Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sunday this and that . . .


This is my friend Eliza with her husband Ed.  This picture was taken down in Kent when we lived at Oak Cottage. Eliza and Ed had come over to visit all the way from Arizona. They came over several times, bringing their son Kevin with them on one visit.  We loved having them.  It was so much fun.  Eliza and I had met on a old site called RecipeZaar and became fast friends.  The old recipe site did not survive.  Its Food.com now. Our friendship did however.   Sadly Eliza lost Ed last year.  

Eliza is an amazing woman. Not only did she raise 9 incredible children (with Ed's help of course!) but she worked as an Obstetrics Nurse for years and years while raising that huge family.  She is also an incredibly brave woman and an amazing example to me.  Last year in the autumn, she decided that she wanted to serve a mission for the church.  We both got a bit excited about that as she had put down that she really wanted to serve in the London Temple.

God had other plans. 
...

  

When her mission call came, it was to serve as a nurse in the Philippines Bacolod Mission.  I was a bit disappointed myself, because I had really hoped that she would be serving closer to us so that we could see each other, but the whole purpose of a mission is to serve where you are needed most, and the Philippines Bacolod Mission must have really needed a special woman and nurse like Eliza.  She began her Mission in April of this year.  Every week she sends us a lovely newsy e-mail about everything that is going on.  Its been a real culture shock to be sure, but Eliza is taking it all in her stride and she doesn't bat an eye at any of it.  I love reading her e-mails and catching up with all of her goings on.  The one I received yesterday had me in tears however . . . 


I know that the Philippines is a country of great contrasts and diversity, especially when it comes to wealth.  It seems to be that if you are rich, you are very rich, but if you are poor, you are very poor, much more poor than we could even begin to imagine.  When my youngest son lived there he hated it, so much so that he and his step brother both chose to go back to Canada and live with a school mate while his dad finished out his posting there.  Todd has been there also, many years ago, and he says that it is a country steeped in great poverty.

Eliza was so excited because she had been invited to go with the young Missionaries to the home of a family from their Ward's (church congregation) for Family Home Evening and dinner.  They walked for what seemed like miles through dirt paths and alleyways to get to the house, after having driven to the very outskirts of the town.  The home was very little. Only about half the size of a Master Bedroom, with a cement floor, with an adobe wall of about 3 feet, topped by metal joists with wall board tacked to them. There were two small windows and two doors. 

"In the corner was a tiny separate room with a toilet that you flushed by pouring a bucket of water in it, and a place you could stand with a floor drain to “bucket shower”. The sink was about 12 inches square and got filled from a garbage can full of water and a pitcher. The stove was a little 2-burner “Coleman-like” gas stove. A curtain, hung from wire, separated the 8X8’ living room from the “master bedroom”. That was downstairs. A little metal stairway went up to an area 8’ wide (half the width of the house) with a floor of real plywood. This is where the 16 yr old and the 2 married couples slept without mattresses! Just with a bed-sheet on the plywood! No railing to keep the 18 month old safe either! The roof was metal, but there was a gap where it met the top of the wall. But it extended out past the wall so the rain didn’t come in unless there’s a real strong wind. Anyway, you know me, I thought the house was terrible and felt so sorry for how poor they are. The Sister said, “Welcome to our beautiful house.”
 
I thought she was being facetious! The 5 of us took up the 2 tiny couches (made of bamboo) and the family sat on the bottom stair and a saw-horse. Then the mom said she was so excited we came because in their old house no-one would come visit cuz it was so ugly and tiny. And when they went to sleep if it rained they would all get totally wet cuz the ceiling was bamboo and leaked so bad. And the neighbor’s chicken would walk in all the time cuz they didn’t have a door. “And now we have this big beautiful house we are so proud of!” I couldn’t hold my tears! Facetious!! NO WAY!!! She was so humble!! She told us the senior missionaries that were here before built it for them. Even in the closing prayer, the husband prayed, “Heavenly Father, thank Thee for our beautiful home.” And they fed us dinner! Rice and a wonderful chicken soup. But all 8 of them watched us as we ate, even the 18 month old! I could only take a little rice and a couple spoons of the soup cuz I felt like we were eating all they had! They said they had eaten before we came, but I don’t believe that!" 

As I read Eliza's e-mail yesterday my heart broke at the poverty that exists in the world today and that many of us have no awareness of or understanding.


Most of us have never known real deprivation, what it is to be truly hungry, or cold, without even the basic necessities of life.  We, even the poorest of us, have so much more in comparison to these people, and yet we still feel the need to complain . . .  and yet, they . . .  in their need, are filled with gratitude for all that they have.

