My feet were still shaking and my face was cover in tears, when I decided to kneel down in front of the poster of Jesus we had by the TV at my house. I kneeled down as I prayed or really cried out to God. It was the first time that I ever cried out to him and also the first time I really prayed. Don’t get me wrong I grew up in a very religious family, went to church every Sunday and knew all my prayers by heart, but I had never really prayed. That morning however I prayed, not because my mom had told me to, not because I was about to eat, I prayed and cried because I really needed God. The God that the priest talked about every Sunday at Church, the God that my mom kept singing about, the God that Cynthia was serving while singing at church, I NEEDED GOD. So there I was crying to God that he gives my Father few more days to live, I actually asked for 3 more days. I thought that would be just enough for me to hear all the wise things the man had to say and enough to show all the love an 11 years old can show. This Gracious God gave my father 3 more months. And I haven’t stopped praying since then.
When I got my acceptance letter from SIT to study abroad in Morocco, I prayed. I thanked God for granting me my wishes. I thanked God for answering my prayers. I prayed and I asked him that he grants me the courage and motivation that I was going to need to be the best version of me in Morocco. I prayed.
When I got called into the Study abroad office because I had a C in one of my classes, I prayed. They’d told me that they’ll have to review my application because they couldn’t let me go with a C in my Reporting for media class. It felt so unfair, I had worked so hard and that class was a lot harder than they gave it the credit to be. I cried, then I prayed and this time I didn’t ask God to grant me my wishes but rather to give me faith and courage. Faith to believe that whatever he has in stoke for me is better than anything I can ask for. Courage so that I can accept God’s plan for me.
Fast forward the day before I left for Morocco I prayed. This time I asked for back up, held my mom and my sisters hands and we prayed. We prayed that God protects me, my family and all our love ones. We prayed for the sick, people in war zone, people in jail, the new president of the United States…we prayed. And I quietly prayed that my family doesn’t miss me too much and that I don’t miss them too much.
On my first night in Morocco when I turned around the bed in a room I was sharing with 2 strangers I prayed. I prayed that God protects me, the two strangers I was sharing the room with, and everyone in the MOJ2017 program.
When I moved in with my host family, after had cried embarrassed myself in front of the whole family, after I took a shower I prayed. I prayed asking God that I’d be the plus one family member my host family deserved. I pray that God keep them happy. I prayed that they love and accept me and then prayed that I love and accept them just as they were.
The day I saw Mama Nadia cry, I prayed. I asked God that he grants her happiness. The kind of happiness only him could give. I asked God to help me help her. I also asked God for forgiveness. Because after Mama Nadia had told me why she was crying and everything that was going on in her family, I couldn’t help but feel silly for ever complaining about anything. So I asked God to forgive me for being so ungrateful at times. I asked him to grant me a more positive attitude, I prayed.
When I first met Hamza and after he answered all the questions I had about his life in Morocco and before, I prayed. I went home and prayed for Hamza. I asked God to protect him and grant him his wishes and more. I asked God that Hamza some day gets to go to Euro[e and play soccer like he’s always dreamed of. I also prayed for tamara my partner and friend. I asked God to give her the strength it’s going to take to write this article. I prayed for myself as well. I asked God that I be the best partner Tamara could have. I asked that God grants me patience toward Tamara, the people we were going to interview and the people that were supposed to guide us through the process, I prayed.
On my first last night in Morocco—I had more than one last night—-I prayed. I prayed because I was so sad to leave these kids that months ago I didn’t know nor love. I prayed because I was sad that Katherina and tamara were going to become stories. I was going to talk so much about them and what they do with the hope that the people I tell their stories to think they are as interesting as I do. I prayed because I probably was going to miss them more than they’ll miss me. I prayed because that’s what you do when you’re sad to leave your friends.