travel bursary reports
I have been back from India for almost two months now, and I am still amazed when I look back at the time I spent there, and at how faithful God was, and how much He taught me.
I spent 17 months in India in total. 17 months living and working in a foreign land, in a culture unlike my own. 17 months being challenged and stretched; yet also experiencing indescribable joy and love through it all.
Imagine for a moment the perfect patient examination, you find clubbing, a heart murmur and discover signs of heart failure. Rheumatic heart disease appears on your differential; and you’ve made the perfect diagnosis. However this isn’t just an exciting case allowing us to congratulate ourselves on our medical skills, this is a real patient. She’s the same age as me, has 3 children, and has travelled 3 days from Northern India for treatment. She can’t speak the language, has no money and has left her children behind. What’s the solution?
Wow. What a year?! Although I’m super excited to share with you what I’ve been up to over the past 12 months - the lessons I’ve learnt, stories I have, restoration I’ve seen, work I have done – I’m also daunted by it. Daunted because I have SO many ‘best bits’ to try and fit into one report. But what a great problem to have eh?! To write this report I looked back over my monthly ‘prayer point and update emails’ to pick out the best and most important moments, and have been utterly blown away by a) How awesome our God is – a God who has provided time and time again, has answered prayers, equipped, blessed abundantly, challenged and grown me and never left me to tackle anything alone. A God who has brought us joy, endurance and strength. And b) How blessed I’ve been to have had such an incredible year; doing what I love, with purpose and people who are now my closest friends.
I will, if you don’t mind, break my report up into monthly sections and use bullet points as I’ve found this to be super useful in fitting a lot of information into a small space. I’ve also included links to photos and videos from throughout the year and if you do nothing else, I would encourage you to watch the videos. So here goes!
In July and August 2015 I spent 7 weeks in San Nicolas, a community in Soacha, south of Bogota the capital of Colombia. I was there as part of a Latin Link step team made up of 5 young students from the UK. We were working in a project providing meals and structured activities for deprived children from the area. The project was run by a Mennonite church in Teusaquillo, central Bogota. The project building also hosts a small church plant and various other community projects including dance and IT classes.
After months of praying and planning, I finally boarded a plane on the 13th of June to Entebee airport, Uganda. I was travelling from Belfast to Kabembe in Uganda, a little town 2 hours from the capital, where Africare has set up a unit to care for disabled children. This centre is called ACHERU – which stands for ‘Afaayo Child Health Education and Rehabilitation Unit’. ‘Afaayo’ is Luganda for ‘He cares’, and as this became my home for the next month, I truly learnt the meaning of this word! I travelled out with a friend from university, and neither of us were fully prepared for what we experienced in Africa!
Read our reports from those we have supported through bursaries!