Hannah Nicholaides

What Can I Give?

Happiness is beautiful, and bringing happiness to others is one of the greatest blessings in life. Not only does it bless the receiver, but it brings joy to the giver as well. I learned this lesson from a sick lady, a boy and a plastic truck.

“She has not eaten in days?”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“How far away does she live?”
“I will come down as soon as I finish lunch.”

I sat at the table listening to my father’s side of the phone conversation with one of our village missionaries.

“Hannah, would you like to come with me?” my father invited, and down the mountain we went, swerving around one moto after another until we finally arrived at the sick lady’s house. The believers in Dumchi village had reached out to this family. Now the lady was sick, and their family needed help.
When we arrived, her husband invited us into their house—a roof, a floor and three walls, all of which had PLENTY of holes in them. Five people lived in this tiny, swaying room smaller than my bedroom, and they called it home.

Seeing their desperate situation, I wanted to help. But how? What could I do? While listening to my dad question her about her health, I kept wondering what I could do to help. Daddy decided she needed to go to the hospital, so we took her, her husband and their youngest with us.

What am I able to do? As I watched them register at the hospital, the question still echoed in my mind. I held the sleeping boy as his father got their bag from the truck and took it to their assigned bed. “We will come in the morning with a stove and pan for you to borrow,” I promised them. Then we left them for the night.

All night my mind raced along on a single track: What can I do? How can I help? Can I make any difference? We headed back to the hospital in the morning, stopping at the market to buy a pot and some food for them. Then I saw it, a plastic toy truck—inexpensive but something the little boy would like. “Daddy, may we buy this truck and give it to the little boy?” The answer was yes. I quickly made the transaction, and soon we pulled into the hospital.

After giving the stove and pot to his parents, I took out the plastic truck. The boy was playing on the phone, but when he saw the truck, he tossed the phone onto the bed and grabbed the truck, hugging it to his chest before driving it all over the floor. I smiled as I looked at him, his face glowing with happiness. A smile also spread across his father’s face. He was happy that his son was happy.

It was the smiles that told me I had done something. I had helped give them joy. That simple, cheap, plastic truck did its job well, not only bringing happiness to a little boy and his father but also helping me realize that sometimes the best way to help is by giving happiness. How can you bring happiness to someone today?

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