A Gift of Kindness

I was tagged by Kimber the Wolfgrrrl to do this meme which is in line with this season of goodness and cheer.

The instructions:
1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.
2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving, or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.
3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.
4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and find the spirit. Don’t forget to leave a comment on their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.

Wow! This was the toughest meme that I have ever done. For this first section, I took the entire list of bloggers (more than 50) that I visit with some regularity and I mulled it over for more than a week. Finally I took a deep breath and managed to slice it down to 10. It took me a whole morning of trying to avoid making a decision and finally I narrowed it down to two and then finally one.

I wish something wonderfulfor Janice Thomson (Pursuance of Truth). If you visit Janice’s blog, you are treated on an almost daily basis to some pearl of wisdom or a beautiful and insightful poem; sometimes uplifting, sometimes humorous, sometimes deep and profound but always inspirational. As if that was not enough, she also treats us to a beautiful picture or painting which is an appropriate accompaniment to the prose.

Janice is clearly a person who gives of herself. She used to work as a nurse for mentally challenged adult patients. I admire all nurses but nurses doing palliative care or nurses working with the mentally challenged are in my opinion deserving even higher adulation.

In recent times though, Janice has faced a great deal of problems with uncertainty about her health and her abode. Yet, though there is an occasional acknowledgement of her problems in her blog, it is not long before she brushes it aside with more life affirming and life reveling prose. So I would like to wish something wonderful for Janice for the person that she is and for being an example of grace under pressure.

Favorite Memory Around Selflessness, Giving and Doing for Others. I have actually already shared my personal favorite memory about selfless giving (Juliet, Juliet, Wherefore Art Thou?). However, I would like to tell the story of someone else that I met. Her name is Mariliana Morales. I met her when I took part in a special study tour organized for representatives of non-profit organizations in 2005. The reason why I want to share her story is that I have always felt an empathy for prostitutes but unlike me who have done little to act on this feeling, Mariliana has put her whole life into helping them.

Mariliana was a successful business woman in Costa Rica and she was married to a successful businessman. Although a Christian, she was not an active one as running her business was her life. However, one day she just felt that there had to be more to life than being a slave to work. She turned to God in prayer for direction. Then as she was driving, she looked out and saw written in clouds in the sky, the word “Prostitutes”.

She pondered and wrestled with her vision for awhile and finally told her husband that she wanted to give up her business and work amongst prostitutes and to help them. The husband was supportive but incredulous. Mariliana was in the upper echelon of society. Until then, she was not even aware that Costa Rica had prostitutes. She told her husband that she would not even know how to start looking for a prostitute.

PhotoCredit: – LGS Chowing Down on Maine’s Best Clam Chowder (Mariliana -second from right)

Before long, someone knocked on her door. It was a young girl who had been physically abused by a client and was on the run looking for sanctuary. It was the defining moment. Mariliana did not hesitate but took her in. Her first prostitute.

She went on to look for a place to house prostitutes, protect them from their pimps, provide re-training for another job, take in their children and give them education. Thus was founded the Rahab Foundation on November 12th 1997. In the first month alone 30 prostitutes found their way to this sanctuary. Many of them testify that they had prayed to God in their despair and had received a vision to look for the Rahab Foundation which was virtually unknown at that time.

In the last 10 years, thousands have benefited from Mariliana’s and the Foundation’s work. Today, they provide sanctuary for over 500 seeking to escape prostitution and to make a new life. Over the years, 70% of those who have come through the Foundation have found freedom to live a new life.

In my short interaction with Mariliana, I surmise her to be a strong, intellegent woman with a sharp business acumen and organizational skills but the prominent characteristic that all who have met her would go away with would be the sense of her spirit of servitude for others. She reminds me that I could do more for others too.

To do list before 31st December. Well, I plan to just come in under the wire and invite a friend who has been feeling a little down after her relationship with someone fell through to a little group caring at a gathering of old friends for a New Year’s Eve Party. She has not seen many of us for quite a while and I am hoping that our meeting will be like returning to a loving, strong and supportive touchstone.

Tagging others. I think I will have to decline tagging others as it would be unfair for them to tryto do this meme before new year which is just a few days away.


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