#B2B2016: Emma McCoubrey Blog

Three of the main things that I talked about for months and I was the most excited about, all happened today and I know this was the perfect time to write my blog. Firstly I’d just like to put it straight that this place is beyond incredible and I now fully understand what everyone meant when they told me “you won’t understand until your out there”

Today when we woke up we were told that we were going to Sunday morning service in another township just outside of George. I was completely loving it and couldn’t wait to get straight in. We arrived at about 11 and as we drove up to the church we turned the music down in the combi and heard the music from inside the church and as we pulled up we all couldn’t get in quick enough. As I walked up to it I just felt this positive energy coming from inside and when we walked in I looked around the place and noticed that not one person inside the place was sitting down they were all up on their feet dancing and singing with nothing but joy and praise written all over their faces, the place was simply electric. Once we saw everyone else enjoying themselves I thought to myself I'm in Africa, I made it here I'm not going home with regrets or feeling as if I didn't give it my all so straight away I was up dancing at the front of the church. The feeling of welcome that the people in the church made you feel was unreal, it made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just my reminiscing on what I saw today. I feel that I was so lucky to experience something like this and I know I’ll never forget it, if only church was like that back home I know I would be there every week.

We then went to the old peoples home which I was even more ecstatic about, this time entering somewhere that I never been before I felt a sense of comfort as I entered the place. I walked into the home and straight away I noticed this big smile on an old mans face, me and him just locked eyes and I introduced myself to him. His name was Abraham who had me calling him Simon the whole day because he told me that was his name to joke about and me being me I was gullible enough to play along with his joke. This man honestly brought pure joy into my life, he reminded me so much of my Granda when he was still alive; so full of life and gave me words of wisdom to always respect my parents which I know I will take on board, I know thats why I stuck to him the whole day as it brought me back to happier memories. We shared stories and that we both enjoyed painting and art so we sat and coloured in, he then went on to say that he loved action movies and loved Batman and my eyes light up because i’m the biggest Batman fan you'll ever meet in your life, he was like my best mate from this moment on. He was so genuine and honest and as I was speaking to him could just tell that he was appreciating every minute I was giving to him. Something Ive learnt out here was that time is precious so use it wisely and embrace every opportunity that you get to make somebody’s day because it can go a very long way. Abraham was someone who I inspire to be like when I’m older, he was old and frail but was so happy and had such a positive perspective on life. We had him dancing in the middle of the home which had everyone in stitches and when he was finished he turned round and said to me “I may be 72 but I feel 19, age means nothing if your having fun”. Even by making that mans day and him enjoying himself just by devoting my time is such a good feeling inside.

On the way home we took a different route and nobody had a clue where we were going. When we’re travelling to these places I just sit and observe, I take all of my surroundings in, Africa is such a beautiful place with such poverty and negativity towards the country, then you see the landscapes and you meet the people inside it and thats what makes it unique, its still hard to take in that im actually here. We pulled up to a lake and the view was unreaI said to myself I feel as if im standing here staring at an oil painting. We walked around the place then made our way down to a place where there was all rocks and we sat beside the water where Grace sat and told us her story. Her courage and outlook on life after all that she's been through is mind blowing. When she spoke everyone just engaged and as I looked around the group I could see that by what she was saying everyone was clicking with it, taking even a small piece from what she was saying and learning from it there and then in that moment. I don’t think she understands how strong of a person she really is and how much of an impact it can have even on me as an individual. When your in a dark place and are facing obstacles in your life, you feel as if you have no-one but one thing we need to realise is that we will always have ourselves to rely on; we feel the need to beat ourselves up and constantly go over the bad things about ourselves instead of the good things. To improve ourselves we have the power to choose our own path in life, everyone is faced with difficult times but when you put your mind to it, focus on it and fight it the outcome will be so rewarding and you’ll become a better person than you once were.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, to show the compassion and will to help others”

This saying was one that I came across the night before my interview to get myself out here, it one of them ones that seriously motivated me and in the church today someone caught my eye as I was watching around me. I seen a sign that said ‘Called to serve’ and it just hit me; im meant to be here, me being out here happened for a reason. Thinking back on before I got picked it was a point in my life where I was feeling myself giving up more and more each day, but being selected gave me hope that I never knew I had before. Everyday out here has been phenomenal for me and Ive only been here 5 days so I cant wait to see what the rest of this trip has in store for me; I definitely wont be leaving South Africa the same person that entered it.

“Be the good you want to see in the world.”

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