After Daniel had finished his mug of water he wanted to place the empty mug on the seat of a nearby chair. But because he put it too much near the edge, the mug overbalanced and dropped noisily to the ground. But miraculously Daniel realized what had happened as he looked for the mug. I wanted to stimulate him, so I said: ‘Grab the mug, Daniel!’
And the second miracle occurred: Daniel collected the mug and put it into my outstretched hand. Wow, this was the first time in a year and a half that Daniel was aware of something that had dropped to the floor, for once shedding his passive attitude! Is he very very slowly opening up to more interaction with his surroundings?
Daniel and Loyda have for years been living with a lack of stimulation. Apparently both of them have a huge intellectual disability. So every day we run a programme to stimulate them, with a focus on making contact. And we are happy to see they make progress. Due to our attention and creativity, Loyda has discarded all her old behaviours such as putting three quarters of her finger up her nose, sucking on her sweater, and licking her arms like a cat, especially after a meal. Generally speaking Loyda is still more wrapped up in her own world than Daniel is. But when I got back from my holiday and tried to make contact with her, I was rewarded with two big smiles and eye contact! It’s great to see that bit by bit she crawls out of her shell!
More miracles in the Nederlands In the village of Zeeland in a long-stay prison, Willem has taken the initiative to once a week during the period of Lent cook a meal for which people can register and make a voluntary contribution to our work in Juigalpa. The campaign started with 15 guests, then 20, and last week 40 people were gathered around the table! According to an eye witness: ‘It is beautiful to see that so many men of different sections of the institution sit around the same table, even playing host to staff as well as visitors from ‘outside’. We were all equal. Everyone contributed something, either by quietly enjoying the occasion, by saying something personal about what they think of these weekly meals and the Ruach project. Others were full of admiration for those who had the courage to share something personal in a big group. One man said: ‘I cannot stand busy-ness, but I can easily cope with how things are here at this meal. This is a big success.’ Another person said: ‘Many of you will be familiar with films about people who are up against big odds, but for whom finally the beauty of life shines through. Yesterday I saw with my own eyes that these things do not only happen in films. I have experienced that people can really pull each other up and beyond the realities of everyday life.’
A big thank you to all of you who made these small miracles possible, by saying or by doing something, by being with us in spirit, or by contributing financially. Together we can make a difference.