Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back to my Alma Mater

As of this writing, I'm sitting in the new Lifestyle Center at Uchee Pines Institute in Alabama. Who would have guessed that I would come back here as a volunteer one day? Well, at least I wouldn't have thought it would happen.

As it is in the nature of such places, a lot of things have changed since I was here as a student and volunteer. Many people have left, and many new people have come. In these past weeks, mainly through conversations with the current students and workers, I got to reflect a lot about the time I was living here, which was from 2006 to 2008. I was trained in the old Lifestyle Center, a nice homy place, yet a little too small to accommodate the number of people who come here for education and treatment. That's why they endeavored to build a new, bigger facility. And after many years of constructing and raising money, constructing and raising money, and of course a lot of prayer, they were finally able to start operations in the spring of 2010. That's the story in a nutshell.

So now I'm back to my Alma Mater. And I'm back as a lifestyle counselor. I must say that I did not specifically ask for this position. I would have been perfectly happy if they had assigned me to the kitchen, to the health food store, or the office - I just wanted to come and volunteer for a little while. However, for them it went without saying that I would do this kind of work again.

The thing is that this facility is new to me, and many things have changed. For example, the LC's (lifestyle counselors) do much more physical exams on the health guests than we used to do. Not to mention the fact that the equipment is mostly different. But this place is very well designed and I begin to feel more comfortable working here. We just ended the first lifestyle session of 2015, which was a rather small one with only 9 guests. I was supposed to shadow one of the female counselors, but I ended up getting much more hands-on experience than I would have expected. In many ways, it was a true blessing to work with the guests, especially with this 92-year old lady (see picture below), and the staff here is very kind and helpful.

Nevertheless, I still need to learn and refresh a LOT! So I can't say that I feel adequate to already work with my own health guest from next session on (starting this Sunday). However, the words of one of the former farm managers of this place are now ringing in my ears: "It's good if we feel inadequate, otherwise we wouldn't depend on the Lord". So with this motto in mind I'm praying for strength, guidance and wisdom for the coming weeks!

Back to my Alma Mater

With Sister Leta - my favorite health guest :-)

1 comment:

leadler said...

May God bless your ministry,you are a blessed woman