Right after the first of this month, I was cleaning out my emails, and out pops one from someone I wasn’t expecting… and what a surprise!
The email was from a young girl named Evete, a name I hadn’t thought of in 32 years! 1988 was not only the year I arrived on the island, but it also saw one of the worst hurricanes to hit Jamaica, Hurricane Gilbert, in September of that year.
I happened to be back in Atlanta when the actual hurricane hit due to a root canal I had scheduled. Who would ever credit a root canal to being a good thing, helping me dodge a hurricane? Upon my return, I was shocked to see the devastation. It was a month before the airport could be opened to receive commercial flights outside of military help. Within a short time, roads were finally opening up.
Just a few months before the hurricane, our NGO had been working in an area called Ft. George where a small church and community had needed a lot of help. I remembered a young girl and her family being so helpful to us as we built and repaired homes and churches in their community. Evete was that teenage girl.
To make a long story short, I went back to Ft. George following the hurricane, and I brought Evete a suitcase of clothing and toiletries from our group in hopes it would help in a small way. Now, after 32 years, I received an email from this woman who found me on Facebook and wanted to say thanks for that small token of love. With her permission, I’m sharing some of her email. She’s now a surgical nurse in England, married to a husband who loves Jamaica and they have two wonderful children.
“We met in 1988. I hope its you anyway. I’ve never ever forgotten when [you] came back shortly after the Hurricane and Donated a Suitcase of Clothes and Shoes to me, to share with my Friends, I will never forget.
I always thought about you, Especially since I’ve grown much older, You’ve made a Great Impact on my Childhood and that I will never forget ♥ Thank you and God Bless”
Evete hopes to come to see her family this summer… and us! We can’t wait! You never know what an impact you can make in someone’s life by serving in big and small ways. Make your promise in 2020 to never stop loving and serving the people that God puts in your path. You might have a great story to tell like this one day!!