Looking Back Part 3 --- Elina January 28 2010

What happened with either Mrs. Tshabalala or Ann would have been more than enough to make my last day in South Africa wonderful, but then Elina walked in the door. You'll remember Elina from my previous posts. She is the woman who lives in Phomelong, one of the poorest areas of Mamelodi, where we delivered her a food parcel. She is also a seamstress that we are hoping to employ. When I was finally able to walk over and speak with Elina, I was brought to tears. Elina wanted to thank me, Heather, and Beth (Skillman) for helping her get the sewing project started, so she brought us each a gift. Wrapped in scraps of fabric and carried in the same box that we had delivered her food parcel in, she gave us pottery that was hand-made by a friend from Zimbabwe. Cups, mugs, a sugar and creamer set, a tea pot and a vase decorated with simple tribal images were displayed as she told us who was to receive each item. Standing before me was a woman who had not been able to feed her family for two days, and yet here she was giving us gifts. Three times in a single day I humbly received gifts and witnessed the truth of what St. Francis of Assisi meant when he said ‚"for it is in the giving that we receive."