How One Small Kindness Made
All the Difference in the World
by Shania Andreakis
Last month I attended Hispanic camp meeting here in Gladstone where the theme was Alcanza Tu Mundo ("Reach Your World"). Just YOUR world, your family, your friends, your neighbors, co-workers, and yes, your homeless person that you pass every day. So many times we touch lives and never know what something small might have meant to them. That brought to mind a memory of how one small act spanning ten years made a difference in my life.
At 18 I didn't backslide. I hit the church doors running! I mention this only because even though I had turned my back on God, He was still in my life, just waiting to bring a miracle out of my hurt and anger. That same year I moved to California and found myself a minority in my own country. That's how I began to learn Spanish. One day several months later there was a frantic pounding on my door. Two of my friends were there asking me if I would go with them to the hospital and translate for a friend of theirs. My Spanish was not very good, but I went. What a different story this would be if I had said no.
When we arrived at the hospital, the doctor asked if the patient had insurance or cash and when told he did not turned us away refusing even to send the patient in an ambulance. The nearest hospital was in Merced, a good 30 to 40 miles away. We bundled the man into the car and were off. I did not even reach the city limits when I heard a voice in my mind as clear as if it were audible, "Go back! Stop! Go back!" So I went back.
After some rather intense discussion, the doctor finally authorized ambulance transport. We heard later that the man went into acute cardiac arrest halfway to the Merced hospital.
Life went on and I didn't think about the man again for about a year. Then one day, as I was walking down the street, a man rushed toward me. Falling to his knees, as tears ran down his face, he pulled money from his pockets trying to shove it into my hands. This was not something I was prepared to deal with, but I finally understood what he was saying. He was the man I had translated for and he was thanking me for his life and offering me all he had. That is the relationship I want with my Heavenly Father! To fall to my knees, and offer everything I have, everything I am, to God.
I had ended up doing free-lance security and five or six years later I was working a wedding reception contract. The night was young, in fact the band hadn't even started playing when there was a commotion near the wedding group. Sigh! It was way too early to have to deal with problem people, but as started towards the noise I realized a group of eight or ten people were hurrying toward me! Imagine my surprise when I recognized the same man among them. It was his wedding and recognizing me, he was bringing his new wife and family to introduce them to the woman he credited with saving his life. The wonderful part was he had met his wife while he was in the hospital–she was visiting someone. So he thanked me for that also.
During this time God had led me, sometimes kicking and screaming, back to Him and I had became involved in outreach evangelism in the Hispanic community. About four years after the wedding, several of the Hispanic congregations banded together for outreach. The plan was simple, teams of two, one English, and one Spanish speaker, would go door to door in Turlock inviting people to meetings and offering Bible studies. The probabilities are likely astronomical, but yes, the first door I knocked on was opened by Juan (I finally got his name). He said he didn't know why but he had awoken with an intense impression to call in to his work and stay home, something he never did. That was the only reason there was anyone home that Sabbath. Within the year, he and his family were baptized.
What a rare blessing to see how a simple kindness to an unknown person can result in precious souls for the Kingdom!