Family. Not only is it a lovely word, it has a resonance that can lift you even in the darkest of moments.

The Worldwide Anglican Communion is a blessing and an immeasurable gift. Within the bonds of our family, it allows us to reach across oceans, cultural differences, and language barriers, to the family member who needs help. We are as thirsty for these chances to show forth the love of God, as those who need our help are to receive it. The spring of life from which we all drink, pours its goodness on giver and recipient alike.

This past week, children of the village of Budesti Moldova drank from that spring, thanks to the caring, giving efforts of a stranger. Alison Casserly joyfully responded to a plea I made on the BBC several months ago for a knitting instructor to come to this small village to teach children how to use a knitting machine.

For the children, it was amazing! They were awe-struck that a virtual stranger would leave her home, her family, and travel thousands of miles to their small village to spend time with them. They were learning an important lesson about our Christian family. We have no boundaries. As a family, we are one.

For Alison, it was a special journey as well. It allowed her the opportunity to leave behind all we take for granted in our busy Western world. And it took her back to a time and place where values are centred around the importance of family and community, working with your hands, and giving thanks for all the goodness God provides from the earth. No microwaves, no plumbing, just wholesome living by taking communion from our gardens.

By Alison’s own words, it brought her closer to her husband and children and it reminded her of what our real values are in life.

Alison bravely stepped into a hurting world and actively participated in its healing. And for this, people will see her kindness – not just us who witnessed it, not just those within the church.

Everyone will see. For it will show in the faces of those children – now and for the years to come.

To the thirsty, I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:6

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