Random thoughts as we return

Back home again, the trip just seems like a blur.  Its hard to believe we were in NIgeria for almost 3 weeks.  What is a second home to me, felt like a whirlwind this time and its surreal that I’m back where we started.  What a blessing this group was.  Each person contributed their own gifts to make us complete.  Our ages spanned 50 years, doctors and nurses and a pharmacist. Our religious affiliations were diverse: Mennonite, Christian Reformed, Lutheran, Catholic, and no formal religion. Some worried that we wouldn’t have enough in common.  How wrong that turned out to be.  We became family, listening to each other’s issues, laughing together, sometimes weeping together.  100_3668

Our doggy lamps lit our rooms when there was no electricity.  We had candlelight meals together.  In the process of this time we spent together, we all changed.  Most of us don’t know exactly what these changes will mean–we just know we’ve started down a path on a new journey.  I am blessed to have been a part of this group.

Closing Statements to Faith Alive Staff:

Larry:  This clinic exemplifies Micah 6:8.  “He has shown you oh man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk with your God”.

Jim:  You have taught me how to have a proper greeting every day. You show joy in living with AIDS and not dying with AIDS. I have learned from the sincerity of your love of God.  Spiritual healing precedes medical healing here.

Theo:  I can sum up everything in 3 words: Hope, Joy and Thanksgiving. The gift of joy is so important. You know how to give thanks to the Lord, something we need to learn.

Kristen: The joy and hope I saw in the support group with HIV+ people, so much different than at home…

Laura: Thank you for your hospitality and welcome.  I’ve been truly blessed. Clinics in Canada run with increased government support.  So much of what is being done here is by sheer determination and love of Christ.

Lois: Coming to Africa is something I ‘ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. My dream has been fulfilled.  My favorite day was the day spent in Kafin Chan, because I’m from a small village in the U.S.

Jenny: I’ve been to Africa 8 different times as a tourist “on the outside looking in”.  This is the 1st time I’ve been on the inside.  I was expecting to see true devastation and I haven’t seen anything like that.  I wish there were 100 more clinics like this throughout Nigeria/Africa

Pat:  Thanks for being allowed to feel like part of a family.  One word comes to mind, “Time”–time to enjoy life that you offer, time you give of yourselves to the patients…

Jean: God is so good.  God brought our team here. You have become my family. God loves us all. God doesn’t look at color, whether we’re short or tall. We are all children of God. I will remember your faces and your smiles.

Elton: You guys renamed me “Grandpa”. You do a tremendous job with the equipment you have. You have auxiliary programs like counseling, I have not seen in other places. Thanks especially to Dr Innocent-what a great man. He enjoys medicine. He enjoys teaching, seeing patients.

Sarah:  I expected to see people dying of AIDS, people look so much healthier and happier than I expected.  Please keep doing your wonderful work.

Rochele: What a change in 5 years this clinic has undergone.  Faith Alive used to rely on volunteers and barely had any medications. Now its a 3 story hospital with paid employees and antiretrovirals for AIDS patients.  What a privelege to come back and see the hope that this clinic continues to give.

Faith Alive Staff

Faith Alive Staff

Rochele Beachy


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