It was a little over 2 years ago whenever I first met Paty and Sandra. I remember being at Laundry Love, which is one of our regular events as 3 bags, and meeting Paty for the first time as she came to get a bag. We instantly hit it off and started talking all about her life, family, and school. I was completely blown away by her story of wanting to be one of the first in her family to go to college and how she loved to serve people and one day hopes she can help her family out. Her face lit up when she talked about how in her free time she loves going to the nursing home and hopes one to day work there. I could see the determination in her eyes and I knew that she was going to be a person to make it happen. In that very same night, I was able to meet her younger sister, Sandra. A sweet, kindhearted spirit who made anyone feel welcomed and was inseparable to her sister. I quickly realized they were the best of friends and that the relationship they shared with one another was something rare and something they both cherished. It was in that moment that I realized these girls were going to have a huge impact on me but what I wasn’t expecting was just how much.
Over time our conversations grew more and more. I always looked forward to being able to see them at Laundry Love and catch up on the latest. It was only a matter of time that our relationship grew from seeing each other once a month at Laundry Love to seeing them at there house, going out to lunch, taking their pictures, going to the band’s Christmas Concert, to now this past weekend going to Sandra’s Quincenera and the next day watching them both get baptized. It was a surreal moment being able to share in these two momentous occasions. I couldn’t help but reflect on just how much these two girls have impacted my life.
One of the most humbling things I have ever experienced was the night Paty told me that she was getting baptized with Sandra and she said to me ‘thank you for introducing me to God and to church.’ Those words caught me completely off guard and I was in shock. All the breath in my body left me in that moment and I cried. All I could do was humbly thank the Lord and be in awe of His presence. I remember thinking to myself right then, ‘whoaaa… Lord, you are telling a bigger story here than I could of even thought possible.’ These girls’ lives are a true testament to what only Christ can do. They are the ones changing the world and watching them boldly share their faith with others is something I admire in them so much. I can already see the effects it is having on those around them.
The thought that constantly ran through my mind this past weekend was how it was through a simple exchange of a bag and a ‘hello’ that lead me to this point and how different my life would be right now if I never did take the time to stop my routine and engage in what’s around me.
I would have missed out:
- on seeing Paty pray to accept Christ
- Seeing Sandra shortly thereafter follow her sister’s footsteps
- Seeing them both share by example what Christ has done for them with their friends and family
- Sandra play the clarinet in the Christmas concert, with all her anxious nerves, and watching Paty leap for joy and clapped when she finished, even while everyone else in the room was still sitting
- Seeing Sandra turn 15 and watching her be moved to tears while she was speaking to a room full of people she loves.
- Paty receiving a scholarship that would enable her to go to college to pursue her dream
- Seeing them find a church they love and getting plugged into it all on their own
- Meeting their new friends at church and having a potluck meal with them and watching them beam with joy from ear to ear
- The moment where Sandra asked me if she could volunteer with 3 Bags and having them both come out for a packing night… it melted my heart
- And finally, seeing the strong bond these two sisters have and how they are impacting the world bigger then they even know
It’s funny for to me think that what brought us together was the exchanging of a bag and how much our relationship as grown since. Seeing them once a month at Laundry Love was just the beginning of our story and what they have done and shown me in that time is something I will never forget.
I will treasure you girls’ more than you will ever know. Being able to share in this past weekend and watch you, Sandra, shift from being a ‘girl’ to a ‘woman’ and that very next day seeing you both proclaim to the world your desire to follow Christ, I was just reminded of how that day was just the tipping point for you girls’. Where you both will go in life is limitless with Him and what you both will accomplish will change the world. I know this because you already are and you better believe that wherever life takes you both I will be there to always cheer you on. I love you both dearly and am so blessed and grateful for you girls’!