Wednesday, January 2, 2013

heart, mind, or spirit?

Today is my last day in Cape Coast.  Tomorrow Emmanuel and I will travel back to Accra to pick up his visa and hopefully head home.  On the way tomorrow we are stopping to visit E’s family home and village.  I am anxious about that, but it is something that I want to do.  Have pictures and memories to share with him as he gets older and asks.

It has been a blessing to spend time here again at this hotel that Gabe and I were at in October.  While the lizards and the cold trickling shower and I don't get along, the staff here are like family.  One sweet woman, Mary, has been so enjoyable to talk to.  She has a son that is 1 and she is very good with Ema.  I asked the hotel owner if I could give some of E's clothes and toys to Mary as a gift for her son as I didn't want to get her in any trouble.

She came today to get the things as she isn't working in the morning when we will be leaving.  We talked more about her son and how she was off work now and would walk home to where her mother was caring for him.  She asked if I would ever come back to Ghana.  I told her that Gabe and I hoped one day to bring our whole family here when Emmanuel was older so he could see his country, but that I didn't know when that would be as it cost very much to fly 7 people to Africa.

Mary and I have had several past conversations about her faith and mine.  She went to church on New Year's Eve for 5 hours.  She surely is committed!  I teased her to go and say a prayer for me, because I gould be sleeping.  The next day she said she spent much time praying for Emmanuel and me and that we'd be able to go home on Friday.  Sweet lady.

She told me she would like to not work at the hotel and open a shop so she could be with her son.  If she had money, she could do that.  Oh dear.

My heart wanted to jump up and go and give her money.  She had never asked me for anything before and was visibly embarrassed to be asking this.   I mean good grief, how many women in America have the joy of staying at home with their children if they choose?  I am able to work and be with my children.  Why shouldn't this sweet momma have that same gift?  How many friends do I know that are able to have the career of their dreams at the snap of their fingers if they want it?  Why shouldn't she be able to follow her dream?

My head said, "You idiot, you read When Helping Hurts.  Don't go doing anything stupid that makes her lose her job waiting for promises from you.  She has a good job here.  She works hard at it and provides for her son.  You can't save everyone.  She needs Jesus to be her Savior, not you."

So, I decided to let my spirit lead...or rather His Spirit in me.  I asked Mary about her dream of owning a shop.  She told me she'd like to sell materials and shoes.  Things that mothers and children would need.  I encouraged her and told her this is a very good dream as we chatted more about it.  I told her that she should keep planning and thinking of the ways she would run her shop.  That she should keep working at this good job and try and take money from each paycheck and put it away towards her dream.  I asked her if I could pray for her before she left and it was such a sweet moment with her.

I also gave her my email address and told her I would love for her to write me and keep sharing her life and dreams.  I don't know where that will lead, but if God asked me to help her more, I would jump at the opportunity.

So interesting how one minute I can be looking out into the ocean at the beauty of God and longing for home and the next I am having a chat with a sweet friend that God has placed in my life today.  Such mixed blessings and emotions here in this place.

Trying to take each moment as it comes and find the joy in it.  Today, Mary was a joy.  


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