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Finding True Happiness Through Service: My Medical Mission Experience with GMAD

Author: Henna Isaza-Lopez, Nurse Manager

In a world often consumed by the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to overlook the
profound impact we can have by simply reaching out a helping hand. Recently, I had the
privilege of embarking on my first medical mission to Ghana Make a Difference (GMAD),
an organization dedicated to sheltering children rescued from slavery, abandonment,
and abuse, while also providing crucial medical and surgical care to underserved

Stepping into the heart of GMAD’s mission was a humbling experience. The children at
the shelter, once victims of unimaginable circumstances, now exuded resilience and
hope. Their laughter and smiles, despite the hardships they had endured, served as a
poignant reminder of the power of resilience and the importance of extending a
compassionate hand to those in need.

My role on this mission was twofold: to provide medical care to underserved patients
and to interact with the children at the home. As I tended to the medical needs of the
community, I was struck by the overwhelming gratitude of those I served. In the midst of
limited resources and challenging conditions, their resilience and appreciation for even
the smallest gesture of care were truly inspiring.

Yet, it was the moments spent with the children that left the most lasting impression on
me. Their stories, though often marked by tragedy, were intertwined with threads of
hope and resilience. Despite their past experiences, they embraced life with an
unwavering sense of joy and optimism. In their laughter and play, I found a profound
sense of purpose and fulfillment.

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of my experience with GMAD was the people I
encountered along the way. From fellow volunteers to the dedicated staff, each person I
met was equipped with a generous heart and a service mindset. Together, we formed a
community united by a shared commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

It is said that “it takes a village,” and nowhere is this more evident than in the work of
organizations like GMAD. By coming together, we can harness the collective power of
compassion and service to effect meaningful change in the world around us. Whether
through providing medical care, offering a listening ear, or simply sharing a smile, each
act of kindness has the potential to make a profound impact on someone’s life.

As I reflect on my time with GMAD, I am reminded of a quote by an unknown author:
“When we love and serve those around us with no expectation for anything in return, that
is where true happiness is found.” In serving others, we not only enrich the lives of those
we touch but also find fulfillment and joy in the process.