Grace Bath spent time in Bercy as they prepared for a week of training with the leaders of the church and “watering the seeds that have been planted,” taking care of the soil in the church that Pastor Chelo leads.
After five years of building relationships, the team processed at night about how there is a different feel after trust has been built up – partnership is making a difference. You can only see the difference if you keep showing up.
Usually, you don’t even get to see the difference – but Madi was able to see a piece of it today. One morning, she saw a young mother who had been in an emergency situation in 2014, when Madi was here with a previous team. Calling her by name, Madi said hello and asked how this mother was – the mother lit up and was so excited!
What Madi didn’t know until later was just what an impact a “Hello” makes, or remembering a name and making sure to say hi.
This same mother found me that day and was excitedly talking about the friend who remembered her. This friend had asked about her daughter, this friend remembered her name and gave her a hug.
This mother is one I have known for years – she is an orphan. Taking care of herself since she was a young teenager, she has been taking care of two since she had a daughter at 16. She is slow to trust, and expects to be let down. Life has told her she is not one to remember. People have not always greeted her with smiles. You see it in her interactions with the world, I see it in repeated “tests” within friendship after years – she expects people to stop showing up.
But Grace Bath keeped showing up. Madi has made the decision to sacrifice, and keep showing up. To remember a name, to stop and smile and make conversation.
Many people don’t get to hear about the young mothers excitedly talking about who remembered them and what they talked about. Most of you that come on a team won’t see the way that eyes light up when someone says, “They remembered me, they asked about my daughter”.
Madi had no idea she made this impact when we talked about it over dinner. But she did.
You are making a difference.
Grace Bath, Madi, and everyone else as you keep showing up…thank you. For every moment you don’t get to see this side of eternity, for the impact you aren’t sure if you are making (you are), thank you.