HEAL Ministries changes lives. Before I came to the James Place, all I really knew was the pretty jewelry and pottery that I see in stores and that this was a program for both women and children. I did not realize how much more there is to HEAL Ministries. What goes on here has not only impacted the staff and children but also the community. When we were driving through the slums, the children were running up to the car yelling "Jaja Tina" and were ecstatic to see her. These children are not typical James Place children, but they still know of Tina and the James Place's love. This place is so full of love and joy for the Lord. It has amazed me how many relationships all of us have formed with others because of the Lord. We may speak different languages and live very different lives, but that does not change how we see our God.
Last Friday, we had Bible study where we studied James 1:1-15. This verse talked about persevering through trials and staying faithful in the Lord through these trials. There was one woman who translated the conversation for us and it blew me away at how these women have such strong faiths, even after going through things like abuse and being widowed. This conversation has really stuck with me these past few days and has helped me gain a deeper meaning of Philippians 4:13. HEAL literally is influencing and changing perspectives of people who live on the other side of the world. Over the past 10 days, I have played with one boy in particular: Dalton. He is a precious little boy who is about 2 or 3 years old. He is so full of joy and laughter and has shown me the true meaning of love like a child. He always wants to play and is constantly smiling. Dalton has made an impact on my life and I hope to see him one day again, even if it is in heaven. Every girl on this trip had made lasting relationships with both women and children.