November 2020 | ATLANTA
For years, our family just called her “the Fruit Lady.” When Migdalia Chavez arrives at our door bringing a small supply of tropical treats, like dragon fruit, avocados or limes, you can be sure it is at the most inconvenient time: supper just laid on the table, someone just out of the shower, the start of a good movie or as an interruption to winding down at the end of a long work day.
Over the years, Migdalia has suffered serious illnesses requiring expensive surgeries and medicines, personal tragedy with the deaths of her son to suicide, her daughter to cancer and a grandchild to complications from malnutrition. She is always living at the limits of her financial resources. We have given her offerings of money, in-kind gifts, “loans” for financial goals like a piñata business or expanding fruit sales. None of our efforts have had any impact on her economic capacity but doing nothing does not feel like an option either....
The lesson we have learned through our relationship with Migdalia is that opportunities to serve are not always convenient or easy, yet, if we are open, Christ comes to our door in the most unlikely of ways. Indeed, Migdalia’s visits are no longer confused with being an interruption, but as an opportunity to exchange a witness, an encouraging word, on occasion a material offering, and most of all, love. We have learned from Migdalia that “Love is patient, love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Jesus never promised that we could solve every problem, but that Love is always there to sustain us as we journey together.
I learned this past week that Migdalia and I are the same age. We have vastly different life journeys, yet God allowed them to cross, and love has fostered as a small contribution to God’s Realm on Earth.
Dr. Belinda Forbes is a dentist and global missionary from the United States serving in Nicaragua, working with Accion Medica Cristiana (Christian Medical Action or AMC).