Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reflecting on an Emotional & Insightful Day

A reflection on some of the people she bonded with at Faith Alive Hospital from Teresa Pompa:

The first story I would like to share with you is about a touching experience form this trip. Many people touched my life and inspired me once again. But this day of our trip stands out in my mind.

I consider it a blessing that I was able to return to Faith Alive this summer. There were events in my personal life that could have deterred me. But I prayed and persevered. I’m so glad I did because of the amazing experience. I learned much more about Faith Alive, got to know some of the people better and mostly was able to experience this trip with the Faith Alive team. It was special to see them fall in love with the Faith Alive Family like I did last year. I feel privileged to be part of this team.

The most special day we shared together was when we went back to the Faith Alive Community School, Hwol Yarje – which is in a temporary structure. Even though school was not in session, the teachers gathered all of the children to greet us. Some were dressed in their “Sunday best” clothes. They were so excited about our visit. They sang songs to us that they had practiced. There was such hope in their eyes. This village had nothing before Faith Alive came (read Rob’s previous posting for details) – no school, no health care, etc. Even though these things are in a primitive state – it is something, a start and Faith Alive is striving to improve the quality and provide even more. High on the priority list is a source of clean water. Most of the children wear the donated clothes from the Faith Alive “clothes bank”. The children live in mud huts in the surrounding area. One little boy was all dressed up in an American outfit, from his cap all the way down to his shoes. He kept following me and touching my blonde hair. Another boy was dressed up in a suit that was way too big for him, but he was proud nonetheless. There was a look in the eyes of these children. Yes, they were joyful that they now had a school, but there was something else that I can’t quite name. Their eyes seemed older – wisdom was reflected. I’m sure it’s hard for these children to trust. Some of us cried when they sang to us. Dr. Chris was with us and I saw him get emotional.

Our team experienced something unique that day. We all shared a passion to help the water situation and make a permanent school happen. This was real – not some article in a magazine. We hugged the children, played with them and listened to their dreams. It was a very emotional day for us.

There’s a story within a story on this day too. Initially, Greg Strouse, a young man on our team, was not sure he was going to be able to be a part of the mission. But fortunately he worked things out. He works for a building company, so he was excited about the future of a permanent school site, because at first he thought they were ready to start construction. He thought he was going to be able to get his work boots in the mud and build something – but that was not the case. We were told there was an architect working on the project but he was not around. After we had returned to Faith Alive, Erika, Greg and I were standing outside the hospital. A man seemed to just pop up next to Erika. Erika introduces him to us – it was Amos the architect! He visited the guesthouse for lunch and told us amazing stories.

So, we not only saw need in this situation, somehow we think we saw God’s will in it too. The children have come back in my mind since I have returned home. As I’m so happy to be home and I’m getting my children ready for their wonderful schools, I will pray for the children of the Hwol Yarje temporary school:

Dear God,

Please keep the children of Hwol Yarje safe.

Strengthen them as they go through their daily struggles.

Comfort them when they cry.

Give peace to their families.

Let them know You are always with them.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Anonymous said...

Teresa, Wonderful post. I am looking forward to geeting back together with everyone in a few days.


Erika said...

Hello Nativity Team! We miss you, but are glad that you're safely home.


Mickeymouse said...

It's very moving reading your posts. You have a gift for really telling the heart of your visit. Look forward to seeing you at church and hearing more about how Nativity can be an ongoing presence in Nigeria.