My Time In The Joy Village
By Madison Acra
I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Joy Village. This was an amazing experience, and I had the opportunity to meet some truly special people. All day Thursday and Friday I helped Dr. Talty perform physicals for the children. Despite this being the first time I had met them, after looking at their charts and hearing their stories, it was very cool to see the progress they have made over the years both physically and socially. When we finished the physicals I was able to go outside, play with the kids, talk to them, and form bonds that I will never forget. After spending the Friday night at Joy Village, we were able to spend most of the day Saturday with the kids, playing and seeing their daily routines. Whether they were washing their backpacks, carrying in laundry, or running around playing soccer, they all had smiles on their faces.
All of the kids had a big impact on me, but one in particular stood out. This was Achu. He was 8 years old but was about the size of a 4 year old. The best part about him was the huge grin he always had on his face. He was missing his two front teeth so it made it look like he had two little fangs each time he smiled. What was so special about him, other than his amazing smile, was that he would always go over to the chicken coops where a lot of the older kids were working and he would always want to help them hammering or sawing boards, or whatever else they were doing. It was evident that he wanted to be treated like others his age, but because of his size it made it difficult. The bigger kids would often keep him to the side, seeming in a way to protect him, and although he often couldn’t do much to help, he always stuck around and did whatever he could. This left me with a pretty clear message that no matter your size or age you can still be useful and always stick with it instead of just giving up when things get tough. These past three days at Joy Village were extremely special, moving, and especially fun. The 60 or so kids that call it home showed me that no matter what hand God has dealt you and how bad a situation may be, there is still room for joy and happiness and smiles, because you have been blessed with another day that you can make the most of.