Meet my new friend Cinthya! This is a people profile that I wrote for the paper this week, and I had to share this one. I am so blessed by her story and awed by her obedience. She pointed back to Jesus and His provision with every word. I hope you're inspired, too!
Cinthya’s Ramnarine’s childhood memories are dominated by her own illness. She had severe asthma, and the harsh New York City winters triggered long episodes of illness. Cinthya was surrounded, however, with people who loved her. Her mother’s sister, Natividad Moya, was particularly close to her family. Although Natividad never had any children of her own, Cinthya describes her as a “fabulous aunt to all her nieces and nephews.”
After watching Cinthya’s fight with asthma and her mother’s struggle to care for her with a new baby, Natividad offered to take Cinthya, then 6 years old, to the family’s native Dominican Republic. She hoped that the warmer climate would alleviate the attacks that left the child so ill, so she was willing to leave her job in the United States to take her niece to the Dominican Republic to recover.
Cinthya’s mother agreed, and so she went with her aunt to live in the Dominican Republic for a little over a year. Her aunt treated her as if she were her very own daughter. No need was overlooked. Cinthya attended private school at her aunt’s expense and was nurtured lovingly. At the end of the year, although Cinthya’s health had indeed improved, her mother missed her and wanted her to come home to the United States. Cinthya returned home, and later grew out of many of her asthmatic symptoms.
Years later, after her family moved to Holly Springs, Cinthya began attending The Village Church during their Faith in Action series. She began thinking, “How can I make a bigger difference?” She wondered, “If given an opportunity, would I be able to put my faith into action?”
Only months later, Cinthya began to hear of her aunt’s decline through family members. One of her uncles had been caring for two of his older sisters in the Dominican Republic with little help, and Cinthya felt moved to begin investigating ways she could help. Cinthya was stunned at her husband’s response to her request to bring her aunt to live with them. Ganesh said, “Maybe changing the atmosphere for her would do her good.” Those had been almost the exact words that her aunt had said to persuade Cinthya’s mother to let her go to the Dominican Republic. After a long line of God-ordained circumstances, her Aunt Natividad came to the United States to live with Cinthya, her husband Ganesh and their two children Priya (2) and Ravidave (1).
Having a household with two small children and an elderly aunt in need of much attention has stretched Cinthya almost to her limit some days. Natividad needs help almost every two hours during the night, and so Cinthya often starts her day with little sleep and a very long to-do list. She explains, “I literally do it day by day, hour by hour. I don’t think about what will happen tomorrow. I say to God, ‘You will equip me for today. You will give me what I need.’”
She describes one day in December that was particularly stressful. Everyone was clambering for her attention and uncooperative. Her aunt was particularly confused and difficult that day. When she returned to the family room, Ravidave had poured baby oil all over the carpet. In a moment of frustration and exhaustion, Cinthya began to cry. She prayed that God would bring peace and help, but nothing changed. The next day, however, was the most peaceful day that she can remember since Natividad came to live with them. “It was unbelievable! I said to the Lord, ‘Thank you, because you know that I wouldn’t be able to handle a day like yesterday.’ I just felt that everything was going to be o.k.”
The peace that fills Cinthya Ramnarine’s house belies the challenges faced by its inhabitants. Although the difficulties are great, the joy of following God’s leading and of caring for a woman who gave her so much floods Cinthya’s features and compels the hearers of her story to examine their own lives. Cinthya sums it up beautifully when she says, “That’s what God likes to do. He likes to use the least appropriate and the least able to bring glory and honor to His name.”