Profiles in Courage
A disciple named Rebecca Goldman walked into a laundromat in Lowell, Massachusetts, armed with four small slips of paper, each with her name and number written on them. She handed the slips out to four women there, inviting them to church and adding that they would have friends if they came.
The third woman, Niramol Pichetshote, a fifty-two-year-old native of Thailand, took the piece of paper without saying a word and put it in her pocket. When her laundry was finished, she went home and thought long and hard about Rebecca and her invitation to church.
Ever feel like your faith is just hanging by a thread, you are holding on for dear life, escaping by the skin of your teeth? Do you know what I have come to think during those times? At least I have a thread and I haven’t let go of it! I know that doesn’t sound like much, but that thread has got me through the tough times and I’m grateful for it!
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mom. I had it all planned out: in my mid-twenties we would have two girls two years apart. God had other plans for us! We are blessed with three amazing kids who are currently 24, 13 and just about 10. My husband’s daughter came to live with us from the Ivory Coast in West Africa when she was nine years old. (Prior to that, she had never lived with him, and he [we] had only met her once since she was born, so there wasn’t a real parental relationship there.) Then two years later we had a son between us and three and a half years later another son. Wow! It didn’t happen quite as I wanted, but it happened just as we needed.
There has always been this desire in my heart to serve the poor, to change their lives and change the world. Growing up in Switzerland, one of the riches and safest countries of the world made me aware how fortunate I was. One of the first memories of poverty was seeing the pictures of famished children in the camps during the Biafra war.
We live in a society of "want" – and we want it now! I can eat out – but I wonder why my fast food is taking so long. I can pump my own gasoline – but I get annoyed answering the questions first. I love all the things I can get accomplished without even getting out of my car! (Coffee, pharmacy, bank, dry cleaners...).
On May 29, 2014, I flew to Honduras, one of the most dangerous places to live according to statistics. It was not my first visit. My son and I been there in January 2014, to serve with the HOPE worldwide Community Service Brigade. I wanted to spend time with him serving in a needy place and the Brigade had an opening for San Pedro Sula. While serving I learned so much and my heart was moved in unexpected ways.
Editor's note: The following is one of the third place entries in the "Why I Love My Mom" series. Click here for more >
“You look just like her!” a woman bellows excitedly at church when she discovers how I am related to the infamous Anita Allen. Though there are times when “living in her shadow” can make me feel like I want to be my own person, I would rather hear that every minute than have a different mom. My mother is a spiritual mother to so many, but both a physical and spiritual mother to me. I feel so lucky that I get to have her as both.