We recently made a special delivery to Debra in Holbrook. The delivery held extra significance for us because it was the first delivery made in our newest truck, ‘St. Thomas.’ I was joined by six volunteers and we were all excited to be a part of this inaugural delivery. As soon as we met Debra, we could tell from her accent that she wasn’t from the area. She was a victim of domestic violence and had been relocated from Atlanta, Georgia. Though she moved here for her own safety, it was difficult being far away from family and friends. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Debra also has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.
We spent ten minutes listening to Debra’s story before we brought in the first piece of furniture. That’s why we call My Brother’s Keeper a “ministry”: we minister to people spiritually and emotionally… we don’t just provide a physical service.
After a quick tour of Debra’s small apartment, we got to work setting up her new furniture. We brought all the essentials she needed: a bed, dresser, kitchen table and chairs, and a living room set. She was thrilled with each piece that came in and kept saying, “Wow! That’s beautiful!”
Beyond her struggles, Debra was clearly suffering from loneliness being so far away from home. With St. Thomas’s 7-passenger capacity, we were able to bring all the furniture in and still have volunteers visiting and being present with her throughout the delivery.
I overheard her say, “I can’t remember the last time I felt so much joy!” We knew the extra volunteers in our truck would help us carry furniture but Debra showed us how ‘St. Thomas’ will truly help us accomplish our mission.
After all the furniture was set up, we presented her with our final gift, the crucifix. She held it in her hands and looked directly at it saying, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
We gave Debra our thanks in return because she gave us a gift too: we witnessed the strength of her faith by the way she carries her crosses. She was truly an inspiration to us all.