By Natalie H., from California - Alumni Thailand 2011- 2013.
“Heart’s Home cultivates a greater openness to those around us and to the invitations of the moment. With this increase in awareness and receptivity, I find myself surprised by and rejoicing with God much more often.
A few weeks ago, just as I was getting off the bus to meet a friend in downtown D.C., she called to tell me that she was running an hour late. A little annoyed, I started to think about how I would “kill” the hour. Peruse the used book store? Buy a snack in CVS and eat it in the park? As I started to get sucked into my own head and my own plans, a voice a few feet away broke me out of it: “Hello sir… hello ma’am… hello sir… hello ma’am…”. It was a homeless man sitting against a sign in front of CVS. I approached him to respond to his litany of greetings, really just to acknowledge his presence. The last thing I had anticipated for that hour was to share it and a Kit-Kat bar with a homeless man. He told me about his job interview preparation meetings the coming week, gifting me with his excitement about his dreams of a life turnaround. And he thanked me for stopping to talk; he said no one else in the last four hours had even looked at him. The next week when I walked down that same street, he jumped up like a child and ran to tell me that his meetings went well. Don’t we all need someone to share our good news with? And now that stretch of the street is a little more human for me, because I have a friend there.
Also a couple weeks ago, I brought some flowers to the nursing home that I visit. I brought them for a woman I’d met the week before, who had really touched me and who didn’t believe me when I said I’d be back! I thought my deed was done when I handed them to her, but boy was I wrong. Upon receiving the flowers, she proceeded to divide them up and then lead me around her floor (in her wheelchair) to give them to all those who were bed-ridden and most alone. She knew each one’s name, and introduced me to them all. Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
My 18 months in Thailand taught me that God only needs a tiny crack in the dam to achieve a flood. If we open the door just a sliver, if we meekly whisper a ‘yes’, God will surprise us by taking our five loaves and two fish to feed a crowd—us included.”