Tawah Denis traveled to Jacob’s Ladder in May of this year with the Gwynedd Mercy University Nursing Program. Learn more about Tawah and the journey that led her to be a mission volunteer with Mustard Seed.
Tell us a little about yourself and what made you want to go on a Mustard Seed Mission trip?
I’m originally from Liberia, West Africa. I was just 11 years old when the war started. It was a very difficult time for my family and I and we spent six years running from camp to camp before finally landing in a refugee camp where we spent 14 years. In 2015, I was granted a visa to come to the United States. I am now studying to be a nurse at Gwynedd Mercy University.
When I was growing up, missionaries came to our town and I always noticed how helpful they were. During the war in Liberia, I went to a refugee camp and again saw a lot of missionaries assisting us in the camps. I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to do the same. When I saw the application for volunteers to come to Mustard Seed Communities, I was overwhelmed with joy as it was my dream coming to pass.
How did the Mustard Seed mission trip impact you?
In Liberia, no one cared about people with disabilities. There were no options for them and their families. They were not treated well, not given the dignity and respect they deserve. Sometimes people with disabilities would get hurt or even killed. Everyone would act like they were so different.
It was so nice coming to Mustard Seed and seeing that someone cares about people with disabilities and that they have a home. I would love to bring this work back to Liberia. I want people with disabilities there to know that they are loved and cared for, too.
What was your favorite moment on your mission trip?
I loved the residents and seeing the smiles on their faces when we were giving them manicures and pedicures. I also loved dancing with them!
What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
I learned to be humble. Something as simple as a touch can make someone’s day better – in order to be connected you have to be humble. Once you are humble, you can give better care to patients.
What advice would you give to volunteers who are interested in joining a mission trip with Mustard Seed?
Once you leave your country to go to another country, don’t have a lot of expectations about how the experience will be. Don’t get discouraged. Be humble. Be willing to work with anyone. You have to be willing to adapt and work with the situation you have been given. The residents will change your life.
Tawah getting ready with the residents for the end of week talent show at Jacob’s Ladder, a tradition loved by mission volunteers and residents.