Walking with Kasha

    “Walking with Kasha,” New Era, Oct. 2005, 26

    From the Field:
    Walking with Kasha

    Every step was painful for Kasha, but as we supported her, the Lord supported us.

    I scanned my planning sheet and wondered how my companion and I were ever going to do it. How could I have forgotten that we had missionary exchanges this week? Poland had been newly opened for missionary work, and most of the members were young in age and in their knowledge of the gospel. The members of this small branch were so excited to learn, and we, as missionaries, were doing our best to teach them.

    Sunday meetings had just ended. Small groups socialized around the apartment where we met, as I reviewed our plans for the coming week. We had several discussions already scheduled—something rare at that time—and they all seemed to be set for one day. I had agreed we would take a member with us.

    I remembered back to a month ago when Kasha, a member with cerebral palsy, approached me so hopefully. She wore a big grin as she walked over on her crutches.

    “Sister McGregor, would you please take me out to do missionary work for a day?” she had asked.

    I adored Kasha and would have done anything for her, but I wondered how we would get around. No missionaries or members had cars, so our main mode of transportation would be our feet or the bus. If walking was painful for her, wouldn’t climbing bus stairs all day be worse? But there she stood, waiting for a reply. I had picked a date out of the air. The day fell in our busy week, and I desperately wanted to change it.

    I picked my way over to Kasha and showed her our schedule. Her eyes glowed with excitement. I explained to her how all these appointments were scattered throughout the city and asked her how we were going to get around. She looked at me as if I had forgotten something obvious and explained that the bus was usually a pretty good way. I quickly decided that if she wasn’t worried about it, then I shouldn’t be either—but I wasn’t entirely convinced.

    We picked her up in the morning and practically hoisted her onto the bus while the driver glared at us for slowing him up. There were no seats, so on our way to our first appointment, we supported Kasha on the swaying bus. Getting off wasn’t much better, and walking was slow and tedious over broken sidewalks and cobblestones. As we sat through our first discussion, Kasha taught two young women with love, testimony, and the Spirit. She was an incredible missionary.

    Obstacles other than cobblestones arose as the day continued. Bus drivers had agreed to strike that day, and around noon buses, parked end to end, began to fill the streets of the city. The bus drivers refused to move them.

    We walked slowly from place to place, and Kasha did her best to be cheerful. We caught taxis on the edges of the city when we could, and my companion and I physically supported her as much as she would let us.

    It was getting late as we inched up the walk to Kasha’s apartment after the long day. Our discussions had been wonderful, but I was looking forward to bed. Kasha suddenly stopped on the walk, forcing me to stop also.

    “Oh no!” my mind raced. “I’m going to have to carry her!”

    “I’m not tired, Sister McGregor,” Kasha said. “At the end of every single day I’m tired and hurting. I’m usually in bed by now. But today, walking all over the city doing the Lord’s work, I feel like I could keep going and going.” She continued her labored walk home.

    I learned a great lesson walking to Kasha’s apartment that night. When we are doing the Lord’s work, He will assist us no matter our weaknesses or disabilities. My disabilities are not the same as Kasha’s, but when I worry that I’m not quite up to what the Lord wants me to do, I think about Kasha.

    She had all she needed on her day of missionary work and a little more.

    • Ginger M. Churchill is a member of the Lakeside 10th Ward, Provo Utah West Stake.

    Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh