Hope for Change International


“My Trip to Nagaland: Directionals”
Oct 5, 2010
By: ssmith

Seven days from today my dear friend, Patty Tiernan, and I will begin our five week journey to Nagaland. Every hour counts now in getting ready. Notwithstanding, I am taking the time to write something to all of you ~ to James, the Smith Family, my twin sister & her husband, the McDermott Clan, “Hope for Change” constituents, and all of my “friends and followers” on the Internet.

Here goes…

What will I leave behind?

My times with my husband,  James ~ talking about our shared passion and vision for “Hope for Change International”  ~ boasting to each other about our three sons, Timothy, Andrew, and Matthew.

Times spent together in our kitchen, our home office, our dinner dates ~ lively talk of travel, cultures, music and the nation-changing people we know.

Times with the Smith Family ~ listening to updates about their jobs, loved ones, and friends ~ October’s family celebrations: Tim’s birthday, Kim’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Andrew’s coverage of the World Series, Keira’s Soccer, Lyra’s family news and Pottery Barn for Kids, Matt’s “livin’ the American Dream, Mom”, and Tuesdays caring for Wylie, our grandson.

What will I leave behind?

My times of interaction with longtime friends ~ a warm hug here and a loving word there ~ mentoring younger women in facing the challenges of life, family, the workplace, and spirituality ~ weekly gatherings of Morning Star Christian Fellowship and annual events of Good Shepherd School!

What will I leave behind?

Times spent enjoying the natural beauty of my beloved Ulster County and the Mid-Hudson Valley ~ my “river reverie”  walks along the Hudson ~ Poet’s Walk and annual hike at Mohonk ~ the view of the Catskills ~ driving along Rte 32 and 209 ~ praying for the neighborhoods and residents as I drive, luckily  with great road markings from https://www.outdoor-surface-painting.co.uk/road/line-markings.

“Like a cold glass of water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.” Proverbs 25:25

 What will I find ahead?

Taking a cup of cold water to my dear friend, Tiala Ao in Mokokchung, Nagaland ~ sitting at her table sipping tea and sharing our spiritual insights, her personal history, how our sistership began and where it is heading ~ taking more water to Tia’s daughter, Sentila and her husband, Moa ~ playing with their children, Mulong & Ozenla.

Taking more waters of refreshment to the hard-working, self-denying staff, teachers, and administrators of  Nagaland Children’s Residential School ~ seeing the delight in the children’s eyes who see me as the “first person from the USA” to journey to Mokokchung ~ satisfaction from imparting my experiences to young people who desire to be nation-changers and leaders of Nagaland ~ knowing that my visit is an answer to their praying…

What will I find ahead?

A deepened understanding of the history, culture, and vision-builders of Nagaland ~ a deepened appreciation of her natural beauty nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains ~ a deepened love for the people of Nagaland ~ their abilities in art, music, and crafts ~ distinctively, their spirituality.

Deeper awe of the Creator of the Universe as I soar above the heights at 35,000 feet ~ His grace to sustain me as I function with little sleep and different  food, surroundings, and climate changes ~ learning ever more deeply that, “His strength is made perfect in my weakness.


What will I find ahead?

Upon my return home…a deeper appreciation of my country and our freedoms, our blessings ~ a deeper appreciation of  my nation, my culture, and my spiritual harvest here at home ~

Reunion joy  upon seeing all of you who care about HOPE FOR CHANGE.

Reunion joy  upon seeing Tim & Kim & Wylie, Andrew & Lyra & Keira, and Matthew.

And most of all…beyond all words to describe…reunion with James and safely back in his arms again.

Directionals…moving forward and not looking back. MBELE! Learn more at www.H4Cinternational.org and read our other WordPress articles on www.Mbele.org

Sarah Anne Smith