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Usha Reifsnider

Where I belong

Like most of the people who come here to study, life away from Oxford is very busy.  Setting aside time to study is just impossible at times.  Family, ministry, running a home, being available to meet the needs of young and adult children as well as elderly family takes its toll. The last time I came to Oxford I was dealing with the sickness of my father.  My whole world seemed in turmoil.  I was rushing between Oxford and the hospital in London.  Speaking what seemed a foreign language of medical terminology with medical staff and dealing with multiple generations, languages and cultures of my family on 3 continents was exhausting, frustrating and seemingly endless.  

On the day after my dad died there was a sudden stillness.  

Everything stopped.

I had nowhere to be and no one to belong to, so I went to OCMS chapel.  Overwhelmed by grief and the feeling of being orphaned and far from my siblings and children I found I had another family of scholars and staff from all over the world.  Once again multiple generations, cultures and languages, but this time instead of being thrust around I was gently held with kind words, listening ears and loving arms. 

OCMS has enlarged my idea of family.

I belong.

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