There are some emotions for which no human language has words. Each of us encounters a moment of such ethereal depth only so many times in our lives. In wordless moments such as these, we are reaching a sort of climax, a peak of human emotion. I believe that these moments allow us to bypass the limits of our world and lightly brush at the feet of the rich well of sentiment that awaits us in heaven. On Monday, I experienced such a moment, a moment beyond words. The things that Family Spirit school and orphanage made me feel in Masindi are difficult for me to express. They came on slowly and quietly, but as soon as they fell upon my shoulders, they hit with a heavy weight that both freed and enveloped me with its wholeness. The whole experience was a lot like scuba diving and unexpectedly surfacing under a cave rather than the open sky. What I mean by this is that I had no idea what I had come upon until I was shoulder-deep and totally awe-struck, wading in new waters.
After twenty hours of flying and landing in four different countries, we have finally made it to Africa! I have truly fallen in love. This city, this country, the fullness of its air, and the richness of its flavors; they have all captivated me and brought me to a place far away from the speed and fog of life in the States. We have spent the past two days in Kampala visiting Passion Partners’ Restoration Home in Wakiso. This home, comprised of an outdoor and indoor kitchen, living area with television, 7 bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms, hosts 42 girls. It is a huge blessing as it towers in comparison to the small, one bedroom building down the hill which once housed the original 17 Restoration Home girls.
The building is attached to a church and under 24/7 security surveillance as it is in the middle of a run-down area within the busy, urban capital. We first met the restoration girls around 5:00pm on Thursday when they came pouring in from school in their uniform haircuts and cornflower blue school dresses. They embraced us with their warm, vibrant smiles and genuine laughter. I had the opportunity to hug and (slowly) exchange names with each one of the girls as they came home from school and stopped in for their afternoon tea. It didn’t take long for our meeting between strangers to become conversation between sisters, and before I knew it, my teammates and I were cornered by a pack of giggling girls asking all sorts of questions about our thoughts on Africa, the United States, and, of course, our hair. I sat on the steps as at least seven laughing girls formed an entourage of braiders in my hair and the other girls worked relentlessly to teach us Ugandan phrases. Talking with the girls has certainly been my favorite past-time thus far. Our conversations reflect the sort of genuine love in interaction, which I so deeply desire for my life.
While I may not be prepared to pronounce my Swahili just yet, I am as ready as I will ever be for my trip. After much anticipation, the time is finally here!
The timing is right and I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting team to be travelling with. It truly is sweet to be walking in the divine path of my Father all the way to Africa. Thank you, Candice and Margaret, for so thoughtfully orchestrating such a purposeful time of learning and loving. All the good works performed on this trip will be because of the goodness of Her Passion Ministries and their global missions team, Passion Partners. (Please check them out) www.passionpartners.com
Belmont’s School of Nursing was recently listed as the No. 2 Nursing School in the South in “The Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools,” published on Scrubsmag.com. The program was also ranked in the top 25 institutions nationwide in the article. All ratings and reviews in the guide were based on data submitted by nurses between June and September last year.
Scrubsmag.com, an active online blog and community for nurses, is the companion website to Scrubs magazine, which debuted in November 2009. Content for both the magazine and the website is based on the full, varied and expansive entirety of a nurse’s life.
Three Belmont undergraduate nursing students, Paige Nunnelly, Andrew Rainer, and Erin Roder were recently awarded Promise of Nursing for Tennessee Scholarships. The scholarships are based on academic achievement, financial need, and involvement in nursing student organizations and community activities related to health care. The scholarship committee chose from hundreds of applications for these awards with only nine scholarships being given state-wide. The Promise of Nursing for Tennessee scholarship program is administered by the Foundation of the National Students Nurses’ Association. Funding for the scholarship program was contributed by hospitals and health care agencies in Tennessee, by Johnson & Johnson, and by national companies with an interest in supporting nursing education.
I am just twenty days away from this crazy adventure and I thought that now would be a good time to really explain the details of what I'm doing and what has brought me here.
Two years ago, Nurses Christian Fellowship began its first year of work on Belmont's campus. In search of a service project for the spring, we somehow landed upon the remarkable story of Candice Ashburn and Her Passion Ministries. Candice Ashburn is a wonderful speaker, leader, teacher, philanthropist, and woman of God in the community of Nashville. When her husband passed away in a tragic plane crash while on route to perform an emergency organ donation, Candice chose that moment to begin listening to God's call to apply her heart, her means, and her entire world to service.
Mission to Cambodia 2013
from Radha Patel
Today, we got to experience Phnom penh on our own. I woke up at 5:30, despite staying up to be with our Cambodian friends, to walk the streets of Cambodia and see the sun rise one last time. I got 4, if not less, hours of sleep. I find it to be the most peaceful place I've ever been. I've never felt more comfortable and at peace than I have in Cambodia. We walk along the main road where the Independence monument stands.
Our walk leads us to the Mekong River. Here we watch loads of people hurry off the boats at the dock. People come from afar just to work here. People, motos, tuk-tuks, and even cars filed off the boat. They were filled with adults and children. I couldn't imagine having to load a boat just to travel to work. Everyday these people wake up early just for the opportunity to make money.While I stood there abd watched all of them get off the boat, I noticed an older man and a young boy behind me.
Some people may be wondering why it took me so long to write my blog for this trip. I wish I had a deep answer that would suffice, however, the truth is I have been to busy enjoying Cambodia to write it. This does give me an opportunity to reflect on the trip as a whole and analyze things that have changed within me as a result of nearly three weeks in the Khmer culture.
This trip started out as a nursing trip, but quickly shifted into a mission from God. We were able to do tremendous things on this trip including building a house for family in need, going into utter poverty to take food and medicine to those who would otherwise be without, and observe some amazing work within the hospitals and churches of Cambodia. There was a myriad of emotions running through us as each new challenge arose. A bit of pride in the things we were able to accomplish quickly resolved into humility as we realized that the impact Cambodia would have on us far outweighed the impact we had on it.
Our last day in Battambang was very bittersweet. We are all excited about the upcoming return home, but we have all fallen in love with the people of Cambodia. Personally, I also fell in love with the Handa Emergency Hospital in Battambang. People in Cambodia ride “motos,” or motorcycles almost all the time. And the traffic in Cambodia is terrifying. Because of that combination, there are way too many moto accidents. As we walked into the hospital for the first time, we saw many legs in traction, head wounds, broken pelvises, etc. Trauma injuries. Unfortunately, we also saw some children who had found something in the ground and began playing with it, only to find out it was a mine. As an earlier blogger mentioned, the rainy seasons bring old mines from the 1970s back to the surface, and can even wash them into new areas. Somebody can be walking the same path for 20 years, and one day there could be a mine waiting for them. I can only imagine how it must feel to know that there could be bombs beneath your feet at any moment, just waiting for someone to step on it.
Mission to Cambodia 2013
from Talitha Jones
Along the paths of the chaotic local markets where various bargain matches are heard amongst the fortress of booths filled with colorful scarves, bracelets, and decorative carvings of elephants and Buddha heads you will see long rows separating the venders. These rows are lined with t-shirts galore, often with funny Cambodian sayings. One of my personal favorites is “same same but different.” In Cambodia same same means different so when English people say “same thing” Cambodians often think they mean different. You see the confusion. But however you say it “same same” or “different”, that pretty much sums up me on this trip. Being the only non-nursing student, I had very different prior medical knowledge, a different major, different expectations and as a result a very different overall experience. My name is Talitha and I am a Pre-med biology major crashing the nursing party and loving every minute!