Letters from Teresa/Ozioma

Letters from Teresa/Ozioma

Ozioma Hope for Wellness USA Corporation

Newsletter from my Nephew

Blessings to you and your family,

Below is a newsletter from my nephew, CJ Nessralla, who recently joined me in Nigeria. I have had extremely limited access to phone and email (my daughter Anna is sending this), and so I will let CJ's words tell his story:


“Aunt Teresa is Out of Her Mind!”

 Aunt Teresa is crazy! What is she doing in Nigeria when all her family and friends are here in America? Doesn’t she know there are poor people in America that need help too, why does she have to go all the way to the other side of the world to help people? I’ve heard all these comments many times before. In fact, I have made remarks along these lines myself in the past. I never did understand what drove her half way around the world to do this work. I never did, that is, until spending three weeks with her this past month. I have seen all of the pictures, read her newsletters, listened to her speak about Nigeria. However, until this past month I never truly realized the impact she has on the lives of these people.
 For those of you who do not know me, I am a recent graduate of Northeastern University planning on attending medical school in September 2012. I have been close with Aunt Teresa since I was a child, and have wanted to visit her in Nigeria for the past few years. After having a small fundraiser this past summer, I was able to raise the money to travel to Nigeria and help Aunt Teresa with her missionary work.  I cannot explain to you enough how much of an unbelievable, life-changing experience this was. . For most of the time I spent there I felt like I was in a movie. How this degree of poverty and suffering could still be going on in the world in 2012 is something I am still struggling with. I know we all hear about these things, and see the commercials on the Christian Children’s Fund, but to witness this first hand is something else entirely.  I remember seeing one 24-year-old boy who was involved in a car accident about a month before. Like almost every other 20 year old I met there, both of his parents had passed away. Without any family to help him financially he sat for 3 weeks with his femur protruding from his leg because he was unable to afford medical treatment. Trying to imagine someone going through this without any antibiotics, and any pain medication seems almost fictional, but this is just one of the many examples of extreme suffering I witnessed during my time there. I could go on for days describing each individual story, and would be glad to speak of some in more detail if you ask me in person, but for the sake of brevity I hope this example was enough to illustrate the situation.
In all honestly, however, it wasn’t the suffering that really moved me but the overwhelming joy amidst suffering of the villagers I worked with. These people lack electricity, food, water, access to even basic health care, and adequate housing. Yet they greet each day, and the people they encounter throughout it, with a warmth and appreciation I have never seen elsewhere. The day I arrived I spent over an hour being embraced, kissed, and welcomed by every single member of the village I lived in. Every person I met throughout my trip greeted me in the same manner, with an appreciation and love you do not see here at home. “Welcome Annocha, Welcome Annocha! We love you! God bless you!” That was all I heard when I walked around the village. People would offer me their last morsel of food, or the only valuable they possessed after simply screening them for high blood pressure and diabetes. The day I left people were dropping to their knees and embracing my legs to show how much appreciation they had for me, and how much they desired me to stay. I honestly can’t speak enough to the feeling you have when confronted by people with such warmth and genuine love.
Enough about me and my trip, the real reason I wrote you all is to provide insight into the life of my aunt,  “Ozioma” of Igboland. The Igbo people gave her the name Ozioma, meaning good news, but more informally she is referred to as Mother Teresa to most of Imo state Nigeria. I cannot think of a more fitting name. Even in the short time I was there I witnessed her work towards providing a clean water source for an entire village of people, give food to those without any, provide life saving medical care to countless villagers, educate everyone she encountered on disease prevention and proper nutrition, and simply show these people that they are not forgotten – that there are still individuals out there who truly do care for their wellbeing. When I was traveling through the country with her it was hard to go anywhere without someone stopping us and thanking her for saving their fathers life, or teaching their family about disease prevention, or giving mosquito nets to their children, or whatever it happened to be that day. She truly is a saint. She lives away from all American comforts, with no electricity or running water, little food, even the medicine she has goes to the villagers instead of herself, and she does all this without asking for anything in return. The work she does in Nigeria is like nothing anyone could imagine, and I feel it could be an inspiration to many if they were made aware of her level of selflessness.
I still think my Aunt Teresa is crazy in many ways. However, nothing she does in Nigeria should be considered anything less than miraculous. I understand now why she travels halfway around the world to help these amazing people and I genuinely cannot wait until I have the opportunity to return.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,



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