“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I didn’t have much, but I had a sewing kit and some sheets.

Josilane was a girl that lived in the slums in Montes Claros, Brazil. She wanted to marry but couldn't afford a dress. I was a missionary in this foreign country, living in an unfinished house, windows with no glass, eating what my neighbors so kindly gave me, with nothing to offer but my time and talents. I did have a sewing kit, though, comprised of the paltry few needles and thread that my mom had added to my scarce luggage. I also had sheets on my bed. They were white.

It took me a while to sew it, and it certainly wasn’t a Valentino gown. But it made a dream come true. It was just a simple dress in a lost part of the globe, for an apparently insignificant event that the world would never praise. But it truly and deeply changed someone's life.

After finishing my missionary assignment, I came back to "real" life. I pursued the best education I could, I got a great job, and suddenly, I found myself buried in the craziness of the day-by-day. The world recognizes us for doing big things, for the number of accomplishments we accumulate, and so we rush… We stop seeing people as individuals and start seeing them as numbers.

I do not want to waste my one precious life collecting numbers. I want to see each person uniquely, as "one." The opportunities to serve others are all around, and sometimes, they only take a needle, a thread, and a white bed sheet.

— Constanca Oliveira e Sousa