Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Hot Off the Press
Another one of the students from the Nassau team, a senior named Josie, just completed her college essay--and I am dying to share it with you! I am soooo proud of my girls and they way they use their experiences serving our Haitian and Bahamian friends to show others the face of poverty. Their passion for the global Church is a beautiful thing to behold!
I walk along the long dirt road with the hot sun beating on my back. With each step my team members and I take, a puff of dust elevates from the ground. Little shacks line the road and a rocky path leads deeper into the area. Our group divides as we approach the first shack. A group of women sits under a cluster of trees with car parts and debris scattered about. As we greet the women, small figures begin to appear through the doorway of the house. “Would they like to come out and play?” my teammate asks one of the women. Upon their mother’s call, the children come out of the house and run toward us. What happens next is unexpected. I feel arms surround my body in a tight embrace, and a sweaty forehead against my shoulder. The children grab our hands as we lead them back to the church. They introduce themselves with Haitian names as we approach the building. Others on our team have gathered children from the neighborhood as well. Each little face I lay eyes on is illuminated with a smile. A girl has beads all throughout her hair. Another boy has two different sized shoes. Joy radiates throughout our group for the next week.
I sit with a boy named Joshua on my lap under a wooden gazebo. We listen to our Vacation Bible School lesson. As I see each child’s hand excitedly go into the air, and listen to each triumphantly say his answer, I am reminded that this is what I live for. Working with children is my passion, and serving others is what I feel I am meant to do. I hope to study elementary education, and later to teach and serve in the mission field. I dream of providing help and rehabilitation for young women and children who have suffered from sexual abuse. I want to be able to show others the power of healing and to renew joy.
Later in the week, I find myself walking into a room the size of a closet to see a women as frail as a small child in bed. Miss Moxey, who is living in an AIDs camp called All Saints, greets us warmly. As I sit on the bed beside her, she shares her incredible story of how she contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion after being hit by a drunk driver in Miami. Miss Moxey has refused medical treatment since the 70s, her children have abandoned her, and she is paralyzed from the waist down. Still, she is strong. I can’t help but cry when she speaks of her undying faith in God. Visiting with Miss Moxey and other patients like her reminded me that to be able to serve is one of the greatest things I can do.
Now I am preparing to walk down another long road, a journey into my future. I have always had extreme empathy for others around me, and my mission trip to Nassau, Bahamas showed me how I can use that gift to engage in community wherever I am. I know that I would be a fantastic addition to your university. I am looking forward to becoming a part of the community on campus and continuing to explore opportunities to serve locally and globally.