I would see her
going through the trashes up and down the street.
I wanted to know where she lived but I was unsure why I wanted to know that.
I knew I had seen her before.
Where had I seen her before?