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Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Journey with Heather, Part 2


I know you were waiting for the rest of my friend Heather’s story. I wasn’t able to do anything last week as my daughter had a (successful) surgery. Everything else had to stop. She is doing fantastic now, so I am back.

I am not going to ask if you missed me because I know the answer already. Don’t worry, I am here to stay. Aren’t you glad?

Back to Heather.

I knew she was returning to Toronto on May 19. I was really looking forward to meeting her again as I knew she had a lot to share… and wow was I blown away.

I finally met her one afternoon and we went to one of my favourite places: Tim Hortons. For those of you who are reading this blog outside of Canada, Tim Hortons is a coffee place where you can find the second best coffee and second best tea in the world (in my opinion). Now, if you are curious to find out about the best coffee and tea in the world (I know you are), try Burundian coffee and tea, then we will talk.

I am digressing. Back to Heather.

As we sat down to drink our second best tea in the world (don’t you think I should stop bragging about Burundian tea?), I simply said to her, “Tell me everything from the moment I left you at the airport.”

“I am a changed person,” she said. “God has worked on me in a big way and I now see things in a different way,” she continued.

By then, she had my full attention.

Before leaving for Jamaica, Heather contacted a family member down there who agreed to host her during her stay. She had just enough money to survive. Did I mention she had no clue what she was going to do in Jamaica? All she knew was there was a voice inside of her that urged her to go. She made a list of what she wanted (we will come to that later in the story).

When she landed in Kingston Jamaica, they were waiting for her.

The first week was quite calm. She was staying in a modest room in one of the poorest areas of the city. She was patiently waiting for her next move. Then, her host started to act a little negative to her. Something was strange. Why was she suddenly changing her ways? Heather started to feel a little uncomfortable. She thought, maybe her host was expecting her to pay rent. She explained to her that her budget was very tight, but it didn’t seem to ease the situation

As time went by, the situation became worse. Her host was being even more confrontational. Heather had to do something. She approached someone who has been coming to visit and told him about the situation. It turned out that one of the neighbours had a room for rent. Her parents (who were occupying the room) had just left for a trip.

Long story short, Heather was able to secure the room for a reasonable price. Did I tell you that when her host found out that Heather had moved out she went ballistic? From her room, Heather could hear her shouting, cursing and swearing very loudly.

“God’s hands were upon me, and He was protecting me, “Heather told me. 
Do you know what happened to the lady who cursed Heather?  The very next day, all that she was selling at the market place (that was her job) burned out in a wild fire. She lost EVERYTHING!

For the second time, Heather got my attention again. Are you kidding me?


For a few weeks, Heather became more comfortable even though, with a tight budget, it was hard for her to make ends meet as she did not have access to the kitchen in the house in which she lived. She had to eat out every day (or go many days without food).

All of a sudden, her new landlord started to act negatively towards Heather. “Not again!” Heather thought. As the days went by, it got worse.

One afternoon came the announcement from the landlord, “You have to find another place. My parents are coming back soon, so I will need the room.” Heather was shocked!  How could she say things like this knowing that Heather had paid rent for the entire month? She couldn’t believe it.
She had to catch some air, and she was hungry. She went out looking for a place to buy soup, just to find out that there was no more soup. “Just my luck,” she thought. She went to another store to buy a beef patty.

She had nowhere to go; she had no friend, and no hope.

As she ate her patty, a guy riding a bike passed by her and said, “I can see you are really enjoying your patty.” “Not really,” said Heather.

The conversation went on for hours. The guy even invited her to go say hi to his mother. They met up the next day at his place. It was then that Heather discovered the guy had a six year old daughter who was disabled. The daughter gave a big hug to Heather, so big that her father was shocked to see how the two were connected. Her daughter had never greeted anyone the way she did with Heather.
Later that evening, Heather shared with her new friend her story to which the guy said, “My house is your house. You can stay here as long as you want. For six years, I have raised my daughter alone as her mother left us because she was disabled. It has been tough and I have been constantly praying to God to send her a new mom.  And here you are...”

When Heather said those words, I broke into tears.

As Heather was sharing the story with me, she showed me pictures of the gorgeous daughter, Heather’s new “friend” (who, I think now is more than a friend hahaha), his amazing house and garden with plenty of fruit trees.

Do you remember I told you Heather had a list of what she wanted before going to Jamaica? It was EXACTLY what she had on the list: A good man, somebody to care for (the daughter), a comfortable home with a garden of fruit trees and a… dog. Guess what? This guy has a dog. How can this be possible?

Heather is now in Toronto for a few weeks but she will head back to Jamaica for a new chapter of her life. A life that she has chosen, a life that she has created.

Think of what she had to go through to get there. Think of the coincidences that had to happen for her to meet her new man (kicked out of her room, going out to buy soup to find out that there was no more soup, then go to find another store to buy a beef patty, walk on the street to meet a man on a bike). How about the guy who had been praying for six years, asking God to send a mother to his daughter… and then came Heather, the answer to his prayers?

If you ask my opinion, I will say that God directed Heather’s path. He opened some doors, shut some others, He allowed “challenges” to happen to her, but along the way, He knew what He was doing. He was answering Heather’s prayers.

I am happy for you Heather.

Moral of the story? Do you want your prayers to be answered? Come join me and we will drink the second best tea in the world.

Always a pleasure

Patrick

The Journeyman







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