One of the best, and sometimes hardest, parts of working at Galmi is the constant flow of visitors who come for a few weeks or months to help us out. What I love most about having short-termers is they leave us with their leftover coffee and chocolate.
No . . . wait . . . I think that came out wrong.
What I meant to say was, they often help renew our perspective. They remind us how to look at our surroundings with new eyes. The challenge us to keep striving and not give up. They make us remember what we love about life here.
Yesterday was a hard day. I have several kiddos that are really suffering . . . and it gets taxing having to put them through more pain 'for their own good.'
But for one of our visiting students, yesterday was a breaking point.
I had the four short-term girls over for dinner and we spent some time after just sitting, talking, laughing, crying and praying.
One of our new friends leaves today. She's from central Europe and English is her third, maybe fourth language. We asked her what to describe her favorite part of being in Galmi. Her answer was brilliant and exactly what I needed to hear.
She told us about the pharmacy where she works in her home country. It's a public pharmacy and therefore she is always being pushed to sell the expensive name-brand meds, but she is often conflicted as they have many poor customers who cannot afford the drugs.
'I loved being here because no one limits my mercy.'
As she continued, I began to think about my work in the US. I had to account for every 15 minutes of my day. I had to justify my treatment choices to an insurance company or MediCare. If I wanted to pray with a patient, it was on my own time.
In my profession, the Spiritual Context is a recognized aspect of holistic care we are to provide as Occupational Therapists. However, working at a hospital in the US doesn't allow for that. But here, at Galmi, it's encouraged. My supervisors ENCOURAGE me to pray with patients when they are hurting and suffering. If I stop to provide spiritual care here, it's not a wasted 15-minute billable-treatment-unit.
So, I echo my new friend. I love working at Galmi because it is a place where my mercy can be limitless.