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Melissa’s Experience With Mercy Touch

Posted July 2016

The team!

Visiting the surrounding community.

I have known about Mercy Touch for about 10 years now. I was always asked to go to Zambia, but for many years I pushed it aside. It has taken me some growth and maturity in my walk with God to say that this was His timing.

I felt equipped and ready for this mission trip. However, as I was preparing, I was feeling very overwhelmed with emotion. It was going to be my first mission trip that wasn't solely medical and dental. I was becoming anxious thinking about the relational aspects of this trip. It felt like a lot was unknown and I'm the type of person who likes to know everything, all the time. I constantly found myself surrendering and praying, which set the tone for the next few weeks we spent in Zambia.

We were a team of three and it was really nice traveling with a small group. It was a very different dynamic travelling with a small team versus a team of 50-60 people. We were able to organize, correspond, and change anything on short notice seamlessly. Our team was able to do community work and outreach, help with homework, tutor English and reading, and participate in church ministry. At the homes and during the feeding program I was able to do dental checkups, assessments, and apply topical fluoride. 

When we arrived in Zambia we were greeted at the airport with some of the Mercy Touch staff. I instantly fell asleep in the vehicle, and when I woke up - we were at the farm. We met some of the kids and house moms and walked around the grounds. Later on in the evening we were able to connect with the rest of the staff and children. Instantly, I noticed how everyone interacted with one another. Everyone treated each other like family and it truly felt like home. I got comfortable quickly and it was definitely a far cry in comparison to slumming it in the Philippines. The house we stayed in was great!

The children are so bright and super excited to learn and read. I never thought I'd say this, but homework was so fun! We did spelling tests, taught sounds, taught new vocabulary; and of course we read endlessly. Kelsey and I were also able to learn a little Bemba! 

Each of the children were so eager and tried very hard to learn. We played after all the hard work too. Our team brought some beach balls, jump ropes, and hula-hoops. We made obstacle courses and rode the bikes around the farm. Some of the girls would break out into songs and dance. I learned some new dance moves from the younger girls. I had such a wonderful time connecting and just being with them.

Being able to do devotions with the team in the morning, with the children in the evening, and also with the house moms was like food for the soul. Being able to disconnect from the world and reconnect with God on the farm was an experience I've never had before. The ability to focus in and listen to God only, is something I will never forget and hope to continue to receive and discern in my spiritual life. When things felt unsettled, confusing, and unknown; I shortly felt a sense of peace that can only translate into the Holy Spirit. 

Since leaving Zambia, I truly miss the children, house moms and staff I was able to connect with. They have taught me a different dynamic of family, gratefulness, humility, and peace. It all came like a storm of emotions and it was an unforgettable experience I will always cherish. God is truly amazing and His blessings flow through this beautiful organization. 

I miss it all and hope to go back soon. 

Melissa 

Long line up to get their teeth checked by Melissa during the feeding program.

Melissa checking the housemothers' teeth.

Encouraging the girls from the Girl Project.

Reading with the kids.

Preparing food for feeding program.

Say Cheese!

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