I was thinking this morning of an experience I had as a missionary in Taiwan with my companion Karin. I recently posted about her death. I went to the guestbook of her obituary and posted this story, but decided I wanted to also post it here.
One day we were tracting through a poorer neighborhood and came across an old woman. I think my chinese must not have been very good at that time because I didn't understand what the old woman was saying, but Karin did. The old woman was taking care of two babies. At one point in our visit, the old woman went in to the kitchen to get us something to drink. While she was out of the room, Karin turned to me and said, "Quick, give me your money." She didn't explain, she just asked for the money. I thought it was odd, and didn't understand, so I gave her SOME of my money, but not all. If I had known why she wanted it, I would have given it all to her. She took out her money and combined with mine, then tucked all of it inside the baby's swaddling blanket. When the old woman came back, Karin told her that we couldn't stay, but thanked her for the visit.
As soon as we got outside, Karin told me to get on my bike and ride away quickly. We hurried to ride away, but the old woman came to the window and yelled after us to take the money back. But we just smiled and waved and rode quickly away.
After we were away from that building, Karin told me that this old lady had been a babysitter for these babies. But the mother had abandoned them and not come back. This old woman was doing her best to raise them, but she didn't have any income and could barely even care for them. I know that the money we gave her probably wouldn't last very long, but I think the thought did. I really think of this more as Karin's gift to her than mine because I didn't really give that much, and didn't know what was going on. But Karin would have given her more if she could.