Adults - Dominican Republic July 2021 Day 3

It is amazing how God can work!  I didn’t even know I would be coming to the Dominican Republic until a few months ago.  Today, I met Melia, the person I would like to be when I grow up.

Melia is 88 years old. She lives on a small farm.  Melia has no running water, so she walks several miles with buckets to collect water for herself and her animals.  Melia was so pleased to have visitors, even though we were unannounced.  We were welcomed with warm hugs and a big smile.  She insisted on moving multiple chairs from her home to under a tree outside so we could all visit comfortably.  Her property was obviously well taken care of.  When I commented on how beautiful it was, we learned that she personally sweeps the dirt outside to keep it welcoming to guests and comfortable for herself.  She also told us many stories of children that she raised as her own that now call her mother and grandmother.

Sitting beneath a huge calabash tree, I asked Melia what her secret was.  I know many people her age, and few of them have the joy and the spirit that she has.  Melia smiled softly and looked at us and said simply, that “the secret is God”.  She told us “Be a good person.  Stay in school and stay active”. Melia never had any of her own biological children, yet she made a difference in the lives of so many children that she raised as her own.  Melia doesn’t focus on what she doesn’t have. Instead, she is grateful and content for all that God has blessed her with.  I learned a lot from her today.  Sometimes I make life much too complicated.  I need to focus on what is important.  I want to be a good person and live for God, stay active, and make a difference in the lives of others.  I will always remember Melia.

- Stacy