Recently Flight Attendant Joy Owens Guliani and her daughter, Acadia, spent time in Poland ministering to men, women and children who have been displaced from their homes in the Ukraine. Joy shares the following thoughts on the Fruit of the Spirit from what she has observed while there:
“The fruit of the Spirit is not a banana… or an apple, an orange, a grape, a peach or a pineapple. Those fruits are what we, along with about a dozen other volunteers, cut up to put in the fruit salad every morning and serve to approximately 1000 people by noontime. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This fruit I have seen in so many ways since I’ve been in Kraków these past 10 days.
When Emily asked the salty older Welshman we had been volunteering with why he came here, without any hesitation he replied,
‘Love. And I’m going to cry like a baby when I have to leave.’
Joy – in the midst of tragedy and trauma, to hear a child laugh as they chase bubbles we’re blowing or a mom laugh as she shows off her Chinese jump rope techniques brings joy to our hearts. And to theirs.
Peace – what we are all praying for in the midst of this awful, heartbreaking situation.
Patience as people wait in long lines to be served a meal, wait for their appointment at the embassy or in a line to pick through used clothing in the clothing tent.
Kindness is everywhere. The volunteers here from around the world, including Ukraine, are such an amazing group of people who show kindness every day by serving food, wiping tables, cleaning floors, emptying trash, interpreting for each other and so much more.
Faithfulness – in the MTW crisis team every day as they faithfully run the shelters, drive caravans of goods into Ukraine, work to find placements for displaced people all over Europe, operate a help center, and more, all in a country where none of them speak the language.
Gentleness – listening to Emily doing a medical consultation with an older Ukrainian woman at the shelter yesterday and hearing the gentle way she spoke to her made me think how cared for the woman must have felt and how it must have given her a feeling of security knowing she was in capable hands in the midst of such unsettled and confusing circumstances.
Self-control – I see a lack of this when some kind of unusual items are brought to the tent for distribution and people mob those trying to distribute them. It’s sometimes frightening how they crowd and grab and demand. But I think, ‘I have never in my life been in a situation even remotely like the one they are in right now. Do I have any idea how I might react in the same situation?’ It’s a sobering thought.
What an absolute blessing it is to be here and serve alongside my daughter, my friends I brought along and the new friends I’ve made here. So many amazing people and experiences.”
Thank you, Joy, Acadia and the many others that have sacrificially gone to serve in such a way. Thank you to those who have prayed for them. Thank you for those who provided the resources needed to make their outreach possible.
Dear Acadia shared her beautiful talent on the violin with the people as she played their national anthem. May this encourage you as we are sure it did all who heard it there. National Anthem of the Ukraine.