My name is Rebekah McKerley and I'm interning with HEAL Ministries for the next 6 months. One of the first things that struck me about the James' Place was the overwhelming amount of love. Everyone loves and genuinely cares about each other. Every morning when I walk outside, the staff greets me and asks how I'm doing. Their smiling faces and words of encouragement mean more to me than they'll ever know!
The kids here are absolutely precious! They don't know much English, but I have learned more than ever that love knows no language. It's the little moments with them that make me the happiest. Holding Natasha until she falls asleep in my arms, Haggai giving me a big hug every morning, and throwing the frisbee with Ben in the afternoon are all moments that I cherish and look forward to.
After spending the past 3 months in Uganda, I know how important the childcare program at HEAL is. There are many women in Uganda who have to stay home with their kids because they don't have anyone to watch them, and are then unable to make an income, which can lead to kids being abandoned. The childcare program at the James Place prevents this from happening, and provides a safe place for the kids to just enjoy being kids while their parents are working. They get to play in a sandbox, sing songs, go to preschool, swing, eat yummy food, and make friends with the 50 kids that come each day.
There is a quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf that says "As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness." This could not be any more true for my experience at the James' Place so far. My days are full of more joy and happiness than I can ever remember. I have been blessed far more by the people here than I could ever bless them. I wish everyone could experience at least a week at the James' Place. God is truly doing amazing things through HEAL Ministries, and I am so excited and honored to be a part of it the next six months!