[written in Enugu, Nigeria, while living there as a full-time volunteer]
I think about all those yet-to-be-realized dreams out there, all the people with passionate purpose who just need a voice for their aspirations—articulated so precisely within, but unheard to those around them. Until the dreamer finds sound to express the syllables, sentences and soliloquies of her desire become determination, the dream remains silent within her. Silent, but not still: the fervor of words simultaneously substantial with significance and light with love tremble fiercely inside her. She cannot yet say them, but she feels them, the reverberations of what will translate from muted vibrations to shouted song. Her dream will one day fall upon others’ ears as the harmony she has for so long known but could only hum.
I think about all those dreams and their respective dreamers—quiet in their earnest planning and preparing—and I empathize. I think about them and want to urge them never to lose the poetry of their passion, for they will one day receive the voice to sweetly sing it into reality. Dreams will be.And when they are, each of our songs then contributes to the symphony of every determination germinated from desire, an opus of the world’s dreams now true.
Today I found my voice, and today I raised it in such a song. Humbly but eagerly, I sang of my deeply rooted dream to serve Africa’s HIV-positive population. Each verse filled with my experience with and knowledge of these fallen heroes, and my chorus a plea of pure love for them, I sang. I sang, and I listened. And I heard:
The HIV/AIDS program at Mother of Christ Hospital here in Enugu welcomes me to join them.Several movements comprise their musical masterpiece, three of which graciously invite my participation. Beginning on the first of April, I will administer tests and offer counseling to those seeking their HIV status. I will check for and encourage adherence to the necessary drug regiment for those who are indeed positive. I will help develop the upcoming Orphan and Vulnerable Children project, ensuring that these youth receive the holistic care they require—and deserve.
All this a tempo and rhythm I never expected my words to take, composing a song more magnificent and captivating than I would have hoped to wish for. A gloriously unexpected opportunity, my service in Nigeria will not only be the melody of a song I have so sincerely yearned for, it will teach me what I did not know I could sing. I of course question that I can perform as elegantly as I ought to, yet even if the words are sometimes off-key, they will never ring as anything less than resounding. And they will always, always be true.