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When I decided to be a Jesuit Volunteer it seems that it was an illogical decision. I had to give up a rewarding and fulfilling job in Singapore, I have to leave the comforts of having my family and friends around. Most people I love didn’t understand my decision, and to be honest, I have doubts myself. It was a leap of faith, it was like jumping off a cliff in reckless abandon trusting God to catch me for He is the one who called me to it. And what seems like an irrational decision changed my life and taught me life’s great lessons.

  1. MEANING OF STRENGTH

I always take pride of being a strong and independent woman. I have good grip of my emotions that other people find me stoic. When I joined JVP I was whole, but my experiences of poverty and injustice broke me. I thought I was strong enough to handle a child crying because of hunger. I thought I can compose myself front of a mother trying to bring her child to hospital without a money in her pocket. I thought I won’t be affected by the story of a wife who’s husband is unjustly killed leaving their four children orphan. I realize that strength doesn’t mean you won’t cry or be emotionally vulnerable. True strength doesn’t come from being whole but from allowing yourself to be broken yet still have the heart to fight.

  1. APPRECIATE THE SMALL THINGS

A reliable 3G connection, heater, toilet are luxuries. This list are endless. Leaving the comforts of your home you’ll learn to appreciate every little things just like the sunrise, the wild flower, a smile, the rain. You’ll realize that everything is a gift.

  1. WHAT IT MEANS BY SERVICE

Service is not just doing what you’re suppose to do, but giving your heart to everything you do. It is the manifestation of love and not a duty to be fulfilled.

  1. HUMILITY

Doing fund-raising works taught me a lot about humility. You’ll be rejected over and over again. You will be stripe you off your pride. It takes a lot of humility to accept rejection. It takes a lot of humility to acknowledge that there are things you can’t change and that you can only do so much.

  1. SAYING “I’M SORRY”

Saying sorry is one of the hardest thing to do. It’s just hard to admit that we are wrong or we made mistake. But one of the noticeable ethos in my mission area is saying sorry. Everyone is humble enough to acknowledge their mistake and say sorry. And I’ve learned that being ready to say sorry every time heals wounds and strengthens relationships.

  1. PUSHING LIMITS

Being a volunteer, I was challenged and pushed at the brink of my limits. But I learned that the space outside my comfort zone is where magic happens. You’ll discover your potentials and do things you never imagine you could even in your wildest dreams.

  1. TRUST IS BIG WORD

During the course of my volunteer year there were times when I wanted to quit. Sometimes everything doesn’t make sense, but it is also when God taught me to trust Him. I learned faith just like a flashlight in a dungeon, it doesn’t illuminate the whole place but just gives you enough light for the next step.

  1. THE BEAUTY OF SILENCE

Only in silence will you hear the voice of God. Away from the frantic world of digital age, I had the chance to relish the wonders of staying still and embracing the joys of silence.

  1. WHAT IT MEANS TO FALL IN LOVE

“Love is willing the good of other as other” according to St. Thomas. Being a volunteer. As a volunteer it allowed me to go out of my own ego and love and serve those people knowing that I won’t be reciprocated. Love is give giving of one’s self without reservation.

  1. FINDING GOD IN EVERYTHING

When you’re in a place where you don’t have anyone or anything you’ll learn to pay more attention to God and His promptings.

Being a Jesuit volunteer is not easy. There are lessons that you will only learn when you make yourself vulnerable. You’ll get hurt and be disappointed but one thing is for sure, it’s all worth it.

 

 

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