Missions to Serve
It was always a dream to travel the world. To not just “help”, but to be in the center of it all. Feeding the street population, working in crisis, and giving myself to a greater cause. India had always been on my mind with my Indian heritage. When someone speaks of this kind of work, it sounds quite noble. People may feel insecure about themselves because they aren’t out saving the world. There are those people who just “want to help” and the engage in small projects and take some nice photos with locals. When one goes out into the world, it’s not about being noble, helping, or doing some nice charity work. It’s about a true purpose, obligation, responsibility, and gift.
One can think of it as having to take care of their kids. Drop them off at school, take them to the doctor when their sick, or help with their homework. It’s not a fulltime responsibility in the states, but it definitely is when I’m abroad. This not saying that I am an incredible full-time mother rather it is just referring to the responsibility and obligation. I know that I am obligated to give my time, listening, and patience. Kids from all countries they need that enthusiasm, inspiration, and respect to learn, improve their lifestyle, make a better decision the next time, and become a better friend/daughter/son, to cope with anger/sadness. The way I approach a child, an adult, an elderly person, a youth in the same way-empowerment, education, and realistic goals to accomplish change.
The word change is unrealistic in many circumstances and it puts too much pressure on the individual. Improvement is a better term thinking about the whole big picture of the environment and system in place.
Now with all my greatness, I am the only person with a world purpose-absolutely not.
Within this world, there are some of the most selfless and dedicated individuals working towards a cause. It may be HIV Aids, water sanitation, street population, poverty, human trafficking. I have been beyond privileged to be in their presence let alone contributing to their passion and commitment.
These volunteers, missionaries, social workers, doctors, are not just helping rather they have purpose and they are sharing their gifts with people and countries who need them most.
On these missions, teamwork and passion made it all happen. Working in accounting in a cubicle next to Sam and Linda who complain all day-not inspiring. Finding a family for a child-exciting, delivering food to villages hit by disaster-exciting, writing a grant for funding or preparing a great presentation-exciting, placing a child’s negative behaviors on extinction-exciting. The adrenaline is going and the rewarding feeling is being recycled over and over again. Often I hear people say, I volunteered for i.e. “Habit for Humanity” and it was the best experience of my life. It’s one of the best experience because the “I want to help” turns into action and it positively impacts the internal self.
To reiterate, these missions are not “fun, cool things to do.” They are real missions that are impacting real people. A majority of those encountering true struggle and poverty who are incredibly humble and kind and deserve the help.
It can be argued that the US has their own people to save, but the difference is a choice. The US has great organizations in place and they are contributing their money in these countries. With the amount of resources we do have, the third world countries have a higher need for our time, efforts, education, skills, efficiency, and work ethic. Many like to enter a country as superior, but is the culture that is doing the teaching. The cultural learning and exerience is extremely beneficial to build cultural competency and experiential learning.
While I am proud of the missions I have accomplished with these organizations- it is the individual mission on a daily basis that drives me out of my own 3country and into the streets of foreign ones.
When you have found what you love you will never work another day in your life.
Without witnessing it, it’s quite difficult to describe. It’s constant interaction with all kinds of people in all kinds of places. In India, I sat in a bus yard sitting with a woman who shared her story of domestic violence. In Honduras, I made a business and marketing plan for a man selling coconuts. In the Philippines, I spent a couple hours every night making my visits on the street to children and families living outside. There is a missionary and highly spiritual component, but there is also just a human component to give people the benefit of the doubt. Any suffering or crisis can contribute to growth. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how these people are still living in their circumstances, but when I look up I understand.
The churches present themselves at the right times in this work. Often all people have left is their faith. They are given food once a week, but not on person of poverty is learning an independent living skill or steps to move forward. Hope lights up in their eyes in my presence and it’s a responsibility to guide them, listen to their story, and make a program. Whether it is classes, group therapy, or individual sessions. It’s important even if they go temporarily improve. It’s common for them to go back into their old habits because they don’t have a system, support, or consistency on their side.
Our purpose is what can take us to different types and levels of "success." But human impact and happiness challenge the core.
Believe in Your Purpose started as a company in Morocco. It has continued as an International independent missions of my own choice to acknowledge their purpose being fulfilled or the one that feels out of reach. Many have big loving families and they are truly happy. Some are selling their own crafts-jewelry, carvings, artwork-great. There are those who are swimming in self-doubt, fear, and self-pity. These people need reminders of the strengths in their life and how to build on those strengths. The poor feel the oppression the lack of caring from corruption, and care about those who are rich-especially in third world countries. A purpose is broken down into many steps and people need to understand a realistic road to getting there. Smiles, handshakes, and conversations are great, but the underprivileged population deserves guidance, laughter, and a plan.
While I realize this is extremely foreign to people, an open mind and a willingness to understand are appreciated. We all have a different shade of glasses we wear in life. Mine may just have little clarity, but I have a vision.
These mission trips are not planned with an organization going out together rather they are all planned solo. Sometimes I never know where moments, people, and the true societal needs may lead me. Each interaction counts in my checkbox of purpose. It just keep accumulating with an overwhelming joy and feel of satisfaction. “Success” can be defined as materialism or it can be described as “one of the most satisfying experiences of a lifetime.”