Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement January 2021


Donna Clark, Director

Persistence pays. I heard that a lot as a child growing up here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. My father and grandfather loved to fish and as a little girl I never could see why they would stand there for hours doing what appeared to me as nothing. Eventually one of them would catch a big fish and look at me saying those famous words.

Those same words of wisdom rang in my head the beginning of this year when we were able to obtain a client’s “Delayed Certificate of Birth”. He had been born at home and never registered with the health department. For over fifty years he had survived by making cash money, never being able to open a bank account or get a good paying job. You have to have an ID for both of those and to get an ID you need a birth certificate. He had managed to get a social security card but never a birth certificate. Over the last five years we had tried to submit documentation to prove who he was and satisfy the requirements of Maryland Vital Records. He was frequently incarcerated; often delaying our attempts and the process even more. On January 5th we were able to hand him his birth certificate and watch him glow with happiness. The first thing that he said was “Now I can get my driver’s license, open a bank account, and get a car”.  Yes Dad, you were right, persistence pays.

Jesus’ parable about the fig tree teaches us that persistence and prayer can accomplish many things in life. Thank you Jesus for loving us and giving us the opportunity to be a part of your loving embrace.

Luke 13: 6-9