After being in abroad in Chile studying public health and traditional medicine for three months, here are my "three words" to describe my experience.
To my great joy and the reason I am writing now: all the money raised through the sale of these cards will go to support my trip to Ecuador this winter on a medical mission with Timmy Global Health through DePauw University. What is Timmy Global Health? The mission of Timmy is to expand access to healthcare around the world and empower young people to better understand these health challenges and to help become a part of the solution. We will bring medical supplies, doctors, nurses, and students on a trip that will reach out to those facing real-life medical disparities. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to commit my heart and my hands to the people of Ecuador!
In Uganda, and many African countries, the picture of a life born with a disability is very different. Babies born with visible disabilities are traditionally thought to be cursed or evil, and often left to die. If the mother decides to keep her child, the tribe may choose to outcast the family. Without the support of a tribe, it could make it very hard to find accessibility to basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and protection. Even if a family wants to raise a child with a disability, the equipment, treatment, and attention necessary depending on the condition, is likely impossible for a family to provide.
Shriners Hospital for Children is many things, but most of all, a family to anyone that walks through the automatic, handicap-accessible doors. The people there love and care for these children as Jesus did, and I already know that I want to continue this in the future. Shriners absolutely lives its mission "Love to the Rescue" by not only saving, but loving lives everyday.
By the end of it all, broken crayons and crumpled papers were flying through the air as the children asked for just one more piece of paper. When I explained that there was no more paper, the ones that did not understand sat heartbroken, and the ones that did, helped me clean up. I was frustrated this had not gone as I pictured - fifty children coloring quietly and happily on a sunny morning. I knew my expectations were unrealistic, but I now wondered if the children enjoyed it, despite the mess.
I sat there for a long time. Stroking that baby’s small head as her belly filled with milk. She was glorious and I just thought and thought about all the prayers she might pray in that little mind and all the love she may give to the world from her little heart. I did not know if she would have it easy in Pabbo, in fact I did not even know where Pabbo was, but I believed that God loved her so much. He created her - He created every hair on her head and every beat in her heart - using everything He had.
I have found there is a misconception that giving is easy and feels good instantaneously. The reality is that sometimes giving takes all of your heart, and it is excrutiatingly painful. Sometimes, it feels like you cannot possibly give enough and that it may be better just not to give at all. While it is important to always self-evaluate how we are serving others in order to meet their needs both short-term and long-term, I believe this is not an excuse to withhold the gifts God has given us to give.