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field notes

Tales from the Convinced

Photo by David Merrigan

My twin sister, three roommates, and I had the opportunity to go to the Philippines for a month to do some humanitarian work that we had planned and executed ourselves. We raised money to go, then we helped there with some organized medical and health clinics as we saw needs. Just a few days before we came home, we had extra donation money left over. On Sunday after church, we had planned to take out small increments of money, in this case 500 pesos bills, to carry with us in case we were impressed by the Spirit to give them to those we saw. We didn’t like to just give out money knowing that it might be put into inappropriate uses. We thought we’d rather help “teach a man to fish.” However, we

felt impressed to carry money with us anyway that particular day. As we walked in one particular area, the five of us passed a sweet woman and her husband sitting behind her in their small doorway. We smiled, greeted them, and kept walking. When we had passed them, we all turned to each other thinking the same thing. We all felt like we needed to go back to them and give them a 500 pesos bill. My sister and another roommate spoke the language fluently because they had served church missions where they had learned the language. They approached the woman, who was closer and seemed more open to conversation. Her husband sat back and seemed a little indifferent to

us. If I had to guess, I would say he was probably just thinking, “Typical Americans.” We talked with the woman a little, then Becca, one of my roommates, took the 500 pesos bill in her hand, walked up to the man, and just quietly took his hand in hers and transferred the bill from her hand to his. She gave his hand a squeeze and smiled, and another friend told him in his language that this was just a small contribution for them. She told him to know that we love them but, more importantly, that God loves them and is very aware of them and their needs. She told them to consider this a blessing from God today for them. His countenance changed and he said somthing like, “My wife and I came to sit on our patio today not expecting to be blessed so richly. Thank you so much.” This photo was taken about two minutes after they thanked us and we stepped away. It was the smile on his face and the appreciation in her eyes that I loved. He was finally convinced. I don’t know if it was that he was convinced of us and of our kindness as good people and not just “foreigners” or convinced of God and His goodness and love and awareness of him and his family. But he was “convinced”.

—Sarah Katherine Westover Cornville, AZ

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 75

Stowaway Winter 2016  

Winter is here, but adventure awaits! Strike up a conversation, spark a new interest, or slip into something familiar in this issue of Stowa...

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