October 22, 2009
It's 4:22am and I can't sleep. I'm sick with Swine. Yuck.
My Operation Smile Mission Training application will be going in the mail soon. It's pretty intensive, but I can't wait to finish it. Upon completion, I will send it to headquarters in Norfolk, Virgina and the Student Programs board will look through it. Only 40 students from around the entire world are chosen for MTW in January, so it is a lot of pressure.. There are sooo many incredible and highly qualified students out there. It amazes me how many amazing people there are (kindof cliche). If I am granted admittance into MTW, I will travel to Portsmouth, Virgina in January to complete the Mission Training Workshop. This workshop is 3 days of intense learning. They teach you everything that you do on a mission, and you are given a plethora of knowledge. They quiz you in 'Rapid Fire' rounds and you give presentations on Oral rehydration, burn care, basic personal hygiene, etc. The students main purpose on a medical mission is to educate. So we go to villages, orphanages, schools, hospitals, etc and teach the community about how to take care of themselves and their smiles. We provide toothbrushes and whatever other needs they might have.
At the end of mission training, you pray for the opportunity to be chosen to go on a Medical Mission. From what I've been told, the supervisors of the training watch the students closely. They watch to see who is working well together, and who gets along the best, etc. Then, they pair each person with another. This person becomes that person's mission partner. On the last day of MTW, there is a final party. At this party, they reveal who your mission partner is, and the location and approximate dates of your mission. I've had so many friends go through this process and I've had it explained to me as the happiest moment in their lives. Wow. chills.
Operation Smile has done more than provide over 130,000 surgeries worldwide to children who were not given the opportunity to lead a normal life because of a cleft lip/palate; It has changed my life. Since my initial involvement in 2008, I've just grown more and more in love with this cause. It has given me a motivation and drive to be the best person that I can be while serving others. It has become a life changing outlet for me, as well as others. I watched a video once and someone on it said something along the lines of 'Operation Smile isn't just about the surgery, it's about the message'. I totally couldn't agree more. OS does something other than just give free life altering surgery. It goes much deeper than that.. Which is why I have become so passionate about it.
ISLC '08: Inspire Waves of Change
I don't go a day without thanking my Father in Heaven for the opportunity that I have to have Operation Smile be a part of my life. The experiences I've had, the stories I've heard, the changes I've made, and the people I've met.. It's all so amazing to me. If every person that I know could have something that does what op smile does for me.. wow, I think that the world would be an outstanding place. All of the people I've had the opportunity to work with through OS are so incredible. They are students, just like you and me- who have decided that someone, should do something-- They have decided to be that someone. All of them are leaders in their schools, communities, clubs, and the world. They motivate me and lift me up when I need it. They are such driven individuals.. I am just so humbled to know them. I strive to be that person as well.
My ISLC 08 Team 'OXOMOCO'
My life wouldn't and couldn't be complete without Operation Smile. The reason why I'm up so late is because I can't seem to sleep.. so I've been thinking about OS. haha.. Of course I have. I absolutely love it. I don't know what else I can say! I wish that I could somehow convey to you how deeply I feel about this cause. I want to go on a Medical Mission so badly. It would the the most humbling and profound experience that would change my life forever. Can you even fathom that? Something that could simple Change. Your. Life. wow. I aspire to become part of the ELC. ELC is the Executive Leadership Council for Operation Smile Student Programs. Each year at ISLC (International Student Leadership Conference), you are put into teams. The team 'leader' is the ELC. This person is in charge on your team and also just does everything for the conference really.. an ELC could probably be compared to an EFY Counselor (I think.. This is just from what I've observed, never gone to EFY). Actually, I credit EFY for my involvement in Operation Smile. Had I not been rejected to every session and location I applied for EFY in Spring of '08, I wouldn't have gone to ISLC.. Which is where I became involved in OS. God had planned that I'm sure. To become an ELC, I will first have to be a WELC (pronounced 'wel-k' haha). This person is a 'wannabe- elc' ;) I will apply to be a WELC this spring for summer of '10. This person is basically.. what the name is- a Wannabe-ELC. If I get accepted to be a WELC, I will be paired iwth an ELC at ISLC and be their assistant. I will help in all the ELC duties and just learn what it is like. I've heard that being a WELC or ELC, you shouldn't plan on eating, sitting, or sleeping during islc from everything you'll be doing. But I hardly sleep anyways (evident in the time this is posted), and if this swine stuff persists, I won't have to worry about the eating part either! :) I'm so excited!!!!
ISLC '09: DRIVEN.
My Team: Macedonia
We were simply the most incredible team ever. EVER. I love how in this picture, everyone just looks.. Happy.
After I graduate from high school, I really want to pursue operation smile. I would love to take it to whatever college is crazy enough to accept me, and also become a mission sponsor when I am old enough. A mission sponsor is the adult who supervises the student team on the mission. I want to keep OS in my life forever.. I owe it to it, since it has changed mine forever.
I love Operation Smile.
I also need to sleep, seeing as my alarm clock will go off momentarily. Fantastic. : )
Smile, Sleep, and NO SWINE!!!
Wash your hands! :)
PS: My alarm just went off.