My Cup Runneth Over

How deeply the words of the Psalmist resounded the day I met Juliana, a single mother who is raising twin boys in grade one! Juliana suffered from sickle-cell anemia, an illness that left her so weakened she was no longer able to walk to collect water. Her neighbours decided to come to the rescue.

It was a dusty day in January when Boniface, a generous neighbour in the Tobin quarter of the town of Kumbo, and Jacob, the plumber, and I drove out by jeep to Melin to participate in and observe the laying of pipes from the communal standpipe to Juliana’s compound.

The trench had already been dug by her neighbours and the day we were there 39 pipes were laid for a distance of 234 meters. The hours I spent with Juliana and the villagers showed me that compassion alleviates even the most dreadful fear.

In the early morning Juliana’s face reflected all the concerns of a sick person with few resources; by mid-afternoon, I witnessed its transformation into a glowing, beautiful smile that could barely hold the happiness felt at that moment.

Juliana clapped her hands and threw her arms around me when the water flowed into her bucket for the first time. Boniface and Jacob joined in her joy to applaud and celebrate the flowing stream of clean water. Both joy and water were experienced in abundance.

Alana Forrester-Verge
Ottawa, Canada

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