Choose an issue of importance to you - the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope - and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation
It was an odd feeling, riding in the back of that dump truck with a coffin right beside me. As we bounced along the unpaved roads, it would unhinge just a bit, and I could see where Patrick will soon be laid. After a long ride, the dump truck finally arrived at the tiny home where Patrick and his daughter lived. We unloaded our somber cargo under the oppressive sun and the memories with Patrick suddenly crossed my mind as I walked toward Patrick.
I had met Patrick a year earlier during my first mission trip in Arizona. He was living in such filth that he was saturated with drugs and alcohol. Stray dogs would come by their shack and roll in their meager food supply, actually passing mange to Patrick. The ministry found the poor guy and began to help him; they provided food and medicine to cure the weakened body from drinking mixed drink of hair spray and cheap alcohol. They taught them cleanliness to not eat food after a dog has urinated on it as they did in the past. They also built a house for them. I remember visiting while their house was under construction. Patrick's daughter, Ayesha, whom I financially support, was very happy to see us that she gave everyone a hug. She thanked each of us over and over again.
And now, just a year later, we were helping Ayesha to make the final preparations for her father's death and burial. While the men lugged the coffin in and placed it in the corner of the one-room home, I rushed in to the hammock to see Patrick. His blank face stared back at me even though he did not have enough strength to breathe. I stroke his shriveled hand as his daughter attempted to give him a thimble full of water, but he was too ill that he vomited into a large pan filled with similar substances. At this point, I could not hold back any longer; my tears fell slowly down on my face. It just did not seem fair. The only difference between Patrick and me was where we were born. If I had been born in a poor Indian Territory of Arizona, I would be in his situation and he would look upon me with pity.
Then it was time to gather around Patrick for prayer. We all held hands together and I rested my hand upon Patrick's bony shoulder. As we began to pray, it seemed as if the fresh breath of life blew into him. He began to pray with us, shouting "LORD" with the little strength he could muster. The tears fell down everyone's eyes as this unfortunate man whispered the Indian words of "Amazing Grace." I kissed his sweaty forehead and whispered, "Have a safe trip to heaven, Patrick."
Patrick left his journey to heaven two days after I last saw him. Because of our shared faith, I firmly believe that he is in the presence of God. I cannot imagine how exciting heaven would be for him now.
On the plane ride back home, I thought about Patrick and others who had lived such poor lives. There must be thousands like him who need medical, financial and moral support. I thought about what I can do to help those in need. Medical problem, which is one of the major issues for people like Patrick, would be a field that I could step into.
Hence, I got more certain on developing in medical knowledge which suited my personality perfectly and become a physician. I aspire to help people around the world who are in need of my expanded knowledge in medication.
The images of Patrick on his death bed praising the Lord will be forever imprinted in my heart. When I get frustrated with my blessed life in my comfortable Virginia home, I would remember the amazing faith of this man. When I am disappointed, I would remember the greater disappointments he had faced. When I am weak, I would remember how much weaker he was. And when I am joyful, I would remember his immense joy, which makes me even happier.
He is with the presence of the Greatest Physician now. Once a filthy drunkard, but now lives in peace in a mansion with God. Patrick has taught me and others about life during the short time we knew him. I cannot wait to see him, opening his arms wide open to me in front of the gate of heaven.