What a humbling experience to read Eliza's
e-mail.  What an awakening,
an eye opening
...

I am filled with the desire to want to do more than I have done in the past. I know I am only one, and I may not be able to do much, but I have a desire to do more and I cannot let this feeling pass.

 

Its Fast & Testimony Sunday for July and I will be giving a generous fast offering and hope to be able to continue to do so every month.  I will never complain of being in need again.  I will appreciate the blessings I have been given even more so.  I have always been appreciative of what I have, but having read Eliza's e-mail has made me even more appreciative.  I recognise that there, but for the grace of God, go I.  Why was it that I was born into such abundance, and yet others are not??  I must give what I can, when I can.  Or else my being here where I am, and having what I have is in vain.  I can always do more.  I cannot call myself a Christian if I do not share God's love and abundance with those who have less than I.

I am blessed with abundance and
grateful for it.
...


My daughter posted this lovely photo of Maryn and Cam.  I believe they must be part of a wedding party.  What a cute bridesmaid and pageboy they make.  Of course I am a bit biased, but as the grandma, it is my right!  ♥


And this is Josh getting ready to toast some marshmallows in the back garden.  What a cute little marshmallow toaster he is!  Again, biased . . . but what can I say!   I love them all! ♥

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

 .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . Its not the load that weighs you down,
its the way that you carry it.
~C. S. Lewis    .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •


 

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Toasted Almond Waffles.  Seriously tasty.

If any of you would like to send Eliza a card or a note of encouragement on her Mission I would be happy to share her mailing address with you.  Just message me.  Have a beautiful Sunday.  Don't forget . . . 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too! 

5 comments:

Suze said...

Oh Marie,

I so understand what you are saying. When Pip was 11 we took her to Port Vila. We drove by the best school in this island. There was not one window and very little in the way of play areas etc. Then our driver showed us some local homes. So many children had rickets. Their little legs looked so sore. Our driver was a man named George and he had Pip convinced she was incredibly wealthy. The perspective is amazing because we live on a very low income but can manage well. I went back last year and the place had changed completely. Then in March I then saw poverty clash with affluence in Vietnam and Malaysia.

I admire that your friend is sharing her special abilities..

We have had an usual day and it was exhausting but mum enjoyed birthday. So that is excellent.

Your darling grandchildren look adorable.

God bless you, Todd and Eliza today and always.

.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

We hear tales of the poverty in the world but when we experience it,like your friend did, it does shake one up. We really never appreciate what we've got. Someone else really does have it a lot worse. Hope you have a blessed Sunday!

La Table De Nana said...


Nothing is even..nothing is "fair"..in most things.
Children born in loving families..children born into the hands of abusers..not only wealth..so many other aspects..I even mentionedthis when Beautiful George Clooney and Beautiful Amal hade Beautiful Twins..one of each.
On a lucky scale.. See what I mean?
Every sight around us can be ever so shocking:( Still born.. oh just too many many things to even jot down.
God Bless Everyone.♥

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks Suzan. Eliza is a real inspiration to me for sure. Love your perspective from your side of the world. Also happy your mum had a lovely Birthday! xoxo

I am always reminding myself that things could always be worse Pam! We should not have to witness another's lack to recognise our own blessings! xoxo

There are so many injustices in this world for sure Monique. It sometimes seems like some people have nothing but luck, and others nothing but rain. I don't think I have ever been touched by the worst of life and for that I am truly grateful! xoxo

Sybil said...

Thank you for sharing part of the lovely e mail from your friend, I would very much like to contact her if you don't think she will think it an intrusion ? Please e mail me her address in an e mail then I can write to her. Yes we are so fortunate to live in our country....yes,there is poverty, dire poverty in places but it's mostly unseen and we can only pray for these poor folks whatever the reason for their poverty is. We are so lucky. I always remember Sarah saying that the poverty she saw in places in the US upset her more than that in India as it was so unexpected.....I am reading a book just now about the life and times of George Muller he was a seriously bad man in his youth and then one day a friend took,him to a Christian meeting where although he didn't realise it at the time he found the grace and love of God...a few years past and he felt the call to come to England ( he was German) to cut a long story short he came to Bristol where over a great number of years in the late 1800s he opened many many children's homes....he NEVER once asked for money for anything at all. ALWAYS RELYING ON GOD...It's an amazing book and testimony to how our Lord works. I don't think my faith would ever be as strong as his was but we can try.......hope you have a good day and that its been nice and sunny as ours has been, just that pesky wind to put up with. God Bless. Xx