School Sisters of Notre Dame – Africa

Transforming the World through Education

A Broken Life Fashioned by Love


This reflection is from Magdalene Umoh, a Novice doing her apostolic time at the Orthopedic Training Center in Nsawam.

Can you imagine the power of love breaking through death? The ultimate of all gifts to any individual is genuine love expressed in the light of Jesus’ love for us on the cross. I feel strongly convinced that no matter ones physical or psychological limitation, all we need do is to love and love well. Never in our life should we dream of denying any one love, for when denied, we deny giving life as co-creator with God. I feel touched, moved and passionate to share a story about a young girl Afia whose life I have shared and witnessed God truly as a mystery these past months. Afia was born at the age of 29 weeks with club feet deformity domineering at that time. Afia who was rescued by Hanukkah orphanage Sunyani was brought to OTC Nsawam for rehabilitation. She had other deformities that were unknown at birth but began to manifest as her days and weeks pass by in OTC. Afia is apparently 3 months old and has brought forth signs of cerebral palsy and was hydrocephalic which touched us and drew our compassionate heart to sort for a better and healthy future for her. A couple of scans have been carried out on her and she has eventually been diagnosed to have very little brain for survival. She is blind and she could possibly be speech impaired and mentally retarded with a hole in the spine which would leave her in an intensive care paralyzed for the rest of her being. In all of this, she has no biological parents to support her during this hard reality of her life. Though Afia was very sick and septic about six weeks ago, she has lived to see this day being nurtured by our love, care, support and prayers. Sitting in silence to ponder what life holds for this child, I blinked my eyes in tears, unable to grasp but suddenly a voice whispered to me that some thing deep in all of us yearns for God’s beauty and we can always find it no matter where we are and who is involved. I dare not fail to mention Catherine, a young mother from the orphanage who has been with Afia all this time, leaving her kids in the care of another person for about 9 weeks now. She has contributed life to this child by her motherly love and affection, May God bless her richly. Walking with Afia during this hard time has revealed to me that we become authentic and saintly people when we lay down our lives for others in love as we in OTC in one way or the other have truly been a sign of Bread that is Blessed Broken and Shared in the life of this child. I have no doubt there were times the demands may have consumed us in doubt and fear, conveying levels of emotions and feelings yet, our Faith kept us going be cause we trusted in the power of love as Christ has commanded. Still, we are left with multiple questions to wonder and ask WHY? ‘Can you for once imagine yourself living with very little brain in such a miserable condition for life? How then do we take life for granted? Neglecting the minute’s ingredients that make life worth living? Life though full of risk and uncertainties, provides us with precious opportunities to step back and experience the divine in all people, all thing and all situation no matter how hopeless the situation might seem. The journey through life may sometimes throw us into the clouds of fear, doubt, regrets, imaginative thinking and reasoning especially in this our on going contemporary world of scientific and technological research. Yet, in the midst of all this, the nature of the Divine can never be fully comprehended by any one despite the advancement. I have no regret to say God bring certain people and situation our way even when we least expect nor feel reluctant to embrace. God will always gift us with the tools and graces we most need to carry on the task. This experience so much bespeaks a communal faith journey that involves a difficult and painful learning process on the long road of discipleship. As we travel along the path of life, let us not forget that though the challenges of life may some times place us beyond the reach of human being especially when the future seems to look bleak and hopeless, it can never place us beyond the reach of God who loves us so tenderly and so dearly.

Meg and Afia

Novice Meg and Afia. She has stolen many hearts!


2 thoughts on “A Broken Life Fashioned by Love

  1. Beautiful! God bless aoll at otc.

  2. The story alone steals the hearts of SSND! OTC is making a huge impact on the lives of many who could be forgotten

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