The little silver cross lay innocently on the carefully ironed shirts returned by the laundry lady. She announced, “I found it in the pocket of one of the pants when I scrubbed them.” She was an honest person and wanted everyone to know she returned everything found in the clothes she washed.
But the next week another cross was once again in the laundry. The lady was inquisitive. “It’s got words on it in some language. What do they mean?”
“It says ‘Jesus is Lord.’”
“Umm. It belongs to the foreigners who are here with you, doesn’t it? What are they doing here?”
“They’re helping fix houses damaged in the earthquake.”
“Ave Maria! (Good heavens!) And they came all the way here for that? Why?”
“Because they believe those words on the little cross and they feel Jesus asked them to come help people in need.” “Do you think the owner would mind if I kept it?”
“No, I think someone wanted you to have it.”
Curiosity lounged in doorways, hung over balconies, peeped out windows and invented seven or eight errands a day just to see the strangers working on the earthquake-stricken house. Most of the adults were too reserved to ask a lot of questions at first, but the children had no such reserve. They gaped open-mouthed at the size of some of the visitors, accepted candy from others, laughed at sleight-of-hand tricks with pennies and endlessly tried out their limited English. These Christians were “Very much good, OK!”
Many Colombian adults marveled men and women of all ages labored at ordinary tasks for someone else, and even willing to share their food with him. The translator with the group gave them New Testaments and explained what gave meaning to this humanitarian effort.
Finally some of the adults lost their shyness and started asking questions through the interpreters. “Where are these people from? Why were they here?” One neighbor got up her courage and boldly stopped another translator together with one of the visitors. “They say in the neighborhood you’re building another house for Alicia because hers fell down in the earthquake! And you’re all from another country! Why on earth would anyone come all the way here just to build a house for someone they don’t even know?”
The answer came back through the interpreter: “Well, I have a Friend and He sent me . . .”
(Adapted from a testimony by Michele Gentry de Correal)