With a grateful heart I write this, just a few days after returning from a service trip to Valparaiso, Chile. Our Group of 6 traveled well south of the equator to help the local YMCA with projects that needed to be completed, but may not have been without volunteer assistance.
It was a privilege indeed to serve such thankful people in our small way. We painted at their humble school, spent time with kids in the day camp program, helped feed the homeless, and more importantly, talk to the homeless and assure them through conversation that they are worthy of our time and love. In return, we received countless smiles, hugs, and meaningful communications with people who were most patient with our attempts, successes, and failures encountered while navigating our individual Spanish language skill sets.
Most remarkable to me was the pride that Chileans have in their city which is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. Their desire to share what little they have with us warmed our hearts and reminded us of the super-abundance of blessings we all have here in the United States.
During our “Luck ‘O The Irish” month of March, it may be of value for each of us to step back, look around, and realize or recall how fortunate, or lucky, we are to call our country and community home. This 10 day journey was a much needed wake up call for me, as it is easy to take what we have for granted and begin to complain about things that really don’t matter at all. What a blessing this trip was to the six of us who experienced it. I pray that this sense of overwhelming gratitude stays with me for a long time.
- Cathi Dorn, Senior Adult Program Director
The Glacial Community Y sent two international mission and service teams this winter. Our first team traveled to our coalition partner YMCA in Valparaiso, Chile January 10-19, 2020. They served communities in and around Valparaiso through the work of the YMCA, including the George Williams School, meals for homeless, summer camp and more. Our third team to Esperanza Viva just returned from traveling to work with the ministry of Living Hope International in Puebla, Mexico February 15-22, 2020. This team served for a week at the orphanage, building relationships and encouraging the children and staff who have made Esperanza Viva their home. Both of these partnerships provided volunteer team members the opportunity to gain valuable cross-cultural experience and develop personally, professionally and spiritually. Maybe one of these experiences should be on your calendar for 2021! For more information on international missions, contact Bruce Osborn, Director of Spiritual Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.