Mar 2011 18

Today was my first day back out in the garden after a long, hard winter. The debris of many storms is everywhere…not just downed branches, but huge trees, mud piles & ruts left after the windstorms, floods and snow plowing. The landscape seems to be scarred and weary. BUT…the tips of daffodils & crocuses are beginning to push their way through the sad, brown soil. How wonderful to be reminded that new life, new strength, new hope is just around the corner…

In the same way, what we do in Africa with our medical teams, teacher training crews & village health projects brings fresh joy & optimism to those who have lived in despair or despondency for a long time…maybe even for all of their lifetimes. I wish you could see the smiles on their faces when we arrive with our teams of workers, or maybe read their emails, such as this one from Pastor Nouh Yattara in Timbuktu, Mali, after we installed a well into a desolate desert area where the women have had to walk for miles to find water each day: “…THANK YOU SO MUCH for all what has been accomplished through you  so far. Elabdach people are just speechless on how to thank and how to appreciate the water…the well is their first visible and easy to show  asset on the land of their ancestors!”

This past year, our Compassion Corps workers were able to carry out our vision to “unleash hope” for thousands of people through our 3 medical team trips (2 in Haiti & 1 in Uganda) and through our teacher training team in Liberia. Where so many languished under the burden of poverty, disease & malnutrition, our team members stirred up embers of hope. In the wake of civil war in Liberia, where so few children can hope for a good education, our teachers worked hard to strengthen the minds, hands & hearts of many young and eager teachers.

These tangible touches of love are like sunshine warming the dormant ground, generating the energy for new life to happen. How we are looking forward to revisiting these & other places this year, to help nurture their efforts to push through, to stand, to rebuild and to thrive!

Please note:  There is still room left on our summer teams, which are headed to Liberia in June and Morocco in July. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Beth McMillen at [email protected] as soon as possible!

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