Martha, and Paint

By Travis Hendershott, Partnership Coordinator

I recently sat down with Martha to go over the plans for working on her apartment this summer. Martha spent some time in a faith-based residential program called Family Life Services who we are also partnering with this summer. Since then, she is moving on to a busy life full of school and caring for her son while he also attends school.

I would say that working on Martha’s apartment is pretty simple as far as a Next Step project goes. And not to mention that the students won’t be able to meet Martha when working on her apartment. Bummer. But don’t let that demean the impact of this couple day project. The reason groups will be unable to meet Martha is because she will be in China, where she is originally from, being with her mother and family through the summer months. She told me how she and her sister take turns caring for their family and what it means for her to have the opportunity to look after their elderly loved ones. “Some may see it as a burden” she says, but Martha sees it as a way to care for who first cared for her.

We got down to choosing the paint. And an unexpected gasp paused the conversation. She looked at me with near tears in her eyes and told me how she was so thankful. “Thankful for what?” I thought – “it’s just paint”. But to Martha this is a true gift. The freedom and blessing she feels to be able to choose a paint color for her apartment and the thoughts of arriving home from China to newly decorated walls brought joy. She then expressed to me how growing up, they didn’t have this choice, it’s a luxury.

How often do we go through life and wonder, “who is this helping?” Or how is what we are doing impacting anyone? And then I think of Martha, and paint. I know for myself and the Next Step groups, we will never understand the meaning or the magnitude this has on Martha. But to Martha, this is truly an answer to prayer. Amen.

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  – Galatians 6:10

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