Friday, November 26, 2010

Learning How to Live

I see the faces of little ones full of joy and enthusiasm as they run carelessly through the long grass; I then take hold of their hands which grip mine tightly and I wish deep in my heart that their future’s could have more hope than what I see before me. I see their eagerness to go to school but the brightness finishes at high school. Most likely after they will get married and if they are girls they may be abandoned by the father and left to look after their young children by themselves. If they don’t have the opportunity to go to school they will end up working in the fields the rest of their lives or selling tomatoes at the market. I feel much pain for the youth here who have to grow up in a country with such huge barriers before them: lack of opportunities to study and to work, corrupt government systems etc. Not only the youth but also the adults here who have to support their families and try to find the most means possible to get their kids through school. I feel a slight sense of guilt as I prepare to leave to Canada where I know I will have things much easier than the Congolese people. It also is difficult for me to say goodbye to those who are truly suffering in the present moment and knowing that their situation will continue since there are no other possible means here to help them. For example Mado, the young girl with hydrocephalus, who is left day after day by herself in her bed with little attention from her family, will most likely continue to live in this condition. Despite my efforts to talk with the family and tell them how they should look after her and bathe her more often etc., it just doesn’t seem to get across to them. It crushes me to know that some things will not change; people will continue to feel rejection, go to bed hungry, lack money for proper medication and for education. The reality for these people is one that unfortunately will take a lot of time to improve. Little by little I hope that the Congolese take some pride in their country and start making some changes. All I can do is hope that I have given encouragement and some knowledge that will help them in their lives.

As my days have just about come to an end my soul really speaks to me. It is telling me: Lydia, it is not what surrounds you where your joy comes from but from within yourself. I can carry my joy wherever I go in life and this is something truly important. Yes I am sad to leave behind these people and the children but I know that I can help people wherever I go. Africa will forever be in my heart. It has been this magical land that has whispered words of wisdom to me and taught me the importance of life. It is not what we do but who we are. Our lives our short and we need to be okay with the fact that if we die today that we will be content with how much we have loves our neighbours and whether we have lived for ourselves or for God. This journey for me has been about learning how to live: to walk in the love of God, to breathe freely, free of pressure and stress, to live in the moment and not to miss the beauty that is right in front of you, to live always with God in our minds and to live in genuine gratefulness for every blessing that comes to us. Africa, you are a sweet melody to my ear; you open my suffocated soul to see the life in it’s purest form: living for the moment. The vivid clouds, the soaring hawks, the dragonflies that pause in the air and then dart forward in the dancing wind all paint an image on my soul. How can I return home and be anxious or worried about anything after living in Africa where one is transformed into a being that is free to love. I have realized how much the world’s mentality that wealth and riches will make you happy is the reverse. I am envious of these people and the freedom they have in their souls. I am envious of their strength to endure hardships. They are able to continue to live despite their sufferings: it is as though nothing can touch or break them a part.
My journey in the Congo has come to an end but will stay forever in my heart as I take on my next journey.

1 comment:

  1. I love you Lyds. These are words I need to hear. Thank you. I can't wait to hug you soon and look in your eyes knowing how God has changed you.

    Lots of love. Laura.

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