Cuba, New Mexico, is a small town with a population of somewhere around 800, so when 30 Texas volunteers take up residence for a week, people notice! My job was to feed the team of 30 for the week. It didn’t take long for the local grocery store to get to know Marshall and me. Our storage space at the motel was at a premium. We made daily and sometimes two or three trips to the little community grocery.
By the end of our time in Cuba, we knew every grocery store employee and they knew what we were having for dinner almost every night! It was a great relationship. The store benefited from our purchases and we benefited from their friendliness and eagerness to service us. They signed us up for the stores rewards program to save us money, made suggestions on what was on sale, even discounting some fruit if we bought it all!
Of course, we asked all the employees that served us, to sign the quilt and offered prayers in return. Those prayer requests gave us insight into how difficult it can be living on the Indian reservation. Jobs are not plentiful. The local economy was a great concern. There was concern for our country. In the end, they wanted and needed the same things you and I need. Security, purpose, meaningful relationships, good health, love and you might think prosperity at the top of their list but usually it was “I want enough to get by.”
One store employee stands out in my mind. As I walked up the checkout lane, she squealed and said, “Oh you must be the quilt lady! Can I please, please, please sign your quilt? Everyone else has, but not me!”. I am usually the one doing the asking, so this took off guard for a moment. Over the course of three and half years, only a few folks have asked me if they can sign the quilt. I believe she was the first. I know for sure she was the first and only one to squeal with such enthusiasm! I responded “Yes, yes you can!”
Those grocery store workers that became our friends for a week, reinforce what I have seen over and over as we have lived outside of the United States and traveled around the globe. People are people. We all share the same needs and basic desires. I am reminded that God sent his son to die for the people.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 NLT
Written by Susan