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Posted by admin7 on July 06, 2011

Moments of illumination: Have you ever had an unplanned moment of deep reflection?  A moment where you are face up with a life lesson?  A moment where a lesson is vividly illustrated and acted out in real life?  I had one, vivid such moment recently.  In May this year, I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Freetown, Sierra Leone with a good friend Phillip Sholes.  During the trip, I met with many of the beneficiaries that Develop Africa is working with - through a number of programs.  It was so fulfilling to talk with them and to hear of how the support that Develop Africa is providing is making a difference in their lives.  For instance, through the sewing machines that have been provided, they are learning how to sew and become independent.  Mosquito nets and vitamins are helping to keep them well.  After school coaching programs, books, uniforms, scholarships, teaching and school supplies etc. are contributing to the development of fine young minds.  

Back to School - Learning From Every Opportunity:  As we interacted with them, I observed their determination, courage, focus, energy and contentment.  Their circumstances and opportunities appeared to be "limited" - at least from the natural perspective.  Nonetheless, They were cheerful, determined and worked very hard.  It seemed obvious that they had some "challenges", but they faithfully forged ahead with smiles on their faces.   They approached life with energy, faith and a firm belief that tomorrow would be better than today.  

As we worked together and rubbed shoulders, something rubbed off on me.  I caught something... I re-learned the essence of appreciating what you have and making the best use of whatever you have.  I learned again the importance of pressing on in the face of almost unsurmountable odds and not giving up.  I learned how to appreciate the simple things of life and to be thankful for whatever you have. 

Back to school

That day, I counted by blessings, naming them one by one, as the hymn that I learnt and sang many, many moons ago in the UMC church.  It was refreshing.  I had a moment of illumination!  The light came on.  It was a moment of transition.  It was a wake up call to go "back to the basics".  I saw the world anew from an additional lens.  A new perspective dawned.  I gratefully received the call and welcomed the opportunity to be  back in school (as the words on the sheet of paper that I held in the above picture reads). 

Such experiences have a way of "denting" you and lingering.  It has 5 weeks since and today as I reflect, I continue to learn from this encounter....  I am wiser.  I will never be the same again...  

I hope you are wiser too after reading this post?  Have you had any such "illuminating" experiences?