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First hand stories

Service of… eating /!/ or something like “chicken soup for the soul”

It’s been said to serve one another. Here is my newest ministry – “Ministry of eating”. I could say also “Shared table” – but I prefer the first option in order to emphasize on the simplicity the “thing”, which can be so significant. Hah! Not to sit and get fool/though nothing wrong with that!” but just to sit around the table and WHILE eating to listen to someone’s story. People are loaded with stories – sometimes they just need to be “dug out”. So it is.
I will have the privilege each Sunday to practice this ministry – I simply choose that way.

We order hot soup with toasted bread served in a basket.

Very beautiful woman with deep eyes, straight hair, made in a braid. Impressively elegant. The little girl has African braids and it is normal – they are from Africa, where there are tigers and elephants. :)

She’s been coming to church for more than a year now and is all smile – I wish I could trust her – I feel her so strong. She lives at the refugee camp. Often she brings us a bag of apples. Food, fixed personally by her /on some hot-plate, I suppose…/. It appears that she has already begun the “ministry of eating”… And the food brought by A. we accept as sacred and we quietly enjoy it in the calm Sunday evening.

Her story, that I learn while eating the hot soup, is amazing.

She has been in Bulgaria for one year now with her little daughter W, who is 3 years old. She fled from Nigeria with her husband who crossed the border with their two kids – 4 and 7 yo and made it to the old England. However, she got held up and taken to Busmantsi. From there – to the refugee camp /but that’s a different story that I am really proud of…/.

And she is a Christian and part of one of the largest churches in Nigeria. Her father is a radical fanatic. When he found out about her faith he plotted her murder.
One day, while she was at home, she felt disturbed.
“I called my pastor and told him how I feel for no reason. He cried out on the phone: “Get out of there right now! Immediately!” His words made me rush outside the house and ran through the yard. Got over the fence and to our neighbors. I dashed into their house and only after a few seconds we watched together how a group of 4-5 thugs with black masks entered my home. They were searching for me sent by my father”.

That’s how the running started.
I am charmed by her gracefulness. I now understand about her deep faith which she is ready to pay for with her life.

“I am a doctor, children’s doctor”, sais she, while slightly closing her eyes – the deep longing for one’s calling, I realize…

“And what about your mother?”
“She was killed by a bomb in October”.
“!?”…
“Oh, I don’t want to burden anyone with these sad news – everything is alright”…

“And your other children, A – do you talk to them?”

I don’t get a straight answer because the words are choked down and the eyes sparkle filled with tears – somehow dried up but still tears…
“I talk to them. Any time now my husband’s heart is going to be operated. A white woman from the church in England has taken the children and looks after them – takes them to school, everything… I don’t know how am I going to return the favor…”

She will probably see them “soon”. After months time. And I am going to miss her. And this little W. – just one “happy child”…

I heave a deep sigh: “Well, it is all worth, all worth…” and gulp down.

The soup was delicious and I was “full”.

Zhanie