From an ACT Mission Trip Member: “…I felt invested…”
The following is a repost from one of our ACT Mission Trip team members currently in China:
Day 1 in the orphanage was overwhelming. I loved playing with the 5-7 month old babies. SS was a happy, smiley baby girl. She seemed healthy with good development. PZ was another sweet baby. But, what made the day hard was the baby with CP. I feel deeply in love. I think the Lord is calling me to special needs. We have a PT in our team room and she was showing me how to care for this need. She didnâ€™t have a lot of head control or control in her arms and legs. I spent a good amount of the day stretching her arms and massaging her palms. Her right hand gripped my finger tightly. It was then that I felt invested, committed. Her left hand was still limp with no dexterity. I kept working on it in small doses with intermittent neck movements and arm stretches. I helped her with a chopping motion. She didnâ€™t like it. She would cringe lightly with the movement of crossing her arms in front of her body. We tried some belly time. She laid like an airplane with her chest in my palm. I held a toy in front of her and helped her grab it. Her heart rate went up. I could feel each heart beat pound in my hand. She was getting the exercise she needed. I smiled.
She was working so hard. She was strong. I gave her a break and just held her, rubbing her back before we tried belly time a while later. After the second belly time, I had her in my lap when suddenly, with her left hand, she gripped my knee. I leaped for joy inside! Shortly after, she fell asleep in my arms. She worked so hard, and I was so proud.
When this team member entered the same room for Day 2, ready to pursue this sweet child again, she was handed a different baby. She thought, â€œI donâ€™t want this baby this morning. I want my little girl from yesterdayâ€¦how can I get my hands on her instead!â€ As she was surveying the scene to strategize to that end, she stopped.
One of the ayis was in the corner of the room doing the exact exercises with the baby girl that our team member had done the day before. She had watched her from a distance without asking questions, observing, noticing the progress, seeing the joy in our team member when the baby girl gripped her knee. And, now, there she was, doing exactly what the PT had shown our team member to do.
If only for that one moment, if only for that one ayi, if only for that one baby receiving what she needs, this trip with 15 people was worth it.
– Reposted with permission from Kelly
Our ACT Missions trip schedule already includes several trips for 2015 and many more will be added. Be A Storyteller and plan to join us on a trip to an orphanage next year with your friends, church family or join another team.