Aldeman is coordinating the collection of soapberries in his town. We happened to be there for something else, and John decided to stop to talk to him about this year’s harvest.
“You saved my son’s life,” he said, not letting John even start the conversation.
Obviously, that was not the sort of greeting John usually gets.
“What do you mean?”
The week before, John had made a deposit in an account for Aldeman, to pay him for work related to the soapberry harvest. Aldeman explained that the same day, the school his 7 year-old son attends had given all the children anti-parasite medicine. That is great, except that his son had a violent, potentially fatal reaction to the treatment. He needed immediate medical care.
It is not unusual to have a little additional income make a big difference for a family. It might mean eating a healthier meal. Maybe it provides the money to buy a pencil or notebook that keeps a child in school. For Aldeman, that extra income meant his son got the immediate treatment he needed, and it saved his son’s life.
Soapberries are a pretty small fruit and our project is a pretty small project, but small things can make a difference. They can even save a life.