I once saw a film with a premise that intrigued me. It was made up of a number of stories all originating from the same single incident. It began with someone being late for an appointment. That led them to rush a job they had to complete. That in turn caused an accident which meant other people were forced to alter their plans . . . and so the ripple effect began.
I often think about my choices and actions, and what the ripple effect from them might be. Most of them—good or bad—I will never know about, but I was encouraged by one recent ripple.
A couple of years ago, we were fostering a young girl with learning needs and hired a lady to help with her learning. At the time, this lady had very little experience but, with our guidance and help, she began to work well. This was all a new and learning experience for her and she was able to see what happens in homeschooling (good and not so good).
When the lady left, she didn’t know what she was going to do. She was, however, very keen to use the skills she’d gained while observing us teaching our children.
Fast forward two years—I receive an unexpected text from the lady. She’s asking me if we know of any English language tutors wanting to teach in a kindergarten. As we chat, the full story unfolds; it’s the story of transformation and a step of faith.
The ripple began with a comment I made while the lady was with us. Apparently, before she left I had encouraged her to start a basic kids’ programme in her home as a way to establish a business or ministry; a kind of entry level to childcare. She eventually took this seriously and began caring for pre-school kids.
A lady in her church noticed her commitment to children and how lovingly she cared for them. That led to them launching a church-based kindergarten. It’s become a wonderful way for the church to show love to their community and provide a needed service for those who have a desire for their children to learn more than just state-school curriculum.
One comment—and the ripples led to a new and vibrant ministry.
I was excited to hear that a simple word of encouragement inspired her to take seriously her heart’s desire and use her abilities in a God-given way. It’s made me think about how I can encourage and inspire others to listen to God’s voice and let the ripples spread out.
Come to think of it, it’s not just something I can do; we can all start ripples, no matter what side of the world we are on.
The writer is a Tranzsend worker in Asia. Security issues mean we can publish neither her name nor precise location, but that doesn’t stop God from using her to create ripples.