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Love yourself

dale springer changed her life and is now helping others

Everybody has a story to tell that should never be buried in silence.

Not so long ago it was Haiti. This week it was Sandusky. Very soon maybe it will be the soldiers who have returned home from Pakistan.

The above, though different, are clear examples of a country, a person, and a community that were all known to be in need, or in the case of the soldiers, will be so soon. Yet, somehow, these situations often continue until a crisis arises, prompting a response.

It took an earthquake to bring Haiti into the public’s eye, and, the opportunity for the rehabilitation of Sandusky may have long passed.

But here is at least one exception.

Writing in his best seller, The Outliers, Malcom Gladwell explained the mystery of Roseto, a community of Italian immigrants in Pennsylvania, which baffled Wolf, a physician. “There was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, and very little crime. They didn’t have anyone on welfare… These people died of old age.”

Truth be told, Roseto was a community where residents supported each other on a daily basis. Gladwell called Roseto dwellers outliers.

Two Sundays ago, the weather was beautiful and as I left church and I started scanning the campus for unusual pictures. Five Sundays ago I found two birds squatting on the electric wires talking to each other with the rhythm that often makes a symphony. This time I found a Barbadian talking with another Barbadian – a member of the church security.

As soon as he saw me he said gladly:

“Sir, I believe, you have another story.”

Then he said to the young lady: “Let him write you up!”

We sat on a bench, and as she spoke passionately about her new journey, I felt compelled to at least listen.

Dale Springer is the daughter of Winston “Merly” Marshall from Hillaby, St. Andrew. She has lived in the US for 24 years. For the past two years she has had a life changing experience. She is an advisor with the “Women’s Motivational Services, an organisation whose president is also a Barbadian, Kathy Elliot.

“All my life I’ve had a passion for helping people, but somewhere along life’s journey, I made choices that were not in my own best interest. But I always knew that God was there to guide me. However, when Auntie Val Springer – my confidant – nearly died, I woke up, valued life more and started making different choices. When I stopped going to church I lost my pilot.”

Dale, who has one daughter, Simone, started attending Christian Cultural Centre six months ago. For her, this church is another new experience. However, her current joy was the success of their recent activity.

“Our September 16 fund-raiser was a tremendous success. About 400 people attended the event. It had a variety of speakers and a great fashion show. This activity has given me more encouragement to go out into the vineyard, so to speak, and grow my new-found ministry. Changing your life is never easy but you should never be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to go back to school.”

Dale is currently following the advice which she gives to people who have suffered domestic violence. She has gone back to school and is following a course of study in nursing.

So what big idea would Dale give to anyone who is struggling?

“A new world always begins when one stops depending on others and one starts to love yourself.”

By the time we finished chatting, any hesitation had gone and Dale was speaking in a clearly defined voice. She was joyful. She was glad to know that others were going to read about her ministry – perhaps her purpose in life.

We must commend Kathy and Dale, for too often we discover after the fact that our life story could have positively altered the life of a stranger.

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