The Greatness that Comes Through Suffering

I saw with new eyes how GRI is a refuge.

With these clinics, you have the option not to let malaria kill your baby. There are drugs to keep life-threatening illnesses at bay. When you come to the clinics, medical staff will be there, and if they can’t address the problem, you can be referred to a hospital. You can deliver your baby in a clean environment supervised by a midwife. You can receive preventative health education regularly. Some refugees have the chance of becoming a medic and working to help their communities.

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There’s a break. Hope for a different ending cracks through. There can be at least a temporary bigger purpose. The long-term questions, like when you can go home or when you can rebuild your life, go unanswered. But the mere presence of an option means there might be more. Something small can build.

Without those who have supported Global Refuge over the years, those who have believed that this work was worthwhile, these options would not be there. This group of 150,000 refugees served between the Odubu and Imvepi clinics, with our tiny staff and resources - along with all of the other refugees Global Refuge serves and has served - they are worthwhile.

The options will never compare. I will likely never discover the depth of resiliency that might possibly be within me. My life will likely never be nearly so inspiring as any of the millions of refugees there are in the world. A refugee may never have the comfort and security I experience on a daily basis.

And as far as my views on God, they’re living in a different framework. I don’t wish anyone would suffer. I also recognize the greatness that comes through suffering.

In America, we need to think, to pray, to reflect, to choose how we are going to use what we have to change things. But how do we start?

I’m not wise enough to understand the juxtaposition of why my life is the way it is compared to the life of a refugee, but I do know that it feels foolish not to do something with what I’ve been given. I think, for myself, I just need to start small.

When these worlds collide, you come back grateful, more focused, more complicated. You realize the impact you’re making on the world isn’t what you might want it to be, but you also see what can be done. You wonder how to begin. You want to start to change. You wonder how to explain things to your son when he gets to be big enough to understand.

Trips like these definitely make some big impressions.

What can we do today to inspire someone, even if it seems small?

-Christy Josten

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