We entered the guarded apartment complex set and ready to help in any way we could. We took the rickety elevator and arrived on the floor. We knock on the door and we are welcomed in by a voice in broken English.
As we entered we were greeted with an agitated voice of, “Only two, only two…” as an elderly Polish woman cute as a button, looked at our team of four. I step out along with my team mate so we wouldn’t overwhelm her in her tiny flat. The male in the blankets looked at us unsure of what to say.
We walk out and say out loud to ourselves,”Well that was a little different,” as we plump down in the empty brown corridor; fifteen seconds later one of my team mates comes out and asks me to take her spot and step inside. I do as I am told. I walk in; in the middle of the interrogation by my team leader and the elderly woman asking who sent us. We respond whom sent us, and her face lightens and a smile forms on her face. “Oh!” She exclaims “Perfect!” She quickly puts us to work. Me in the toilet and my team leader in the living room area.
I scrub the bathtub trying to make the most of it, and hoping that somehow it will manage to look better than it was. Me, Jesus and Ajax doing our best to clean it. And so I begin to drift off in my mind as I scrub and wash the tub. I finish with what I think is precision, she casually walks in and I ask her if its to her liking and she responds, “Perfect darling perfect!” She then puts me to work on the toilet. And as I clean and wipe I hear my team leader making a great connection with her and her son as she tells them she is Hungarian! “Ah!” she says, “Zow Wonderful!” She walks in and gently rebukes me as I accidentally put a dirty cloth on top of the washer. “No darling! It’s ze dirty.”
I head into the living room and begin to talk with her son he tells me his name and asks me where I am from. “America.” I reply in a tone that indicates I don’t believe being from America is too fascinating. “Everyone is from America!” He laughs and I laugh. So I begin to ask him “So how are you doing?” As I finish asking this question I see in his eyes some disappointment and hurt, and he answers, “My back is injured.” In my mind I cannot even begin to comprehend how helpless he must feel. Unable to help out his elderly mom because he himself is ill. After a couple seconds I can only reply the way I know how, “I am believing you’ll get better.” And he defeated answers, “I don’t think so I’ve been like this for two years.” “But, your strong,” I say. “Yes, I guess so.”
He goes on to have a conversation with my team leader, and asks her, “Do you get paid for this?”
“No we do not, we just come and help out people in the community. We do this because we want to.”
He dubiously looks at her and says, “You know there is not many good people in the world.”
“I know, but I’m sure there are still some good people left.” She responds kindly with a soft smile.
“Yes, I guess you’ll go to heaven.” He tells her as thankfully acknowledges all that we are helping them with.
I change the subject and ask him about Poland if whether he misses it or not.
“I do not. I’ve been here 35 years and when me and my mother were in Poland we were living during the communist era…” I stand there intrigued by their story wondering at the things that they must have seen and gone through in their lifetime. And now they are here in Australia seeing time go by and finding ways to make it through.
“Sit darling sit!” “This is your home, I am a Christian you are among family.” She happily exclaims chiming in.
We finish our tasks giving them all that we could and she apologizes. She apologizes because she wishes she had something to offer us.
“Next week you come and I will make you some Coffee Cake!”
“Thank you so much!” we say, “Anything Polish will make us very glad.”
She smiles and thanks us for all our hard work.
We leave feeling the way only souls can feel, when they do what they are created to do. Jesus said to be his hands and feet. So here we are our hearts aglow amazed and honored to be the hands and feet of Jesus, even if that means it simply looks like our actions speaking out. By scrubbing toilets and mopping the floors… this is all so worth it if one person can see the light and hope that we have in Jesus.
We are here to bring Hope.
Friends, I told you May would be a good month.
I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person’s life is the affect they have on others.