One of the ladies we've got to know recently would probably be dismissed by most as just being a quiet and even timid church mouse. If we were to judge by appearances she's unremarkable and would probably just get lost in a crowd.

Thankfully, we don't judge people on appearances but rather by what we see in their actions in life. This lady is truly a hero to us!

After church on Sunday most of us trotted off home for a decent dinner, maybe some roast vicar with acidic gravy followed by the obligatory kip on the couch.

Not so this lady. We know for fact that she went home to a cold and dark wendy house (a 3m by 6m garden shed) because she had no money for electricity or food. She keeps her fridge switched off these days as she simply can't afford to run it when it's empty most of the time. Despite the pressing need for food, one of the older guys in church had given her kids a couple of rands each with which to buy some sweets which their mum let them do. As Paula chatted with her on Tuesday she described how when they got home they sang a few songs they know from church. In part because they had nothing else to do and in part because they were trusting that God would come through for them.

Wow, that's living by faith!

Amazingly another church member did get in touch with her and gave her a packet of chicken and with a few rands she'd also been given she bought some veggies and made a chicken stew which fed the family for two days.

No complaints, no moaning, just praise and thankfulness for how her needs were provided for. I wonder whether you or I would have responded in a similar vein?

As we get to know this lady and hear her life story we're heartbroken and excited at the same time. She grew up knowing nothing but abuse. Was rejected by her family for marrying across cultures. Was abused by her husband but nursed him as he lay dying. And yet her hunger for more knowledge of God and the bible is staggering and Paula is really enjoying discipling her.

We're also impressed by her quest for a decent job. Paula has helped her write a CV which hopefully will get her something good. She'd be happy working in a shop or as a cleaner, her desire is to just be able to provide for her family. She's made appropriate child-care arrangements and is raring to go. Tragically, she went for an interview with one of South Africa's top shopping chains and was lead to believe she had been offered a job. After a week or so of hearing nothing further Paula rang on her behalf only to be given a pathetic run around which left her unemployed.

As I said at the beginning, this lady really impresses us and as far as we're concerned she's a real hero of the faith as she lives hand to mouth day by day faithfully hanging on to God's word.


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