what do you want?

I am with Food for the Poor in Jamaica, seeing the work they are sponsoring. Today we stopped at the Golden Age Home, a care facility for the disabled. It was a chance to meet the people we raise money to help, and to find out what they need, and it is always profoundly moving, reminding me why I am compelled to continue in this ministry.

For this woman, it was simple. She came running up and hugged every new visitor, and she was happy. All she needed was a hug.

For one of the directors it was simple as well: she wants a dentist chair. There is a local dentist college that will send people over to care for the residents for free, but they need a place to work. Excellent, we can get a dentist chair and get it here quickly. This is the sort of request that is perfect for Food for the Poor, to augment available resources with the one thing they need to make a project come to life. Other requests fall into a different category. But you can still be with them and ask, "what do you want?"

This woman called me over, pointing at my head, excited. I thought it was difficult to speak with the residents because I do not speak Jamaican Patois, but I soon realized that many of the residents, like this one, simply cannot speak. She liked my cowboy hat... no, something else... she pointed behind herself. She had a plastic bag, and inside was a hat. She had a hat and I had a hat. She wanted me to put it on her head. And then, there we both were, wearing hats, connected, and she was happy.

Emanuel came by in a wheelchair. He had been paralyzed from the waist down in a robbery back in 2003. Two years later, "God gave him the gift of art." He was looking to sell some of his artwork to make enough money for his medical supplies. I bought a beautiful drawing of a parrot.

Lastly I met Marcia Clarke. She had been in the home for years, but recently has taken a turn for the worse. Her bones have started breaking, and now she can't get out of bed. There was nothing I could do about that, but I stayed and listened to her story. It was very sad. I listened for quite a while, and though she cried, I think that after a while, she was happy in a way. At least she had someone to listen to her sad story. So many people, so many needs. I can't help them nearly as much as my heart would like, but I can do something, however small, for each one, and for each small something I find another blessing.

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