Bedraggled, smudged face, dirty clothes, toothless grin, garbled speech...full of light.
That's my neighbor, Danka.
Dave led she and her brother to the Lord several years ago. They are the neighbors who live closest to us, "orphans" in their now late-50's. Their father died just before we moved to this house seven years ago, their mother had already been gone ten years.
For reasons unknown to us, they both suffer mentally. Our other neighbors say they weren't like that as children, but something happened in their teenage years that changed them. They can't really take care of themselves, don't cook or bathe. Being inside their house is an adventure all its own...smells and sights that are hard to comprehend in our modern world.
And yet...I'm telling you, they love the Lord.
Danka stopped by today for water. They've been without water now for several weeks so she comes by with a dirty red bucket nearly every day to fill up. For what, I don't know. I would be hard pressed to use any water that came out of that bucket.
But she stands at my door and talks to me about Jesus. It's always the main topic of conversation. She is so full of love and adoration for him.
She does say other things too, that usually make me grin. Today it was, "You and Claire look like sisters" and "You are so slim and look 18!"
To that Claire replied, "How old does she think I am??!"
Ha ha! She's good for my self image!
It's not always easy to stand at the door and talk with Danka...I don't fully understand what she says due to the lack of teeth and garbled-ness of her speech. She is not pleasant to look at, and the smell of her, even at a distance, just about bowls me over.
Yet, when she walks away I'm refreshed by the light and love in her eyes, and left thinking of the pureness of her heart.
Though in the world's eyes, Danka is not much...I think in Jesus' eyes she's a priceless treasure.
**Photo credit to Claire who took this photo of the gate to Danka's house, just a few meters from our driveway, one early morning in February. I don't have any recent photos of Danka...wish I did so you could see her eyes! I wonder if she'd do a photo shoot with Claire sometime??!! She adores Claire! Hmmm, will have to think about that!