A question of charity

Long story here, but I will try and cut it short.

This is about a woman who sort of came into my life asking for help after having gone through a very difficult phase in her life. I first met her at a soup kitchen where i was helping out at the time. I don’t know all the details of her past and when she talks about it she’s not always coherent and she contradicts herself and I think she’s ashamed of a lot of stuff and trying to skip around that, and anyway I have no right to drill about it so mosty of what i know is through things that slipped out. Anway, she was living very much on the edge of society if not legality. Possibly she was abused sexually (she’s a bit contradictory on this) but definietly emotionally. Did drugs, did alcohol, likely did prostitution. To cut it short, a very ugly story.

Anyway, I talked to the social services in my city and they said bring her along so we can look at her. At first she refused but then she did come and to be honest they weren’t of much help. She was in some respects also her own enemy as her language was sometimes abusive and she wasn’t always cooperative.

Then she fell in and although she couldn’t afford a doctor, I found a doctor who treats poor people on charity and I payed for her medication.

She came to me many times and asked for money. I did give her money but tried more to give her food and things so I knew it wasn’t being taken somewhere else. She said she wanted to find work as a cleaner or something and I set her up with various people who might have something but it all fell through.

I payed for her to go back to her home country where she now lives with her mother. She tried to find a job there but it proved impossible, especially with her lack of positive records and maybe also her sometimes abrasive attitude and language and the generally high poverty there. As she didn’t have any income and her mother is poor as well, I have on several occasions sent her money.

Then she discovered a barrista and bar school and said she would like to do that. I was very sceptical about her ability to do that (as well as being near alcohol and other temptations) but this was in her country (where everything is cheap) and she did beg me alot and the school fees sounded OK so I payed them for her.

That really was a turning point in her career. She really did work hard at that school and although she’s still only half way through it her test results so far look really good. When I talk to her, she has also cut down on the bad language and started taking more responsibility for herself. Every time I phone her she bubbles over with enthusiasm at all the interesting stuff she’s learn and she sends me pictures of drinks she can mix or how nicely she can arrange the tables, the napkins, the flowers etc. I think just the fact that she realizes that she’s good at something and that her efforts are bearing fruits are causing change in her. She’s really started paying attention to detail and taken things seriously. I’m really very happy about what’s happening to her and how she’s seized rather than wasted this opportunity as I was afraid she might.

She has also started showing much more gratitude than she used to. She used to take things I gave or did for her without much of a thought but now she even goes out of her way to say nice things to me. The one that touched me most was when she said that I was the first person who ever made her feel good about being who she is. Coming from sombody who used to talk mostly in expletives, this really touched me and I almost cried.

But I’m not just concerend about her worldly well being but also her spiritual side. She seems to believe various voodoo-like things and says she used to be Catholic but that “Jesus abandoned her” and that she hates him. I have tried to talk about it but she wasn’t really into it. I have also prayed for her. I don’t know if I’m right to try and do more in this direction. I didn’t help her for any reason other than to help her out of a sticky situation that could have been the death of her (when we first met she talked about suicide a lot). And I almost feel as if I’m asking something in return to which I have no right. I don’t know what to do.

The other thing is that she’s started telling me that she loves me and wants to come back and live with me. I really didn’t want her to love me and this is not the reason I helped her and she’s not at all my type and I have tried to tell her that I am helping her out of Christian charity and nothing else. This she sort of accepts, but just for a period because it always comes up again. Why is it so difficult to help people? What can i do to bring her back to God?

Continue praying for her and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. You would be MUCH better off not bringing her back here; her mother needs her and she would be happier staying in her own country and finding someone to settle down with there. Most people would have written off a looser mooch like that, but you stayed with her during the tough times. Now she has a real chance to have the life she deserves. Good job! :tiphat:

Refer her to St. Vincent DePaul and leave it be.
They are good about not making people dependent, but assisting them in taking control of their own lives.
Some of this has to be up to HER, not simply charitable people who are good to help, but often make things worse. Not saying you did, but it’s something to consider as you lead her to SVDP. They will asses what she really needs.
God Bless.

This is very good advice. I hope you take it into consideration.

You sound like a very compassionate, loving person. I think it’s great what you have done so far. However, I think it’s time for you to untangle yourself a bit, if not completely. This person is starting to get the wrong idea. I think the best thing you can do right now is refer her to a place that is better able to help her to meet her needs. Of course, you should always pray for her. God will answer your prayers as He can never be outdone in generosity. God Bless!

Thanks for your advice. I will try and find somebody in the SVDP who can care for her. It might not be easy as it would have to be in her country and I don’t know anybody there or speak the language, and I don’t think it would be easy for her to trust an obviously church institution and I’d be worried she might fall back if she realizes I’m looking for a way to get her off my hands. Much of the trouble in her life revolves around her being rejected by people she trusted and I don’t want to be the next incident in that pattern. But on the other hand she has come a long way and the time may have come for both her and I to move on.

You’re a very giving sort. And incredibly thoughtful. I’m really glad I never ran into you when I was using. I would have tried all sorts of tricks to clean you out. And now I’d be feeling bad about that. So yeah. But it’s time to let this one ride. You’ve done your bit. You don’t need a life-long habit out of this.

Peace man. What a kind soul you are. Incredibly kind.


My friend had a woman from abroad loom over him like that. (Originally he had been preaching to her and her neighbours.) He prayed hard! After that, all that happened is that nothing happened (she didn’t turn up).

I have been praying for a special intention for 30 years. It was finally answered a month ago. All I can say, It pays to persevere. If I was told by God back in 1985 that my prayer wouldn’t be answered till 2015, and that I would have to go through 30 years of NOT being answered, I’m not sure what I would have thought back then about praying continuously for 30 years for this intention. Would I just pray one prayer and then wait for 30 years for the answer? I’d say no prayers in between for this intention? All I can tell you, if I had a prayer intention this day, and was told by God it wouldn’t be answered for 30 years from now, I can almost guarantee, that at my current age, I won’t be around in 30 years. Which would mean that prayer intention of mine, won’t be answered in my lifetime. I can only say this, because prayer is not just hopeful, it shows one’s benevolent disposition towards God and neighbor even if we don’t see the outcome, because faith is at work. So to answer your question, As St Padre Pio would say, “Pray Hope and don’t worry”. :wink:

I recently came across this old thread that I started long ago.

In case anybody is interested, this lady garduated from her barrista school with passably good grades. She tried to find a job in that area but without success. I guess this may be a blessing in disguise as I was worried about he spending too much time in bars and clubs as she might be at risk of returning to her old patterns.

She did get a job selling ice cream in her city though. That was tough for her,Long hours and standing all day, but she managed to hold the job. I was worried she wouldn’t have the stamina for it and that her old ways would tempt her, but no. When the summer ended the owner, who was very pleased with her work, offered her a job at the checkout in a supermarket he owns in the same city. She’s been there for over a year now and seems to be doing fine. She still lives there with her mother. She sometimes tells me about things being inefficient in the shop and how she would organize them differently. I have encouraged her to share these observations with her manager. It might even show she has the aptitude to be promoted. I don’t know if she’s ever done that though.

So I’m really pleased with the way things have gone for her. She’s much lkess dependent on me now as she has her own money and her own life, which is a good thing. I once mentioned to her (we still skype here and there) that she’s come such a long way and that I’m so pleased for her. She doesn’t really seem to recall her bad days any more, either that or she’s blocking out that part of her memory. She has also become a much more pleasant perosn in many respects.

But I’m still praying for her.

Thanks for the update. Glad things have gone positive.

Nice to see :thumbsup:

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