Elizabeth, HEAL intern at the James Place

As I walk around the James Place, the red dirt covers my feet, children are laughing, women are smiling as they sip their tea; it’s beautiful here. This is literally one of the most loving places on earth. Every morning when the gates open we have a variety of women that enter. From teenage mothers, to widowed or abandoned mothers, we are all part of a family. Not only are we all God’s children, but also we have created a unified bond that is based on helping these women learn sustainability and the true value of family preservation. We have built our own family.


            I have never been surrounded by such unending peace. God has blessed the James Place by allowing women to drop their children off in daycare so that they may attend school or work during the day to pay for their babies. My favorite part about HEAL ministries is that we do anything and everything alongside these women so that they may take care of their children, find work to pay for food and water, and stay together as one. The greatest gift on earth in my opinion is family. So what would we be if we didn’t help to attain such an important aspect of life? God truly provides on a daily basis here.

            We have teachers that help the women become educated in advanced business classes, sewing classes, and even pottery. Our cook prepares over 100 meals a day for our staff, women, and children. We have an incredible preschool teacher who is helping to change the next generation of children by providing them with useful tools before entering the educational system. We are not the answer, but we are helping to make a difference. I have been blessed in more ways than I could have ever imagined in my two short months here at HEAL. Every day is a greater blessing. Everyday I learn about the incredible lives of the women who come to the James Place. Everyday God opens my eyes to see his glory and how gracious he is to those that are faithful. Among the women, we are blessed with an incredible group of staff members. Their hearts have unimaginably loved me since the day I arrived. God truly blesses me by allowing me to be apart of their lives.

            HEAL ministries is keeping families together and teaching vulnerable women the true meaning of love. My friend Reed made a beautiful point the other day. Many people say, “Wow what an incredibly selfless, brave person it takes to do what you are doing. You are going to bless many people in Africa.” What Reed pointed out to me though has never resonated more. We are the ones being blessed, not necessarily doing the blessing. I believe we all help to better each other with the love and help from Jesus Christ. But we alone do not bless. God is blessing me, the women and children, and all staff. We are one giant blessed family. I cannot wait to see how God transforms my heart while I am here, but I could not ask for a better beginning to an incredible journey.