The endless love and joy that radiated from Blessed Assurance is something that I will carry with me everyday of my life.
"When I returned from Jamaica, it seemed as if everyone around me wanted to hear about my experience. I often felt that I could not find the right words to say. I did not want to leave out an important part or over exaggerate a trivial event. So when my friends and family excitedly asked me how my trip was, I typically responded with, "It was amazing. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life." For those who wanted more detail I was proud to tell my entire story.
Arriving at Blessed Assurance was extremely exciting but a bit intimidating. I wondered if the children would like me, or if I was even capable of giving them the love that they yearned for. As did the other new missionaries, I stood quietly to the side, observing, while the returning missionaries reconnected with the children. However, it was only a matter of minutes before the mobile kids began running up to us as well. I was astonished how the children were so eager to hug us and sit on our laps when we were complete strangers. They truly did not care how high your GPA was, or what you were wearing, or how much money you had. All of those kids only cared about one thing, love.
The endless love and joy that radiated from Blessed Assurance is something that I will carry with me everyday of my life. Seeing those children, full of happiness and appreciation for what little they have, showed me how simple life can be. One girl named Kareem, made an impact on me the most. Kareem is in a wheelchair and she is blind. She also has autism which causes her to consistently tap her head in order to cope with her discomfort. I often sat with Kareem and held her hands to try to relax her. Once in awhile, Kareem would have a few seconds where she would no longer tap her head and she would sit quietly or even laugh. These moments made me so incredibly happy. The fact that she must deal with so many disabilities yet still find moments of pure joy, inspired me. I realized I had no right to complain over meaningless "problems" in my own life. I felt blessed and grateful for all of the amazing things that I have been gifted with and I vowed to never take those things for granted again.
Leaving Jamaica was extremely hard and I wondered how I could possibly go back to America without seeing the kids everyday. But I soon realized that the best way to stay close to all of the children at Blessed Assurance, even from over 1,600 miles away, was to spread the love and happiness that they had given to me, to everyone I encountered back home. It is through the strength of this love, that I hope to someday return to Blessed Assurance and be with those children once again."