This summer I came back to Vietnam for my fourth trip with an organization called Summer Service Camp. There were alot of issues this year with work permits and clinic sites, and at some points it was so easy to get discouraged and wonder if what we were doing actually made a difference. This wonderful woman dispelled all of those doubts in an instant.
On the second to last clinic day we gave out wheelchairs, walkers and canes. She came in for a cane and waited over 2 hours, patiently but excitedly anticipating the moment she could try her brand new cane. I went to sit next to her because she was beyond adorable, and imagine my surprise to find out she spoke Chinese. So with my limited experience in Mandarin, I began to have a conversation with her. This smiling and excited woman has gone through a life none of us can even begin to imagine, and faced hardships I pray no one here ever will have to. And yet still she finds a reason to smile. Me and another member of the camp walked her as far as we could towards her house, and the immense gratitude and love she showed us for such a small gesture was overwhelming. She kept telling us “I barely know you but I already love you”. I will always remember her and the unbridled joy and warmth she filled my heart with. I may never see her again, but she will be someone that I will never forget, and I thank God for this opportunity. I came to Vietnam to touch and change the lives of the Vietnamese population, and instead found myself forever altered by the love of a beautiful woman.