Two Long Term Interns' Perspectives

Fridays are my absolute favorite. Not because it is the last day of the week. Not because the weekend is here.

Fridays are for worship and Bible Study. Every Friday every single person on the compound comes together to sing Praise to our Father. It is truly heavenly. The kids are dancing, jumping and raising their hands. The are silly but also passionate. The women have voices like angels and their love for the Lord is so evident. 

Fridays are also for fellowship. On Friday all the staff and interns eat in the same place celebrating the week and each other. After lunch volleyball is played and cheerleading for the players commences. It is such a special time each week. 

Fridays are for chores. After volleyball comes deep cleaning of the compound. To some that may sound awful, but I LOVE it. It is so neat to see all the staff work together to get all the tasks done and work alongside them. It truly takes a village to run the James Place and that is so clearly demonstrated during this time.

Fridays are for feet washing.  After chores all the staff wash their feet. They think we so poorly wash our feet that I have had my feet washed more times than I can count by them. It reminds me every time of Jesus humbly washing his disciples feet and loving them so intimately. I have experienced the most sacrificial love by the people here. 

The people at the James Place are amazing. They love with all they have got and then some. They care for one another in a way I have never experienced and truly are a family.

- Sarah, Long Term Volunteer Nurse

It takes a village. 

We’ve all heard this saying as it relates to rearing children. We use it as we are carpooling to a soccer game or taking food to a family who lost a loved one. It’s parents bringing food to an after school event and kids sleeping over at a friend’s house when their parents are out of town. It takes a village. 

Never has this well known phrase come alive than during my time at the James Place. 

We have women here who have taken in children and raised them as their own. It might be a neighbor, a niece, or a child that their husband had with another woman. Often times, women send some of their children out to “the village” to be with their Jaja’s (grandmothers) because there are many children already living in their homes. The women at the James Place have become their own village. Because most are abandoned mamas, they only have each other. When they cannot come to work because they are sick, another woman will bring their child to school. When the money runs out, they borrow from their neighbors knowing that the shoe will be on the other foot in the future. 

And we have learned from them. As interns, we have joined this village. We are there to wipe each other’s tears and give each other a pat on the back for a job well done. We are there to care for one another when we are sick or broken hearted. Because that’s how we are made to live - in community, in a village. 

- Rachel, Long Term Volunteer Admin Intern