Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On being of service...

The best thing I can do with my life is to serve others. I hope that light and love shine out of me, where ever I am and who ever I am with. I aim to remain open to learning new ways of seeing and thinking and I hope to inspire that in others. I want to serve you, who ever you are. I want to make your life better, your world brighter, and even at times harder so you can reflect and I hope you do the same for me.

Being here in Zimbabwe, I have been given so much. I feel more blessed than perhaps I have ever felt, not because people have less here. Honestly? It doesn't feel like people have less. Materially speaking, sure, but the quality of life here is so high. I have always loved Africa because I know how rich this continent is. By rich, I am speaking of the hearts of the people, and the reverence of the life, the land, family, and community. People here live out loud. This is not something I see in America.

Sure, those of us in the western world have much more opportunity to earn money, and have more things, however, I don't see this making us happy or grateful, and it's a sad sight. I appreciate those who feel a certain responsibility to use the opportunities we have to bring about a higher quality of life for everyone. I see it especially working when people are helping themselves and their own communites. Like the work I see being done here at Kufunda. That is the reason I plan to continue to stay connected to this place and to fundraise, not because I am any type of saint.

While I appreciate so much the encouragement and support I get from friends and family back in the states, praise is not something I am looking for. In fact, it makes me quite uncomfortable. My being here is hopefully an exchange, but more than anything, it has filled me up. I came here to experience life in Zimbabwe and get a chance to be in the lifestyle, which I love so much. It hurts me to think I won't be back here for at least a year. I hope that I have been able to reciprocate something, if even another look at a western woman, but I need to be clear that while I came here to volunteer, these people have gone on beautifully before me and will continue to do so without me. I honestly feel that I have recieved more than I have given and I am just so grateful to have been a part of it.

I have a heart for service and I know so many people also do, but one thing I've had to painfully become more aware of since I've been here, is that it is sometimes accompanied by this white privelaged thinking, as if we are able to save someone or something. It's not about us having more or knowing more, or even doing more, it's about utilizing the opportunity around you and applying it to where your heart calls you to apply it. If someone applies it to the environment, beautiful! If someone applies it to bettering the lives of children, or women, beautiful. If someone wants to pay school fees, beautiful! If you want to focus on local food, beautiful! No act of service is too small, and I truly believe that is what we are here on this earth to do, serve.

I plan to stay connected to this learning village and use my opportunity of living in a land of abundance to market the good work they are doing here, but it isn't for charity. It's because God has laid this project on my heart and I believe it's part of my destiny to follow the work God inspires me with. I can only hope that most people that are called to service work are doing it because it's in their heart, not their ego. My ego needs no feeding. There is no such thing as too humble.

Since being in Africa has been on my heart since I was very young, I am honored and overwhelmed that God opened the way for me this summer. It is perfect timing, and this was the perfet situation. I'm so grateful and my yearning to be in Africa is only stronger. I hope to live here someday. I'm happy if my realizing my dreams is inspiring to anyone. I believe that's what we are here for, to inspire and encourage one another. Service is something that is meant for all of us, in our everyday lives as well as grand adventures far from home. In my experience, I have always found serving others to be fulfilling and reciprocal. May we all rise to the occasion; where there is a need we can fill, that we fill it, with no expectation to be praised or thanked for it.

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