We stepped away from the roads, deeply rutted and difficult to navigate because of the deep mud and entered a little area where I saw this:
I remember thinking we were first going to see perhaps where her animals lived.
But no. This was her house. Where she lived with her children. When we entered, the children were in the bed and the interpreter told us they were there because it was the warmest place to be on a cold day like that.
As you can see, her home was tarp and tin held together with a few rusty nails and rope. There were plenty of cracks to allow the cold wind to blow through. Chickens wandered in and out. These pictures show everything she owned. Yet the most striking thing about this encounter was not the hovel they called home, or the fact that she had so little. It was her gratefulness. She was overflowing about how grateful she was for God being with her and giving her so much. She talked about how good God was, and about how thankful she was for a home and children, and for the ministry she could be a part of at the school. She was so overwhelmingly grateful. That stuck in my memory more than anything else. I would have been devastated to learn I had to live in these conditions. Yet she was so joyful and full of gratitude. At the time I had just moved into a much smaller house and was concerned about closet space. She was grateful for dirt floors.
A lesson on thankfulness. She took it to a whole new level for me. It was truly humbling to see her heart of thankfulness for what she had, and to learn the lesson before me of gratitude and being content. A lesson I still remember and will never forget.