I got to visit Grace today. It's been two years.
I love her because of her smile. Every story she tells ends with a modest, "because, God is able." Her face radiates joy. She gives the best hugs.
In catching up with her, I find out Ruth wasn't actually Grace's biological daughter whom I met last time, but a girl born with HIV who had been kicked out of her house by her mom's new boyfriend. Grace had taken Ruth in and sent her to school.
Two years ago, it was Ruth who had told me that Grace's nickname in the community was "The Kind One.” As in, “Oh, your mom is the kind one.”
Grace started working for Living Goods when her husband died suddenly.
Her first week on the job — the first opportunity to earn an income so she can care for her family — a woman came to her door crying, "My children are dying, but I don't have any money.” She begged Grace to help. Grace grabbed her bag. Sure enough, all three children had malaria. Grace could tell they wouldn't live much longer.
So Grace, despite her own predicament, lent this mother the money for the drugs.
One week later, after the children recovered, that mother walked through the entire village like a pied piper, announcing, "Grace saved my children. She is 'The Kind One!'" The woman paid her back for the malaria medicine and in spreading the good news, launched Grace's career as one of the most trusted women in Tula.
Grace estimates she's treated 300 people with malaria since she started working. She thinks this is her biggest accomplishment (she adds, of course, “because God is able”). With the money she is earning, all three kids are in school and doing well. She bought a custom-built cabinet, which she showed us proudly, saying, “My kids saw it and said, ‘Oh mom, look at you. You have made it.’" she says, laughing loudly. Titus, her oldest, asks us to take a selfie with his camera. Grace's now in the process of buying bricks and building a guesthouse - another venture to add to her income.
Before saying goodbye I told her I admired her kindness. She put it simply, “Today, it is that kid, tomorrow it might be mine. Whenever you are kind, it always comes back to you.”