by Rupa Magar, Graduate of Sophia’s Home, Nepal.She is currently studying to attain her Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Walking past a house in the evening, I smelled the fragrance of curry. This particular curry brought back memories of dinners I had in Sophia’s Home. Having dinner in Sophia’s Home is always a profound experience, although I realised it a little late.
Dinner time is around 8pm at Sophia’s Home. The atmosphere changes around 7:45pm. The once quiet study room welcomes noises of steel plates clanging as each sister tries to find her plate. We
all know one another’s plates, although the names written on the back of the plates have long since faded away.
It is probably one of the noisiest times of the day as we sisters try to catch up on the latest updates in one another’s lives. Every table would be abuzz with talks about the day, assignments, events, and what nots. We would talk, joke, and witness some memorable dinner-time incidents. It’s also not surprising to burst into songs that continues even after dinner.
I especially love this dinner time because we express our love in the tiniest of ways, like remembering likes and dislikes and going out of our way to show it. Like I would be eating, my sisters would just put tomatoes on my plate, knowing I love them. Or help eat one another’s vegetables. And remember which part of the meal we liked best. After I graduated and left Sophia’s Home, I truly missed those dinner times and dining together.
I came to Sophia’s Home in 2007, a year after my father passed away. Before that, I had stayed for a few months in another children’s home under a completely different organisation. It’s sad how we were treated like a bunch of children to be fed and taken care of only. I was a daddy’s girl and losing him turned me into a rebellious and angry girl. I had a hard time there, so my mother’s friend from church told her about Sophia’s Home.
In Sophia’s Home, I didn’t expect things to be different. Yet the sisters befriended me, invited me to play, and eventually won me over. Staying at Sophia’s Home was more than living with family and sisters. It’s growing up knowing one another’s background, healing emotional wounds, experiencing God’s love, and knowing you are not alone. It’s being identified as a person with real emotions and being treated like one.
Sophia’s Home is like a museum of people. Each sister is like an artwork made up of different histories, physiques, characters, and thoughts. At times, I marvelled at God Himself and His purpose to put together girls from all over Nepal, each individually chosen to be part of one another’s lives and share blessings from generous hearts.
The Bible tells us about being careful of the company we keep as it becomes a reflection of ourselves (1 Corinthians 15:33). I write certain letters differently because I liked how one sister wrote hers; I love doing crafts because auntie Grace taught me; I love reading, and I read many books because auntie Jacqueline encouraged me. I wondered about God and asked questions, and love to hear uncle Sabashtain’s explanations. The way I talk, eat, how I like the food cooked, and even how I live reflects the company I keep.
Those 11 years in Sophia’s Home transformed me. I wasn’t only educated through attending school but matured spiritually and emotionally as well. I am all the people I have lived with. I am a mosaic of all of their lives. I am God’s masterpiece.
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