So often I am encouraging you to volunteer, to help others, to step out of your comfort zone to do something for someone else. I want to share with you about an experience I had doing the very thing I have been encouraging you to do. Before I share it with you, I want to emphasize the fact that you don't have to leave our country to make a big impact. In fact you don't even have to leave your own neighborhood. There are many opportunities to volunteer all around us each day. You just have to open your eyes, look through a different lens and you will see needs all around you.
I decided that I wanted to travel outside of my comfort zone to serve others. Others who spoke a different language and lived in a very different environment than I do. My family and I decided that we would take a trip to Haiti and be a part of an organization called Mission of Hope for a week. You can check out Mission of Hope here....
We didn't go with a group. We just went as a family. My husband and 2 of our daughters and a friend embarked on an unbelievable journey. We boarded a plane for Haiti, not knowing what our experiences would be there. Nothing could have prepared me for the intense love I would develop for the Haitian people. We spent our mornings helping with a Vacation Bible school and playing with the orphans and children who came in from surrounding villages. In the afternoons we spent time in the area villages painting, working and getting to know the people. On Tuesday evening, I had an experience that I will never forget.
A beautiful Haitian woman approached me. In her Language of Creole, she began speaking to me. I so wished at that moment that I had invested the time to learn Creole before visiting Haiti. Anyway, my new Haitian friend was standing next to me and was able to translate. The beautiful woman asked if I was from America? I said yes. She began telling me that she had 7 children and that her husband had been paralyzed in the earthquake and was unable to walk. She told me that she had no money to buy food for her children. She explained how very much she loved her children. She loved them so much that she wanted them to have a better life. She then handed me her gorgeous 11 month old baby and asked me to take her to America and raise her. The overwhelming sadness I felt for this sweet mother changed my heart forever. I told her that it was against the law for me to just take her baby on a plane to another country. She then asked if I would help her get her baby into the orphanage. Unfortunately, the orphanage was too full to take her at that time. My heart was so heavy. Knowing that sweet family is struggling, makes me want to give my time and resources to help them gain education. Education would allow her a much different life and the skills to provide for her children. It also inspires me to give of my time and talents to help others who are in various hard situations. You never know when you may be the one needing a helping hand. Be willing to be a blessing to someone today. The opportunity is all around you. You think your helping others, but the irony is.....it actually changes you. It helps you become all you were meant to be.
Sometimes, something as simple as a smile can turn someone's day around! You have so much to give. So much kindness, intelligence, friendship, passion, courage and hope! Now get out there and share it!!!!! I am proud of you!!!!