School Sisters of Notre Dame – Africa

Transforming the World through Education


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A Special Gift

Beatrice at the Orphanage

Beatrice at the Orphanage

Novice Beatrice Mwalimu writes of her ministry.

I minister in an orphanage; Hanukkah Children’s Home. The children are of different ages, schooling from kindergarten to Junior Secondary(freshman). A few among them are challenged both physically and mentally. The boy Lucas attracted me.

Lucas a small boy aged ten, is in Kindergarten. He is physically challenged by paralyzed legs. He uses his two hands to move. He can move as fast as the rest of the young ones. The first time I went to Hanukkah, I was struck to see this boy crawling to reach us as others walked. I asked one of the boys to help, but he said, “Have no worry, he will come.” I was surprised to see him crawl to the small hut where we were.

At first he was resistant when I invited him to come and play with us. He later came and sat on the ground, under the bench, and he started playing with our legs. Watching him keenly I responded by moving my legs up and down and that is how we started communicating. First play, then talk. I was so happy to see him laugh when I yelled as he touched my legs. It was a motivation to him to play more. At some point he climbed on the bench and played with my hair. He told us the experiences of the school he attends. This boy can tell stories not only in words but in actions, too. He acted as the teacher and we became his students. He brought out all the characteristics of his teacher and he said the common words used in a school setup, for instance, “class, Keep quiet; behave like your brother; run to the assembly; spell the words correctly” and many more.

 

Beatrice and Lucas

Beatrice and Lucas

Lucas’ way of relating is unique. He invites a relationship using words such as, “leave me alone, I will not come to you; run before I catch you” and this leads us to play by chasing one another. Eventually we come together to sing songs he learns in church like “God loves me, oh yes he loves me.” We also share the bible verses and act the teacher-student game.

Lucas is jovial, intelligent, relational, and always lively. He does not feel less; he laughs and plays a lot. He is a disciplined boy and he feels proud to act as a teacher. Lucas is a gift to me. I am always filled with joy when I am with him. I also get inspired to thank God for Lucas’ special gifts which have given me another way of re-imaging God in every person.

Beatrice and friends

Beatrice and friends

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