A Township Christmas Miracle


By Carmelita Dentlinger A young woman comes out of a local shop with a loaf of bread in her hand in Rehoboth. A young black boy with curly back hair and wearing a dirty oversized torn white shirt and torn green shorts hesitates for a moment. He takes a deep breath before walking with his aching bare feet towards the woman, who is getting into a sliver sedan. “Excuse me miss,” he calls out softly. She shuts the door and rolls down the window to look at him. “Please miss, could you spare a few coins for something to eat. I haven’t eaten in two days and I’m very hungry. My mother went to another town and has not come home for three days now.” The woman takes a closer look and notices how skinny he is, but by the lines on his face she realises how desperate he is. It is the sparkle of tears in his eyes he is trying to hold back, that touches her heart. “I only brought enough money with me for a loaf of bread,” she says noticing the disappointment in his face. “But,” she continued. “I could give you half of my loaf or I could make you a sandwich at my house,” she suggests to the beggar. He solemnly nods in agreement for her last suggestion. She opens the door and he gets into her vehicle. He had never been in a car before and never thought he would. The woman turns around and sticks out her hand. “My name is Nadia,” she says to him sticking out his hand to shake hers. “Gerson,” he replies curiously watching her. Gerson accompanies Nadia to her big house on top of the hillside where all the well-off people in the town live. He gasps amazed at the size of her big house and follows her inside. She takes his hand and leads him to the kitchen. “What would you like, cheese, ham, or my favourite corned beef and mayonnaise?” she asks. Gerson looks uncertainly at her and lifts his tiny shoulders. “I don’t know miss. I only know jam,” he confesses his meagre existence to her. “In that case, I will make a variety of sandwiches. You then decide which one to eat,” she says smiling. She made the sandwiches and after they have eaten she notices the sores on his bare feet. “Come on,” she says and takes his hand. “I’m sure my son’s clothes and shoes will fit you. How old are you?” she inquires. “I’m ten miss,” he says licking his fingers. She retrieves good clothes that fits him perfectly well and he is very impressed with his new appearance. “Your son has a lot of nice clothes and shoes miss. Are you sure he won’t mind having these,” he says pointing to the shirt and pants he is now wearing. “I’m sure Gerson. You look really nice. Would you do me the honour of coming to church with me?” she probes. He looks at her in shock and surprise. He has heard about church, but has never attended any service. He learned about the Lord in school, but was not sure what to believe. Then the miracle happens. “I’d very much would like to go with,” he says excitedly. Shortly thereafter they drive off from her home. In the church building he looks amazed at the Christmas lights and the statues at the altar below a suspended crucifix with Jesus nailed to it. He listens to the priest and smiles all the time thinking that it was the best Christmas gift he could ask for. Driving home after the service to drop the boy in the informal settlement of the town, he feels sad leaving her. She stops at one of the zinc houses that appears very dark. Gerson bends over and hugs her. “Thank you miss. It has been such a long time that I had someone showing me so much kindness,” he says genuinely impressed. “Gerson, if there’s one thing I learned it is to be kind to others. Good things will come to you with the help of the Lord,” she says, stuffing in his hands a small pocket-sized bible. He walks into the yard and she drives off, waving to him. Since then he had never seen her again, but he kept on reading the bible she had given him. A day later he went to the specific house to inquire about her whereabouts, but to his amazement no one knew anything about her. He was convinced that she was an angel. That one act of kindness changed his whole life and he realized that Christmas is not about the gifts that are received, but those that are given which money can’t buy.