Operation Cinderella

Two years ago our son John married Natasha Stamman. Our beautiful daughter-in-law has been a wonderful addition to our family and a loving wife for John. Natasha’s father and his wife founded Impact Ministries International, a ministry for orphans and the poor of the world.

Last week I went on a missions trip to Honduras with John and Natasha. During the day we mainly camped out at an orphanage in Comayagua and in the evening we attended special church services, supporting local pastors and their ministries. On Sunday, we distributed food and clothing to the poorest of the poor in Honduras. Hundreds of needy souls stood in line for a bar of soap, used clothing, and a bag of rice, corn, and beans.

Selina and Dixie

During the distribution a little girl named Selina came up to me holding a shabby shoe in her hand. She said something in Spanish and I knew she was asking for a new pair of shoes. We had just distributed the last pair. My eyes filled with tears when I told her there were no more shoes. She was devastated, but slipped her foot back into her pitiful shoe. In that moment I realized her foot was about the same size as mine. I kicked off my white flip-flops and gave them to her. She smiled and hugged me tightly. We said our goodbyes and I never expected to see her again because she wasn’t part of the orphanage and didn’t live in Comayagua.

The next night we drove to church. I looked over the large crowd and whispered a prayer for Selina. As we hurried to find a seat, I felt a little tap on my arm. I turned and to see who was wanting my attention. “Selina!”

She pointed at her feet.

“You’re wearing the flip-flops. They look so nice!” I threw my arms around her neck.

Selina linked her arm in mine throughout the praise and worship. Our hearts were cemented together despite our language barriers.

That night when we returned to our motel room, Natasha, John, and I couldn’t stop talking about how a simple pair of flip-flops could bring so much joy to a little girl.

The next evening Natasha and I attended a special women’s meeting. After the service a woman came up to me with a huge smile plastered on her face. She kissed me on the cheek and said something in Spanish.

I shrugged and shook my head. “No, hablo español.”

Selina’s Mother at Ladies Night

She pointed to her feet. I squealed when I recognized the flip-flops. I motioned for our interpreter. “What is she saying?”

Angelica, our interpreter, replied, “She said that she is Selina’s mother and Selina let her borrow the new flip-flops so she could attend the special meeting tonight.”

As I returned to my motel room, I couldn’t help but think how it really is the little things in life that can make huge differences in the lives of the poor. May we all find some way to bless those in need today. I also learned that Cinderella isn’t the only one whose life can be changed by a pair of shoes.

If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor, your cries will go unheard, unanswered.   Proverbs 21:13 MSG


5 responses

  1. Beautiful! I’ve seen your photos online, and appreciate this “upclose and personal” account of how you went about meeting the needs of these folks.

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