Monday, October 3, 2011


Wednesdays are busy for me. Pre-school for my 4 year old, early release for my 8 year old, dinner, bible study and AWANA…throw in an errand and we are packed for the day.
Normally, on a day where we are so crunched for time, I would say no to my children begging me to take them to the store because they have money burning a hole in their pocket. Today, for some reason, I said yes.
It was sunny but crisp outside as we turned out of our neighborhood onto the main road, I happened to see a woman on the side of the road, off a ways, near the briar bushes sitting on a duffle bag with her elbow on her knee and her head on her fist. She was in her late 20’s to mid 30’s and had BEAUTIFUL dark skin, a handkerchief covering her hair, a flowing calf length denim skirt, a flannel long sleeved shirt with a warmer coat on top, and one inch platform flip flops. I had seen this before…but not in my community. 
We kept driving and spent a good 45 minutes spending our money. I treated myself to a five bucks (that’s Starbucks to you) which is something I hadn’t done in a long time. With a new pair of jeans and a warm coffee in my hands we set off to drive home.
There she was, still sitting there with her hand on her fist and her elbow on her knee. Something in my heart said STOP. 
I looked at my rear view mirror and hanging there, was the reason why the image of that woman was so familiar to me. She reminded me of South Africa, where it is not uncommon to see someone sitting on the side of the road with a bushel of something to sell, or someone just resting for a minute. It, in fact, is normal there. In South Africa there are so many people on the side of the road…but not here. Again my heart said STOP.

I tried to dismiss it as I pulled into our neighborhood. Rationalizing it by telling myself that I don’t have time, my kids are in the car, I need to make dinner before our evening activities…Louder: TURN AROUND and just ASK her if she needs help.
I looked at that Starbucks cup and was immediately embarrassed for buying it. It was such a luxury. In fact, the last time I got back from South Africa, I didn’t buy a coffee for an entire year to make a statement about the frivolous lifestyle I wanted to leave behind. 
I could not, go and ask to help this girl, with a Starbucks cup in my car. Again: TURN AROUND and ask her if she needs help. 
What if my kids freak out because they want to go home and play with this new trinket they just spent their money on? What if we are late? What if I can’t get dinner done? TURN AROUND!
We pulled into our cul-de-sac and I pulled over before we got to the house. My 8 year old, Ty, asked me what we were doing. This is how the conversation went:

Me: “Ty, did you see that lady over by Laura’s house sitting by the side of the road?”
Ty: “Yes”
Me: “Do you think we should go ask her if she needs help?”
Ty: “Yes, mamma”
I turned the car around and headed back to where the lady was sitting. FEAR came over me and I broke into a sweat. The decision had been made, we were going back! I repeated over and over “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” 
I drove my car to my friends house, who was half a block away from where the woman was sitting, left my kids there and started walking. As I rounded the corner and had her in my sights she was just getting up and grabbing her bag. 
“Excuse me, I saw you sitting here, and I was wondering if you need any help?”
She hadn’t seen me coming, so a little startled she said: “I was walking, and I got tired, so I stopped here to pray, I’ve been here praying about a lot of things, and one thing was for someone to help me.”
Sticking my hand out toward her I said “Well, My name is Adrian and God placed you on my heart to help. What is it that you need help with?”
Assessing the situation, I could tell she was running from something and she had just left. She was clean, I could smell her soap. Her clothes were clean, her bag was clean…She was not strung out on drugs and she looked me in the eye when she talked. I HAD TO KNOW this girls story. 
She was looking for a ride to Tacoma, and after talking to my friend who I left my kids with we decided that giving her some bus money and driving her up to the park and ride would be the best idea.
I cleaned out the front seat of my car and was embarrassed again. I saw that target bag with the jeans in it, a GPS, an ipod dock, and a smart phone…along with that dang Starbucks cup…I looked at her and realized all she had, was all she had with her and there she was…praying on the side of the road in her flip flops on a crisp fall day.
As we drove, I tried to pry and ask questions, she didn’t budge too much. What I did find out was she has family here in Puyallup that “she just needs to get away from.” And she’s looking to get to a truck stop in Tacoma where she will try to make her way to <something tells me not to put the city name in this blog> because the one time she visited there…it was nice. She was hoping to start a new life there. 
I pulled into the mall parking lot near the bus station and asked if I could pray for her before she left the car. She agreed. Then she reached across the car, hugged me, and called me blessing as if it were my name. She got out of the car and I watched her walk away.
By this time, I had 2 text messages from my husband telling me that my friend had called him and told him I was doing something crazy. The other one was telling me to turn the GPS on my phone on. TOO LATE!
I don’t know what she was running from.
I don’t know what she has ahead of her, although I cringe at the thought of her making it to a truck stop.
What I do know is that the Holy Spirit moved me. He asked me to step up and be a part of the plan. I am humbled that I was asked, but ashamed of the process it took for me to say yes. When it comes down to it, I’m a chicken! I obey out of fear not out of excitement. My thought process is this: Would I rather have a little discomfort now or untold pain later?” There will be punishment for disobedience either while we are here on this earth or when we meet Him face to face. 
I have to trust that He has this young lady’s life in His hands and that she will have a great story to tell someday. 
Thank you God for bringing this woman into my life for the hour that you did. She put a mirror in front of me, and I see that there are some things that need to change. I will call her blessing.

Adrian Kashporenko

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