A little over a month ago we hired a house helper Linda (pronounced Leen-da). Linda has worked for our friend the Bowlers for several years. The Bowlers are in the States for 4 months so we have hired Linda in their absence so that we could have the extra help with Jadyn during our language lessons and do a trial run on having regualr house help. It has blessed us beyond words… all of them Albanian. Linda does not speak any English.
Linda comes three days a week and does dishes, floors, hangs laundry etc… while Jadyn sleeps and then cares for Jadyn after her morning nap. Did I say she has been wonderful??!! Jadyn absolutely adores her.
In addition to helping with housework and Jadyn, Linda is also an informal language helper. Since she does not speak any English, we have been practicing our stumbling Albanian on her. The first 15-20 minutes she is here, we (usually, Robert too!) converse on a variety of topics. This week Linda shared with me the story of her sweet daughter Angela. Angela died 7 years ago when she was hit by a car. She had let go of her mother’s hand in a brief moment of fun with her brother and was hit by an on-coming car. As she shared a few details of the story, we both wept, and I was stuck by the realization that this is how relationships are built… moments of shared sorrow and empathy. I was also overwhelmed by the second realization that I could (by the grace of God) understand most of what she said. We call it negotiating meaning. I did not understand every word, but I knew the general meaning of what she was sharing. Regretfully, all that I was able to say back was that I knew no word to tell her what was in my heart. Someday, I will. When she left that day we shared our first cheek to cheek kiss, the way friends greet one another in Albania.
The next day, Linda brought photos of her family, including Angela to share with us. She was a beautiful girl. Linda also has a son, Ergi (pronounced Air-gee) who is 7. We also got out our pictures of family and shared. It was a great moment of relationship building. Please pray that we will continue to build language so that we may share the blessing of following Jesus.