Learning to Seize the Moment

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In the morning the announcements were made explaining what the day would look like and what the evening would bring. After clinics we would have a game night or have the opportunity to go show a film in the village. As soon as it was said I knew I was suppose to go show the film. It was just a little inkling I had in my belly- nothing big. So I figured when the time comes we will see how I’m feeling. Earlier that morning I had just prayed for a better heart attitude and that I would make the most out of my time here in PNG, that I would seize the days I have. I had been feeling my mind becoming negative so I thought I would stop it before that negativity took over & took away from what God wanted to do through me. I prayed for love.

They announced after dinner that in 30 minutes they would be loading up the dingy to take the group over to the village to show “The Jesus Film.”

I glanced outside and saw the gloomy sky with rain drizzling down.

My mind instantly thought “ugh it’s rainy. It’s been a big day..I don’t really have to go. I’ve done enough today!” As soon as I thought that I couldn’t believe myself. I had just prayed to seize the moment more & for opportunities to love & this was a great exercise for me to walk all that heart stuff out.

So I confidently grabbed a friends rain jacket filled my water bottle and got on the boat knowing there were people to love and a reason for me to go!

As soon as the boat got ashore I met little Christina. I extended my hand, she grabbed it and we walked to the church. She was quiet but I talked and asked her questions anyway! We sat watching the movie and I couldn’t help but stare at all the little ones. My heart was melting inside of me.

The film we were watching was 2 hours! I got antsy but the all the others were glued to the screen. So I sat. I prayed & absorbed all the little faces.

Christina was still next to me sitting stilly. The rain had stopped but started again and with it, it brought a gently breeze. I thought it was pleasant (I was getting a bit sweaty) but little Christina actually got chilly. She never actually told me that but I could tell because she tucked her arms into her worn shirt.

I asked if she was cold and she replied yes. So I took off my pink rain jacket and wrapped her up in it. My thoughts were “she’s freezing and its 80 degrees, good things she doesn’t live in MI.” And then I had a bit my serious one. I knew I was in this village for her & I just wanted her to feel loved!

She started yawning so I asked if she was getting sleepy but she just opened her eyes bigger.

I knew she didn’t really understand anything I was saying so I thought how can I express and give her this deep love I hold inside me!?

I started scratching her back (because that makes me feel loved) I felt a bit awkward as she just glanced up at me. But I kept doing it! After a short minute or so I saw her eyes start to flutter & then slowly they closed & she was asleep. Her little eye lids finally felt relaxed and she took a snooze.

My thoughts were peaceful as I knew she was so tired and now she was finally getting a little rest. I wondered if she slept good at home or even had a bed to lay comfortably on. Even though I could never know answer to those questions I knew in that moment I could provide love and care for her even if it was for a short time.

The movie eventually ended. She gave me back to my jacket and just left. I was a bit sad she didn’t say bye but I was more so just really satisfied with the moment I was able to be apart of. The quote ” to love with no expectations” came to mind and really summed up my heart.

I found a woman and prayed with her and then went to venture back to the boat.

I was glad I went thanked God for using me and went to sleep. The next day I did my usual morning routine and headed down to clinic. Once clinic had started I saw 2 little ones sitting next to the dental chair. So naturally I strolled over there and it was CHRISTINA & her little brother.

Seize the Day
Christina and Paige

I couldn’t tell if she remembered me as last night it was dark and today I had glasses and a mask on, but I didn’t care. I knew it was her and was happy to share some more love. So I blew some bubbles & then duty called so I left. When I had the chance to go back and check on her she was gone. Yet again my heart was content and happy with the moment.

The day was ending and I had heard in passing radio conversation there was a farewell dinner with up to 10 people who could join. I thought to myself “eh I probably won’t be a part of that.” Thinking it would be more so for more important people other than myself! But as I was wrapping up sterilization the Ship Manager stopped by and asked if I wanted to tag along.

With my new seize the moment mind set I said yes.

I got on the boat to go inland, and as I made my way to the shore I saw little Christina! I thought “my goodness.” So I went up to her excitedly & she took my hand, we walked to the church and it was beautiful. We took a picture (she was more smiley and comfortable now) and then I shared some dinner with her.

She walked with me back to the boat and we went our separate ways. I left her with one big hug and a dirty old bracelet.

Being with Christina gave me understanding & purpose. She taught me love is needed big or small & we should always love even if we get nothing in return. She helped me walk out parts of my heart I needed to work on and she helped me gain bigger and better perspective. She helped me to remember why I needed to seize the moment.

***Sometimes life’s biggest moments come at the least expected times.  If you’re keen for 22 weeks of life changing moments just like this one, then check out one of our Discipleship Training School options to not only learn about your faith, but experience it!

Paige Ratliff

Paige Vivian, from Grand Rapids, MI, completed her Discipleship Training School with us in 2013.  After 3 years traveling abroad she joined us again aboard our Medical Ship in Papua New Guinea serving as a Dental Nurse, and Clinic Leader. Paige is a natural writer, with an eye for beauty in the everyday moments of life. She loves real and raw moments of people discovering themselves, and can strike up a conversation with just about anyone.

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