- Raeanne Newquist
A Bag of Apples
I don't really even know how it happened. Not exactly sure what I said or how I looked! All I know is that I walked out of the dining room with breakfast on a tray, 2 apples and tears streaming down my face. My little boy had cried each day since school started for one reason or another. His hair didn't come out right, he didn't want to wake up, he forgot something, he didn't like the meal being served... any little thing set him off and he'd start crying and say that he wanted to go back to California. After several days of this, it can wear down a Moma's heart. This morning his complete melt down prompted me to melt down as well. He was crying so much that he didn't want to go to the dining room for breakfast so I offered to get him food and bring it back to our cabin.
As I approached what is affectionately called "Treasure Island," a long table in the dining room that holds condiments, fresh fruit, jams, honey, cinnamon and sugar... you name it, there was a woman fixing her breakfast. I really have no idea how it happened, I must have been thinking out loud because as I scanned the room and saw several people eating apples, she told me to take her portion as well (one fruit per person). "Take my apple for him." Through my tears I realized that I had started telling this woman about my rough morning with my son and in the midst of seeing apples, I mentioned they are his favorite, that he ate an apple everyday at home and that he had been struggling to find many foods that he liked here. She was quick to give me her portion, the last apple in the bin.
I walked back to the cabin, still crying and when I showed Mack the apples, I told him about the woman who gave her portion to him because she wanted him to be happy here. He was delighted. That evening in the dining room, she came up to Mack and asked if he had eaten her apple! She said that she wanted him to be healthy and eat good. Mack smiled and said thank you.
The next day, again in the dining room (we seem to live in there!) this lady came up to Mack, this time with a huge bag filled with apples! I don't know what she whispered to him, but his eyes got rather big. We carried the mother load back to the cabin and for many days Mack has had apple slices for his snack at school and an "apple chunk" when he isn't thrilled with the meal being served. Just like back at home!
Last night at dinner, she came up to talk to Mack one last time and he got up and hugged her. As she walked away, she turned around and smiled at me. I whispered, "thank you." She was actually walking out to head to the airport and go back home. Her time on the Africa Mercy was over. Roger thanked her for what she did for Mack and how much that meant to us. She said that the Holy Spirit prompted her to get a bag filled with apples for Mack. I never caught her name, don't even know what her official job was here on the ship, but she was Jesus to us. She saw our needs and gave her portion to show us how much she loved us. She encouraged us that he'll be really happy here, it just takes time... and a big bag of apples!
**And here is a bonus video of our sail and arrival in Senegal last Wednesday!